Sustainability: a kaleidoscope of alliances

This picture has been taken from a kaleidoscope and the image looks much different from what it really is. That´s the essence that represents “alliances for Sustainability”, seeing the same reality from different angles and holds a completely different outcome. However, is not the concept that dominates the  stage, polluted by anarchy and competitiveness. Alliances are seeing as just strategic positions that do not deliver, of it so, its only on a limited space and time. Politics is the main negative model of what should not be done for moving forward towards a sustainable planet…and the system in itself. 

I have recently been in a Forum about Sustainability and the need to build alliances around three pillars: Political, Investment and Business. It was an event equally disappointed as promising. The three blocks were supposed to debate about how they can build links that lead them into a sustainable system, sadly they were unable of getting out of their compartments and make resilient alliances. Indeed, the capacity for coordination and effective joint action was 0 within the political block and troublesome in the rest of the others. Each of them were truly stagnated compartments without much idea of what should be done and a clear trend for making of any proposal an ideological matter.

It was surprisingly clear for the left-wing leader that investment is the “cure for all diseases” within a strong commitment from the public sector as a must. However, it is almost certain that investment its only one part of it and within a weak, divided and sometimes corrupt public sector there is no hope for succeeding. In fact, private sector and individual initiatives –even within strong investment as for activism- represent just small steps in local terms and within small environments as in towns.

Investments in the public sector not necessary represent progress and are been diluted by bad management and extremely biased political partisan interests. The political sector becomes a contradictory pillar: is essential and at the same time a threat for moving forward. When ideological aspects become part of the strategy there is no possibility for joint action and any effort on financial aspects complete useless.

That s the power of alliances: balance and coordination, as a difference from other areas in which competition represents a must and a boost for innovation, for a sustainable system is precisely the contrary and undermines capacity of complementarity and synergies.

Until the political sector realizes the need for leaving aside political partisan interests, the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals will only be possible by the initiative of the private sector and good will from individuals.  Which delivers hope but also danger. The public sector responsibility should not be substituted by a resilient -although biased- interest from the private sector. It should become only one more pillar within SDG17: Partnerships for the goals. Is under this framework that the public sector should adopt the role of a panoptic structure making sure that the process becomes inclusive and open.

A solid Sustainability strategy must be a kaleidoscope of alliances in which each color flourishes only by the color of the rest, building a system around nuances based on diversity and a strong sense of generosity. Lessons learned from the political sector…

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