The Bigger Picture

UN - 17 goals to transform our world

With the ‘2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’ the United Nations present a vision for the future of humanity and the blueprint for achieving a happier and healthier world by 2030. Sweden and countries from all over the world agreed upon the implementation of the ‘17 Sustainable Development Goals’ as a part of this agenda and each goal has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years. 

They call for action by governments, societies, organizations of any kind and all types of individuals, to take ownership, establish frameworks and also collaborate internationally for their achievement.

Sustainability begins with you

These are the SDGs the ABLE concept will address:

World Values Survey - Sweden And Its Values

The WVS regularly conducts surveys in 100 countries all over the world, to illustrate values of different societies with the Cultural Map. Since the WVS was launched three decades ago, most countries have been increasing their living standards and transiting from developing countries via industrial, to post-industrial knowledge societies. As a consequence they have moved into the direction of the upper-right corner, yet, Sweden remains at the top for quite a while now.

What does it mean?
Sweden has the highest rank on secular-rational values, reflecting that values and social principles are strongly in favor of the individual's freedom of thought and action, thus, not restricted by religious influence, e.g. divorce and abortion are socially acceptable. Beyond, horizontal hierarchies, relative standards and modern family values, just to name few, are highly valued.

Sweden also has the highest rank on self-expression values, indicating a strong sense of individual freedom, well-being, personal fulfillment and environmental protection. More specifically, it highlights e.g. a strong desire to actively shape the economic and political landscape, high tolerance of otherness, be it expressed in form of sexual orientation, ethnic background, high importance of gender equality and interpersonal trust.

Which role does this play in the bigger picture?
It shows us, that the underlying principles of many SDGs are already firmly anchored in the Scandinavian countries' value and belief system. This results in political and financial stability, founded on strong democratic principles, by empowerment of the citizens, which is highly conducive to an easier and swift implementation of the SDGs.

However, as many western countries, Sweden has some challenges to overcome, if it is to further lead the global movement: the lack of inner sustainability. With all the freedom and richness industrialization has brought, it also entailed an impoverishment of many emotional lives, the major cause for burnouts, depression and the lack of meaning, which is currently a plague in the western world. Hence, freedom and wealth alone, don't lead to a balanced and happy life.

More information:  World Value Survey Findings and Insights 
                               Institute for Future Studies: Sweden, the extreme country                 

Global Development

We live in a world, where issues in one part of the world inevitably affect the others. The UN's 17 SDGs, appeal to all the people of the world to unite in a common goal and jointlly address global issues and restore a sustainable world, considering the environment, the society's and the individual's wellbeing.

At the same time, other parts of the world are developing fast and many countries in Asia and Africa are experiencing rapid and enormous growth in their economies and population, with a rise in income levels, which indicates a gradual shift in power from the western countries to these parts of the world in the future. Africa, in particular, will steadily gain major economic importance. It is estimated, that by 2035, Africa's young people reaching working-age will exceed that of the other countries' in the world combined and will continue to do so annually until the end of the century, where the number of Africans will reach approximately 40 percent of the world's population.

This rapid development is comparable to the Western World's after WWII. Just as people the, were rather focused on improving their living conditions and satisfying their materialistic needs, so are the people of these parts of the world, today. Sustainability was not considered an important factor then and a growing number of 5 billion people is following these exact same tracks, neglecting social and environmental factors, while growing at a fast pace.

World income levels
People live on...
Level 1     less than $2 a day (1 billion people)
Level 2     $2 - $8 a day (3 billion people)
Level 3     $8 - $32 a day (2 billion people)
Level 4     $32 or more a day (1 billion people)
Factfulness (Rosling, 2018)


Africa's development
Since 2000, at least half of the countries in the world with the highest annual growth rate have been in Africa. By 2030, 43 percent of all Africans are projected to join the ranks of the global middle and upper classes. By that same year, houshold consumption in Africa is expected to reach $2.5 trillion, more than double the $1.1 trillion of 2015, and combined consumer and business spending will total $6.7 trillion (Rickman & Booker,2018).

Learn more about our current project:
ABLE Senegal - An African Hub for Sustainability 


Vision Stockholm 2040 - A Stockholm for Everyone

Stockholm is an attractive city. It is one of Europe's fastest growing cities and will be a metropolis, with 1 million inhabitants, by 2020. The rapid rise in population demands a long-term mission and a clear target to develop sustainably over the coming decades.

'A Stockholm for everyone' is Stockholm’s goal for 2040.

This vision lays the foundations for continuous work to develop a Stockholm for everyone. A reinforcement of working collaborations between individuals, organizations and cities in the region is crucial for the vision’s success.

  1. A Stockholm that stands united
  2. An eco-smart Stockholm
  3. Financially sustainable Stockholm
  4. Democratically sustainable Stockholm

More information: Vision 2040 - A Stockholm for everyone

What is a Third place?

The limitless physical and social environments, we find between our homes (first place) and our workplaces (second place); streets, squares, parks, restaurants, cafes, lounges and foyers, in short places, where people meet to socialize and recharge, are the main examples today. With the rise of new types of working models, third places, are also increasingly becoming attractive for remote work.

Cultural Creatives - A Global Movement With World-Changing Ambitions

There is a global change appearing in the world being pushed forward by the Cultural Creatives (CCs), also known as the millennials, a large segment of the western society, which is characterised by strong social awareness, environmentalism and high education. Studies show that future talents, which all companies want to recruit, consider work as an extension of their personal identity. They are optimistic, connected and self-conscious world citizens.  In alignment with their strong values, they deliberately put their efforts in changing their societies for the better, while following their passion.

According to Conscious Connection, an online magazine specifically for CCs (Yes, they even have their own magazine!), cultural creatives can be characterized as follows:

CCs are going to represent the main population and leaders of tomorrow’s world. Living their lives from this perspective, is already shifting the cultural paradigm of regions, nations and the world towards sustainability and will continue to do so as they grow. With Stockholm being Europe's fastest growing city and startup capital, with an openness to innovation, diversity and freedom of self-expression, it has become a magnet to enormous numbers of CCs from all over the world. Relative to Sweden's population, CCs will comprise the majority in the near future, leading the global movement of sustainable development.

More information: Who are the Cultural Creatives
                                   Why the world's Millenials are moving to Stockholm


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