The UN's Sustainable Development goals are focused on ensuring there is a world worth passing on to future generations. But, say Edie Lush and Claudia Edelmen of the Global Goalscast, we have to involve those generations right now to ensure their energy and thinking power the change.
Here are two of the future-thinking young people featured in the latest episode of the podcast, which looks at the leaders of tomorrow who are tackling projects that get at the heart of the SDGs.
ADITI SHARMA - KALYANI
Aditi Sharma is working to change the conversation in her homeland, Nepal, about women's health and menstrual hygiene. After a masters in public health in England, she founded Kalyani, a youth-led organization that works to educate men and women and end some of the taboos around menstruation and end a practice where women are banished to animal sheds during their periods.
"It started in 2011 when I took a trip to the far western region of Nepal. And I found out about this practice called chhaupadi, which was rampantly practiced there, where women and girls were banished to outdoor sheds during their periods because they were considered impure and untouchable."
"Coming from Kathmandu where I was … raised in a very liberal family, I was shocked."
KENNY IMAFIDON - SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR
In 2011, Kenny Imafidon's life looked bleak. He was one of a group of teens on trial for a murder in London's Pelican estate in Peckham. Imafidon was acquitted on the judge's order, a close call that he says has inspired him to work for social justice.
"That just really was for me a life-changing, a life-changing moment. And it was just something that just changed my whole perspective on life, truly."
A social entrepreneur, Imafidon now leads the research agency he founded and also works as an ambassador for numerous social justice groups, including One Young World. He sees political engagement in struggling communities as a major key to changing their fortunes.
"No matter what issue you care about around criminal justice, the environment, housing, inequality – politics is at the heart of it," says Imafidon. "And if people are not participating then there's going to be problems. Like I always say, if you not at the table where decisions are made, then that means you are on menu.
Is it possible to change the world? Can we still make the planet a better place for us all to live? UN special adviser Claudia Romo Edelman and Hub Culture executive editor Edie Lush -- hosts of the Global Goalscast -- believe the answer is a resounding 'yes,' and that everyone can play a part. Subscribe to the podcast here.
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