Empowerment is the basis for societal progress
History tells us that people have always strived for societal progress. It is, so to speak, the engine of development in us all. Societally, through progress, we mastered fundamental challenges such as food supply (from hunter and gatherer to food cultivation and livestock farming) or political order (from the smallest tribal structures over feudal hierarchy to democracy). Technical and medical developments and innovations have shaped the last centuries: from trains, the Internet, and the iPhone to antibiotics, cancer and HIV drugs, and modern vaccinations.
Further societal progress is needed today more than ever in the face of global problems such as climate change, ecosystem collapse, geopolitical tensions, widespread poverty and hunger, and population growth. The basis for peaceful societal progress is empowerment: decent, fulfilling working conditions (SDG 8) and reduced societal inequality (SDG 10), combined with quality education and good infrastructure, create space for innovation and development (SDG 9) and are in themselves desirable advances.
Solutions creating space for development and innovation
Companies can be a fundamental driver of societal progress and its preconditions. By being among the #BestEmployers and offering good, stable working conditions, they create significant progress for their employees on the one hand, and the basis for innovation and engagement on the other. A company with a business model that contributes to overcoming the global challenge through innovation is truly a contributor to #InnovationForGood and, thus, societal progress.
Similarly, of course, biotech and pharma companies are constantly pushing the boundaries of medicine through #MedicalR&D. Beyond this, societal progress is the reduction of inequality and growth of empowerment through infrastructures such as #ResidentialUtilities, educational institutions for #AccessToEducation, #eHealth and #HealthInfrastructure, #PublicTransport and services for #SeniorCare and #MentalHealth. Products and services such as digital connectivity through #StayConnected, prostheses and assistive devices for #InclusiveLife, basic insurance through #HealthCare4All, and #AccessToFinance also contribute.
Societal progress is decent work, innovation and fighting inequality.
Contributions to the achievement of SDGs 8 “Decent Work and Economic Growth”, 9 “Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure” and 10 “Reduced Inequalities” are either forces of societal progress in and of themselves or the basis for further progress. Moreover, in societal progress, innovation and humanity can bring our hopes of solving the great challenges of our time.