Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The SIFAPlan and the SDGs

Since 2015, when the U.N. Member States agreed on Agenda 2030 and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), there have been concerns that we are lagging behind in their implementation. These concerns have mounted since the onset of the COVID pandemic in early 2020.

The SIFAplan provides a range of powerful tools to help reverse the negative trend and accelerate the achievement of each SDG.

The whole SIFAplan is aimed at building a supplementary sustainable global economy that gradually replaces the unsustainable elements in today’s economy as public opinion evolves and demands change.

Here are some ways in which the elements of the SIFAplan can support the achievement of all of the SDGs and contribute to building a foundation for sustainable development:

  • The SIFAplan provides every woman, man and child registered with the Plan with approximately US $500 in its initial year of implementation, compounded by around 7% p.a. for every year thereafter. This SIFA income is meant for personal and community development and may only be spent on environmentally friendly goods and services. It thus creates a foundation for a sustainable supplementary economy.
  • There are two specially-trained SIFA development workers for every 1000 people to help implement the Plan. They are available to support whoever so wishes in making the choices that best meet their own priorities. They can act as teachers and counsellors helping people to combine their own insights into what is sustainable and compatible with national and international standards as these develop. In this way, people learn how sustainability relates to their own lives.
  • Moreover, at the beginning of each period of 12 months, all participants are invited to decide, in local group discussions that are linked worldwide, which goods and services are considered sustainable and thus permitted to be ordered for a person’s SIFA income. At the same time, producers able to provide these goods and services sustainably would be selected. During each period of 12 months, each participant gains greater insight into which goods and services best promote sustainable development. In this way, each individual person becomes a knowledgeable implementer of sustainable development standards and sustainable development as it pertains to their own life and community. Together, all participants create a powerful and knowledgeable grassroots force for global change and for the achievement of the SDGs.
  • Each individual is allowed to spend up to half of their SIFA income on community development. This will enable communities to develop sustainably, building such infrastructure as energy and water systems, sewage disposal systems and well-lit roads connecting communities. They can send individuals for medical training to help the communities, and build schools and community centres. They can create parks and green spaces within human settlements to promote the retention of fresh-water systems and biodiversity, and connect these to provide green corridors; they can arrange for clean-ups of garbage and marine pollution, and build recycling centres. They can provide community members with lessons in sustainable gardening and farming; or sustainable consumption and production. The longer the plan is in operation, the more sustainable human behaviour and community development will be.
  • For people who already earn around $500 annually, an extra income of $500 per family member means a fortune, which would quickly help to meet the basic needs for both individual and community development sustainably in poorer areas.
  • In richer countries, this amount would mean a much smaller percentage of individual income, but still enough to open up new markets both locally and worldwide for an array of sustainable goods and services on which to spend the SIFA supplementary income. Advertising could become a powerful educational tool to help people to think critically and individually and make sustainable choices. Businesses will have the opportunity to provide for this new market for sustainable goods and services as they are ready and without conflict, as the SIFA income grows annually and the focus on sustainability increases. Thanks to thegroup discussions to determine what is and what can be offered through the SIFAplanand increasing advertising for sustainable goods and services, sustainability will increase exponentially as more people actively participate in the Plan.
  • People’s jobs will focus increasingly on the supplementary economy and on meeting people’s physical needs sustainably. For the growing number of people whose physical needs are met, the focus will be on immaterial goods and service, meaning the personal, professional, artistic, cultural development and other services that stimulate people’s creativity. This immaterial economy can grow ad infinitum without having an impact on the natural environment or deplete natural resources. At the same time, as an added benefit, it will inspire, stimulate, invigorate and expand the leisure economy that is emerging as artificial intelligence takes over manual and also mental tasks from human beings.
  • This shift in people’s thinking about living sustainably at all levels will accelerate the achievement of the SDGs.

How different aspects of the SIFAplan will accelerate the achievement of specific SDGs

The development described above will have a profound influence on human-made infrastructures since individuals are permitted to spend up to half their SIFA income on community needs, and governments are permitted to spend their SIFA currency exclusively on the building of sustainable infrastructure and the natural environment.

