Deglobalization, trade protectionism, COVID-19 and the Russian-Ukrainian war have led to a sharp rise in food and energy prices worldwide as of late, derailing global efforts made thus far against climate change over the past few decades.
These factors have begun to reverse the precious progress we have made in poverty eradication, healthcare and other fields, while piling on more difficulties in meeting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This year’s Integral Conversation takes place towards the conclusion of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland – aptly reminding us that tackling climate change will continue to be one of our key missions for decades to come.
Uncertainties abound, however, as COVID-19 has continued to derail our lives and business on a global scale through its tumult of variants, prolonged lockdowns and popped travel bubbles. Vaccination drives and digital interconnectivity have offered both hopes and disappointments on the long, bumpy road to recovery. It is hard to say how much or how little the post-pandemic world will resemble the one we had before, amid setbacks seen in multilateralism and concern for widening income inequality.
We live in an age of inequality, environmental degradation, and climate destabilization, as well as new surges in conflict, economic uncertainty, and rising public health threats. All these circumstances are tipping the balance at surprising speed, which challenge our business-as-usual economic model of the past decades, and require us to rethink our next steps to thrive.
2019 SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS: AN INFLECTION POINT– ACCELERATING ACTION FOR PEOPLE, PLANET ANDPROSPERITY
Rapid economic growth comes at significant social and environmental cost. 2019 Integral Conversation focused on accelerating the fulfillment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 8 (decent work and economic growth) and 12 (responsible consumption and production), and explored how corporations and individuals could turn them into reality.
Conscious consumption becomes not just an option, but a necessity. Technological advancements can enable the smarter and more efficient use of valuable resources. With the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, institutions, businesses, governments and individuals must find alternate ways to coexist with machines without harming the environment.
2017 Integral Conversation focused on the global imperative of tackling environmental and human health challenges. Under the conference theme, Reimagining Health: Fostering the Health of the Planet and People, we discussed and discovered new approaches to sustainability.
Connectivity in Asia today goes well beyond trade and infrastructure. As the region becomes increasingly integrated and connected, many issues that matter us require a regional perspective and effort to tackle. The 2016 Integral Conversation aimed to facilitate discussions on sustainable development and to explore new ways to pursue economic growth while respecting people, communities and the planet. The focus was on Culture in Architecture, Healthcare, Education, and Innovation with the view of promoting sustainability on a local, regional and global level.
We care about a sustainable future so as to protect and promote our way of living. And hence the first question that must be raised is what do we care about in life? The Integral Conversation of 2015 centered around living, understanding the values that we care for, and the means that we have to protect them. We believe that the sustainable life must be one full of joy and abundance. Together, we will consider how to bring this future to fruition.
The Integral is about understanding the philosophy and realms of existence, and searching for a new development model. In order to achieve sustainability and harmony, one must balance different aspects including the environment, resources, the economy and the human factor. Through the concept of ‘Integral’, Esquel is creating a development model to harmonize all these aspects, enabling continuous improvement for the communities where it operates and beyond.