Changing the Game: a Merit 360 recap

Shanice van der SlootEvents, On the Road

worldmeritblog5Merit 360 is a wrap! After two full weeks of hard work we have presented our Action Plans to the United Nations at their Headquarters in New York. Since I wasn’t able to guide you through my full experience every other day during the program (we were working like CRAZY over there) I would like to give you a small recap!

The assignment we had for Action Plan 001 consisted out of several components: a campaign for awareness, partnerships for a joint cause with existing organizations and  a solid program of our own to tackle one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The goal of the Merit360 program was for us to present one of the three components to the United Nations Headquarters in New York, and show what we as young activists together with World Merit are capable of.

On Friday the 9th of September 2016, World Merit and 360 change makers from 85 countries came together at the United Nations, as part of the Merit360 program, to deliver Action Plan 001. This plan works directly with the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals to create a strategy that outlines how World Merit will leverage its 100,000-strong global community to ensure every young person on the planet knows about and engages with the goals.

Several empowering speeches were given during the day, from people like Ravi Kankara (UN Women), Ahmad Alhendawi (United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth) Andy Woodfield (PwC) and Dr. David Nabarro (Special Advisor on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development). The latter addressed the importance of the 2015 agenda once more:

“Last year in 2015 after 3 years of negotiation, the UN gave us the most precious gift that we could possibly want. it’s called the 2030 agenda for sustainable agenda. It contains 17 goals, 169 targets and it is that plan for the future of your world. […] There is no other plan and there is no spare planet, so we have to implement this plan and do it right. […] We in the UN system are committed to get this plan implemented to the full by 2030. Now you. You come from many countries, many backgrounds, and you are one big family united with a single purpose: to go out and ensure that the plan is not only implemented through your own actions, but to stimulate a vast movement behind the plan. And the reason why that is important is that world leaders will only implement this plan properly if young people everywhere keep them to account and make sure they do it.” – David Nabarro

With those words were Merit360 has come to an end, and we have been send home, not to contemplate but to take action. The 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development only has a chance to be fully implemented with the support of us, the community.

We need to change the game, and create a grassroots movement as inclusive as possible, as diverse as possible. Let’s go!

The full booklet with the created Action Plan by the Merit360 delegation of 2016 can be viewed here.