KESS 2 & KESS 2 East take steps to ensure that our team and all our partners are able to demonstrate that we are giving meaningful consideration to the well-being of current and future generations in all that we do. By adopting this innovative and logical approach to project management and delivery we are promoting the Welsh Government’s ‘Well-being of Future Generations Act (2015)’ which became law in April 2016.
This is a new way of working for us and during the life of KESS 2 we plan to engage in an active learning process to improve our understanding of what sustainability and well-being really means to us and our partners. We are enthusiastic about partnering with others who share the same vision and who are on a similar journey. Penny Dowdney is leading on the WFG within the KESS 2 team. KESS 2 is funded by European Social Funds (ESF) funded project and this way of working is the way we have chosen to make a positive contribution to the Horizontal Principles (previously known as the Cross-Cutting Themes).
One Sustainable Development Principle
The One Sustainable Development Principle is our overarching guide:
We must act in a manner which seeks to ensure that the needs of the present are met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
When designing a project we need to consider the possible impact of our decision making on the people living their lives in Wales currently, and in the future
Whilst our main motivator for bringing University academics, students and businesses together to the grand challenges is to boost the economy, we recognise that the economy is interdependent with the environment, society and culture. If we want our development initiatives to be sustainable in the long term, it is important that we consider how to improve all four aspects equally.
Five Ways of Working
To achieve this sustainability we will be adopting five ways of working, to help us work together better, avoid repeating past mistakes and tackle some of the challenges we are facing. These five ways are:
Long Term Thinking
We must balance short and long term solutions, meeting the needs of the present whilst safeguarding the needs of the future.
Prevention is better than a cure. We must consider whether our proposed actions will prevent problems occurring or getting worse – or will they make things better.
We must consider how our objectives impact on each of the well-being goals and on the objectives of others.
Our project team must seek to act in collaboration with anyone (internal/external) that could help us meet our well-being objectives.
It’s extremely important to involve as many relevant people (stakeholders) as possible to help us meet our collective well-being objectives, and to reflect the diversity within the area served.
Seven Well-Being Goals
Last but not least we aim to demonstrate that our activities contribute to the following seven well-being goals:
A prosperous Wales / KESS 2 / Company Partner / Student
Contributing towards an innovative, productive, low-carbon society that uses its resources efficiently and proportionately.
A resilient Wales / KESS 2 / Company Partner / Student
Creating a healthy environment supporting social, economic and ecological resilience, a society that adapts to change.
A healthier Wales / KESS 2 / Company Partner / Student
Maximising physical and mental well-being by making right choices for the future
A more equal Wales / KESS 2 / Company Partner / Student
Enabling people to fulfil their potential regardless of background or circumstances
A Wales / KESS 2 / Company Partner / Student of cohesive communities
Creating capable, safe and well-connected communities
A Wales / KESS 2 / Company Partner / Student of vibrant culture and thriving Welsh Language
Promoting and protecting culture, heritage and language
A globally responsible Wales / KESS 2 / Company Partner / Student
Considering wider impacts of our decisions on global well-being
This way of working has gained global recognition. This is what Nikhil Seth, UN Director of Sustainable Development, says about the Welsh Government’s approach: “The Wales Future Generations Act captures the spirit and essence of two decades of United Nations work in the area of sustainable development and serves as a model for other regions and countries… We hope that what Wales is doing today the world will do tomorrow. Action, more than words, is the hope for our current and future generations.”
KESS 2 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals
In addition to the above, to help implement and promote sustainability, KESS 2 and The Sustanability Lab have plugged in with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The United Nations declared 2020 the start of The Decade of Action, which calls for accelerating sustainable solutions to all the world’s biggest challenges.
What are the UN Sustainable Development Goals?
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) are designed to achieve a better and more sustainable future for everyone. They address global challenges, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate change, peace and justice. The 17 Goals are all interconnected and map onto the Welsh Future Generations Goals (outlined above).
The United Nations declared 2020 the start of The Decade of Action, which calls for accelerating sustainable solutions to all the world’s biggest challenges — ranging from poverty and gender to climate change, inequality and closing the finance gap.
If you would like to learn more, we have a series of webinars reflecting the UN Goals of the month, to explore each goal further and learn more about how KESS 2 & KESS 2 East projects contribute to sustainable development.
You can find further information about the ‘Well-being of Future Generations Act (2015)’ on our Downloads page.
|Bangor Team Sustainability Report (June 2019)|
Image credit: Office of Future Generations Commissioner for Wales