Talking Development: The Glocal Approach Global Goals & Local Solutions


The Center for European and International Studies (CIES) at Kadir Has University and the Corporate Social Responsibility Association of Turkey (CSR Turkey), in cooperation with Asia Minor, a modern concept company that generates ideas together with its partners with its operating principle being to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), have launched a new initiative in the form of a series of periodic debates and dinners (every 6 weeks) on each one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Another important part of this partnership in the launching of the SDG Multi-Stakeholders Platform. The Platform is a part of CSR Europe’s Sustainable Business Exchange to which CSR Turkey is a partner. It is meant to promote collaborative action among stakeholders from the private sector, academia, civil society, and the public sector in order to contribute to the agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) define global sustainable development priorities and aspirations for 2030 and seek to mobilize global efforts around a common set of goals and targets. Unlike the Millennium Development Goals, the SDGs explicitly call on all businesses to apply their creativity and innovation to solve sustainable development challenges. The partner institutions are committed to contributing to global civil society by bridging the global context of the Sustainable Development Goals and their 169 targets and the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda with related initiatives at local level in order to ensure the implementation of the said goals.

CIES-2The series of discussions and debates are meant to stimulate interest, encourage research, and partnerships at local, regional, national, European, and international levels by bringing together stakeholders from Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), academia, the research community, the public and the private sectors. Hence, the focus on the glocal approach. The glocal approach means finding local solutions or methods in order to reach global goals. Our methodology includes creating partnerships, policy analysis and design, capacity building, knowledge sharing, and mobilizing finance.

What we need now is to go beyond that and provide more impactful and inclusive initiatives. In order to do that, partnerships inside and outside the sectors will play an essential role in today’s world – a shift from the ego-system to the eco-system which is the key for sustainable development for the entire ecosystem. Furthermore, today’s internally focused approach to goal setting is not enough to address global needs. The planet needs an outside in approach, by looking at what is needed externally from a global perspective and setting goals accordingly; in this context, businesses will bridge the gap between current performance and required performance.

CIES-3It is obvious that globalization has the power to change the world system models. Hard law and soft law are well-known concepts in today’s new business model. The definition of hard law refers to the contribution of government towards rule of law inside the country. On the other hand, the term soft law includes the private sector’s influence on some basic regulations and rules because the governments alone are not sufficient actors to implement them. What keeps a system alive is that civil society, its public and private sector components work together. In this sense, the SDGs represent an unprecedented political consensus on what level of progress is desired at the global level. This new agenda with the ongoing purposes provide new opportunities for all stakeholders.

These activities such as debates and the dinners will be held at Kadir Has University in Istanbul which has become a hub of civil society initiatives over the years and has acquired the reputation of being a meeting place of minds and ideas of individuals and institutions committed to affecting positive change in the world. Sustainable Development Dinners focus on the SDGs and the shared values as a facilitator for enhancing political, social and economic dialogue between all stakeholders in order to realize the SDGs.

The initiative is open to partnerships and projects with like-minded partners in order to enhance its reach. We will be honored with your support for this initiative and participation in the planned events.

The first thematic debate on SDG 17 (Partnerships for the goals) took place on 21 March 2018. The event also marked the launch of the SDG Multi-Stakeholder Platform. It aims to bring together representatives from civil society, the private sector, academia, governments, and international organizations is a panel discussion to discuss why partnerships matter in order to implement the SDGs.