This will thus significantly accelerate the achievement of the following SDGs:

SDG 8 and SDG 9. The SIFA economy promotes inclusive, sustainable economic growth that aims at meeting basic physical needs first, and then focuses on immaterial growth–personal, psychological, cultural, spiritual development—that is rooted in human creativity and can grow ad infinitum. Integral to this sustainable development is innovation, inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and full and productive employment. At the same time, the industrial sector is empowered to assess their products and modus operandi in relation to the SDGs, to foster innovation and to gradually develop more sustainably as they adapt to the growing new markets for sustainable goods and services.

SDG 11. Human settlements will change as people begin to demand a more wholesome environment, and their built-up areas will then reflect their new needs and values. As the mind changes, the world changes. More specifically, street lighting, better housing, water, energy, and sanitation systems can be built and expanded, transportation systems improved, and communities foreseen of parks, green areas, libraries, community education and activities centres, etc. World cultural and heritage sites will be protected and measures taken to mitigate climate change.

SDG 12. The change towards more sustainable human consumption and production patterns will be accelerated through the discussion groups that determine which goods and services are sustainable and can thus be offered via the Plan. Increasingly, people worldwide will begin to see what constitutes sustainability and why that is so important within the context of their own lives. It will take on an increasingly direct and personal meaning, as people begin to make their choices from the goods and services offered by the SIFAplan. Larger polluters, such as business and industry, will not only be confronted by the changing insights regarding sustainability, but rather, because the traditional economy and the sustainable supplementary economy will co-exist, they will be able to produce more sustainably as they are ready. . Changes towards sustainability are likely to escalate.

SDG 13. As production and consumption patterns become more sustainable, this will affect the climate positively. Actions can be taken to mitigate the effects of climate change and protect against disasters.

SDG 14 and SDG 15. The theme “For all and against none, INCLUDING NATURE” permeates every aspect of the sustainable supplementary economy. It looms large as individuals order the goods and services of their choice, as communities decide how to develop and as business and industry decide which goods and services to focus on.

As people operate increasingly within the sustainable supplementary economy, we are likely to see more clearly that Nature determines to which degree human beings can live and thrive, and the yearning to live in harmony with Nature will increase. This is likely to bolster the force of public opinion against pollution, unsustainable fishing and other unsustainable practices and to increase the desire to protect marine and coastal areas. It will strengthen adherence to International Marine Law.

The increasing focus on sustainability will increase the understanding and the will to protect and restore inland freshwater systems, provide opportunities and increase motivations for individuals to enter the fields of environmental conservation, and the regeneration and combating of desertification; to increase and improve protection of wildlife, combat poaching and trafficking and the purchase of protected species.

Nature will have an opportunity, where still possible, to recuperate. This will have a positive effect on both the oceans and seas, as well as terrestrial ecosystems.

Every year, the SIFAplan will provide opportunities for people to live more sustainably, and this will affect the implementation of the following SDGs:

SDG 1: No Poverty.

SDG 2: Zero hunger.

SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being.

SDG 4: Quality Education.

SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation.

SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy.

SDG 8: Sustainable economic development and decent work.

SDG 9: Infrastructure, sustainable industrialization and innovation.

SDG 11: Sustainable human settlements.

  • Every year the SIFA participants are invited to spend their sustainable supplementary income on what fulfils their most immediate needs. In poor areas, and in countries without social solidarity economies, physical and safety needs are greatest. People are likely to initially divide their income between personal needs – providing for their own food and developing their skills for decent work – and to help build the necessary community infrastructure to support the health and well-being of their families: wells for clean drinking water, sanitation facilities, clean and sustainable energy, and schools.
    • People are likely to want to increase the reach of their infrastructure by building better and well-lit roads to gain access to facilities in neighbouring communities; and seek Internet connections to gain access to the worldwide, sharing partnership economy and the many facilities being offered there for free. These connections will also increase their reach for personal, cultural and educational development. With the help of SIFA development workers, information will be available regarding development opportunities being offered by the UN and its specialized agencies.

As people feel physically more secure, there will be an increasing desire to develop in other ways. This will especially accelerate the achievement of the following SDGs:

SDG 5: Gender Equality.

