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May 20, 2024
Academy of Givers

The Academy of Givers was invited to the Sustainability Track at NEXT Summit. Find out what was discussed!

On the 16th of May, the Academy of Givers was invited to the Sustainability Track at NEXT Summit: Valletta 2024, organised by Academy member Betsson Group, where our Committee Member Dr Roberta Lepre gave a speech on the topic of “the Art of Giving well in the Age of instant gratification”.

Dr Lepre started her remarks by acknowledging that many of us already give, both as individuals and as companies, but are we giving well? Are we having the impact that we would like to have?

By referencing our recently launched Giving Report, Dr Lepre gave a brief overview of the state of the art of Giving in Malta. Most businesses give and they do so motivated by Purpose and CSR strategies, as they wish to drive change. To drive meaningful change, it is paramount to consider the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are a set of global goals set by the UN to be achieved by 2030.

These goals were conceived to be able to move to a different form of development. The way we have been progressing until now is not sustainable and we need to make consistent changes moving forward, to avoid continuous depletion of resources or income inequality. These 17 SDGs give us some directions in terms of the change we wish to achieve.

These goals can be broadly categorised into Environmental, Social and Governance, the so called ESG. The ESG conversation is all about Sustainable Development and the essence of it remains achieving the SDGs. Where should we direct our money? What should we invest in and what should we stop investing in?

A useful tool Dr Lepre presented to track the state of SDGs on a country level is the Sustainable Development Report, published every year. The report is crucial to identify where a country is behind in the fulfilment of the SDGs and thus where efforts and investments should be channelled towards.

In 2023, Malta ranked 41 out of 166 countries, but there are some areas which need improvement. As an example, the second SDG goal “zero hunger” is still a very critical area for Malta, due to indicators like very high prevalence of obesity or critical nutrition density or even a very high concentration of nitrogen in the chemicals used to grow our crops.

SDGs need to be looked at and used as benchmarks to create positive change for future generations, especially when it comes to the act of Giving. Giving can be understood as philanthropic efforts, while CSR is the act of taking responsibility for the impact that a business creates, using ESG criteria. Both are crucial to build solid foundations for a better tomorrow.

SDGs help create a strategy and provide clear and prioritized goals to achieve, helpus stay aligned and focused on our primary objectives, and give us collaboration opportunities. They also provide a benchmark for measurable impact. Dr Lepre reminded the audience of the outmost importance of measuring one’s impact, to be able to understand the value of our actions.

Ultimately, the SDGs help us create innovation of all kinds, not only technological but also social, and foster a long-term commitment to improve.