"To achieve the 2030 Goals, we need children to be activists"

July 4, 2019
Communications Colunga Foundation

Specialist in social and educational innovations, Miquel de Paladella is CEO in UpSocial, in Spain, and has worked in the area of political advocacy with Unicef and human rights in Plan International and Global Movement for Children. 

Featured exhibitor of the IS2030 International Seminar, we talked with him about the relevance of public policies in the construction of a better future, how an intersectoral work can achieve innovative solutions and the role that children play in this way.

What do you dream for 2030?

The history of the last 30 years of humanity has been wonderful. Seeing what has happened in the last time, what you imagine is that we are going to have a more equitable society, with better opportunities for everyone. Building spaces where we can offer good opportunities, and very significant, to all. It is what I hope, what motivates me to wake up every morning to build that world, where social justice is the main thing. And I see that all the forces, from the private sector, the public sector and the citizens, are leading us to that.

If you see investors, who have the ability to transform the world a lot, they are increasingly asking for more social responsibility in their investment action. The consumer asks for it, society asks for it, the political parties ask for it. There is an alignment that makes me think that there are great possibilities of achieving that social justice that we long for.

How can you work for more sustainable policies?

The big problem with politics is that it is often guided by ideology. That is to say, with values that go very well to set objectives, but that do not work to fix the path that will take us to achieve it. The importance of social innovation is, precisely, the ability it gives us to experiment, see what works and, from there, create policies that work based on evidence.

What role do you think children play in building a sustainable future?

It makes me very nervous when children are considered as actors of the future. I see them as actors of the present.

It is true that childhood is an opportunity to give them abilities that, if you do not invest them at their earliest ages, they will not have a future. However, to achieve the 2030 goals, we need childhood to be an activist. That it requires us, parents, teachers, citizens, to think more about their future and well-being, and not only about our selfishness, short-termism and immediate consumption.

I believe that children can play, both in schools and in more informal spaces, a fundamental role by keeping firm around long-term agendas, but with immediate actions.

What road must a country follow to build meaningful social changes?

The 2030 Goals are focused on achieving great social justice. I believe that the great element that can be differentiating in the fulfillment of those objectives, is that there are organizations that can summon all the actors. That together they can decide who does what in each step. To do it, above all, on the basis of evidence.

Today we have a great capacity to manage data. If we are capable of processing them, understanding who to help and involving them in the transformation process, a series of things can be born that, in a country as entrepreneurial as Chile, should be much easier than in others.

The problems of trust that exist between institutions, is something very surmountable not only with transparency, but also by convening and working together in those objectives that call us all to give the best of ourselves. That is the beauty of the 2030 Goals. If we are able to align ourselves, leaving ideologies aside, I think it is the right way to build a wonderful country.

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