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Article Published 16/02/2023

In 2015 all member nations of the United Nations (UN) adopted 'The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development', a blueprint to fight the climate crisis and provide peace and prosperity for all. At its heart lies the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), an urgent call to action for all countries to tackle the climate crisis and work towards building a sustainable future.

The UN SDGs should lie at the core of everything we do across all industries and all communities. Business events have a crucial role to play in achieving the SDGs. The knowledge and expertise needed to achieve the goals; to positively affect the climate, reduce inequality, or improve ocean health, needs to be shared around the world. We need to collaborate and work across borders and business events are the perfect forums to do this. Events have the power to bring world leaders together, industry experts, academic visionaries, and people from different backgrounds and mindsets. International conferences can positively impact the journey to putting people and planet first. By working in partnership, goal 17, we can inch closer to solving the climate crisis by addressing global challenges.

For every business, academic institution, innovation centre, and research organisation, there will be at least one SDG that is influenced by their area of work. These may be goals that reflect your own organisation's values, or they may be goals to which you can make the biggest contribution. We work in partnership with other Transformation Protocol members, VisitScotland, the Scottish Government, and specialist events coming into the country, and we can use our knowledge to contribute to Scotland and the broader world in achieving these goals.

We cannot work in isolation. We must work together to combat the climate crisis, eradicate poverty, reduce inequalities, create affordable and clean energy, provide universal healthcare, quality education, clean water, and promote peace and cooperation globally. This is why the Transformation Protocol exists. There are over 30 members of the network working in areas including social enterprises, marine, fintech, nursing, aquaculture, civtech, digital health, and education, to name but a few. Imagine the possibilities and the power for change this group could have by coming together to engage with international delegates, educate the world, and collaborate on initiatives to improve society.

Scotland has for centuries been a country of innovation and of 'pioneering spirit.' We welcome thousands of delegates annually through conferences, congresses, and meetings. Some of these delegates are world leaders, renowned scientists, humanitarians, and great thinkers. We have an opportunity to deepen our engagement with them, to seize the opportunity to learn when it comes to our shores and forge a new path for people and planet. Perhaps it's time we don't think of a meeting as just 'another meeting.'  It's time to think of a meeting as the next opportunity for global change. That Journey to Change starts right here in Scotland.