  • Kooistra spent much time examining the inner dynamics as people make choices, both in groups that decide which goods and services to make available through the SIFAplan, and individually, as each person decides which goods and services to purchase. He recognized that two mental faculties are activated: the receptive (intuitive) part, often seen as that part of the mind that is equated with the feminine, and the active part that plans and instigates action, which is often seen as a masculine quality. Kooistra was convinced that, as people develop both aspects of mental functioning, there would be less gender-based discrimination. This holistic mental development is critical for balanced personal growth. Where people are prepared to accept characteristics associated with the feminine, an important barrier to the implementation of SDG 5 will have been overcome.
  • In addition, Kooistra emphasized the need for gender parity in the choice of development workers in each region; and in the choice of those who in discussion groups move up to subsequent levels of the decision-making pyramid.

SDG 10: Equality within and between Nations; and

SDG 16: Inclusive and just societies.

Where the social solidarity economy is more developed, basic needs are already met by the State. Here, people will be encouraged to spend their SIFA income on immaterial development, which can go on ad infinitum fuelled by human’s innate creativity once people’s immediate physical needs are being met sustainably. It provides people with the time, leisure and the inclination to focus on all matters relating to social equity and equality, which can disrupt their peace and security.

The SIFAplan increases diversity by enabling all to develop their individual potential and communication skills. It empowers all to think critically about what benefits all and harms none, including Nature. It also trains people to express themselves and to listen to the views of others. All these capacities reduce inequality by empowering individuals and discouraging those who wish to benefit at the expense of others.

As we develop our individual potential, a sense of fulfilment and wholeness tends to take over and so too, the capacity and the natural desire to love and care for other people and to ensure that they, too, experience this inner fulfilment.

From all of this, a sense of justice springs, which is reinforced by the insights that peace, harmony and stability can durably take root only where justice rules and is implemented by the necessary laws and judicial infrastructure. Creating and implementing instruments that ensure gender freedom and equality, just and inclusive legal systems and equality in and between Nations is a likely next step.

  • As the SIFA economy expands, people are individually confronted with an economy where fraud and dishonesty is discouraged by the transparency of the system. This might well encourage measures to be taken in other economies to become more transparent. At the same time, the greater personal fulfilment of individuals experienced through the SIFA economy is likely to increasingly offset the need for personal power, prestige and aggrandizement at the expense of others, which does not bring deep and lasting personal fulfilment.
  • The SIFA economy aims to empower local communities to develop as much as possible within their own regions. It is initially important that all people’s material and immaterial needs are met. Inevitably, goods and services will also be required from outside of the region; the SIFAplan is set up to make that possible. Creativity is, of course, not the prerogative of any one group, and so a situation is likely to develop where each region will have goods and services that are unique to their culture, their region, their specific types of ingenuity and trade between regions is likely to develop, closing the economic gap within and between (developed and developing) countries without necessarily bringing about uniformity.

SDG 17: Means of Implementation and Partnerships for Sustainable Development

The values of the SIFA supplementary economy can significantly accelerate the Means of Implementation of the SDGs. The effect of the sustainable supplementary economy accelerates the achievement of the SDGs in two ways:

  1. From within the individual outwards to impact the family, the local community and other communities and globally as people’s reach grows and they themselves grow and develop into more fulfilled and benevolent human beings; and
  2. From the global level to impact the individual as the sustainable supplementary economy brings people together in groups that connect to and then merge with other groups globally, as people decide together each year which goods and services can be offered via the sustainable supplementary economy; and as consumers and producers are linked via the SIFA Administrative Agency when goods and services are eventually purchased by each individual.

We have discussed the powerful effect the SIFAplan will have on the sustainability of presently existing economies. It will promote technology exchange within and between regions as needed, since individuals and communities would be able to obtain technology both through the Plan, and also via the fast-growing sharing/partnership economy and the increasing number of open source and copyrighted products being offered there. This will be further fostered through increase access to the Internet and increased IT proficiency, stimulated by the administration of SIFA economy. as Internet use becomes more ubiquitous.

Capacity-building will proceed beginning with individuals and local areas and expand as infrastructure and needs are developed through the Plan. By setting similar standards of sustainability for all participants [ideally all people], global policy and institutional coherence will further develop.

In this way, partnerships for sustainable development are established at an increasing rate, along with people’s capacity to implement all of the SDGs.

Conclusion:The SIFAplan serves as a tool for the implementation of all of the SDGs.