Hey there! It’s Team Fairtrade Gouda writing to you today. We’ve been given the honor to write the first blog for Edition 5 of the SDG Traineeship. For this blog, we’re taking you along on the start of our journey to becoming SDG Professionals.

To kick things off, the first SDG Talk was held last Wednesday. Before diving deep into the topic, we were able to meet other trainees and to chit-chat with them over a cup of coffee or tea. It was a fun way to learn about the projects of other groups and to see how different some of the assignments are, all while still focusing on the most important topic: the SDGs!

Professor Rob van Tulder was the main speaker. He guided us through the topic of why SDGs are so crucial right now. Several crises exist in the world that we know today. Some are closer to home, others are not, but they all impact us. As Rob pointed out, these crises are man-made and interconnected. It’s difficult to provide solutions to them, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take action!

A key point was introduced by Rob in the shape of two ways to look at initiatives: a negative frame that prevents a race to the bottom, and a positive frame that is about a race to the top. In this case, the SDGs are a positive framework. For the global community, it is the most important initiative as many parties have adopted it. Rob further mentioned that the SDGs have been criticized for their slowness. However, it is collectively agreed upon worldwide that we know how this came to be, and that steps are being made to improve. For our assignment, we have to make the SDGs more accessible to small and medium-sized enterprises so that it helps them to incorporate the SDGs. In short, for us aspiring SDG Professionals it means looking at the bigger picture. This takeaway is something that our team is surely going to use and keep in mind.

To end this first blog, we hope that everyone has a fun time tackling the assignments! 🙂

Greetings from Team Fairtrade Gouda (Max, Nania, Marieke and Lauretta)