Letter from ACGC Executive Director, Heather McPherson

On behalf of the Alberta Council for Global Cooperation, I am delighted to announce the launch of this inaugural edition of Together: Alberta’s Notebook for the Global Goals. Using the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework and common language, Together profiles stories — from civil society, government, business, Indigenous peoples, academics, and youth — that show some of the ways that Albertans and our global partners are working together to achieve a more sustainable and just planet.

Coinciding with the first-ever multi-stakeholder SDG Symposium in Canada, this publication represents the kind of partnership and innovation required to turn ideas and policy into action.

On September 25, 2015, 193 countries, including Canada, signed on to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The SDGs, or Global Goals, were developed over many years through the most consultative process ever undertaken by the UN. When Canada signed onto the SDGs, we made a promise to work in Canada and around the world to build a sustainable global future. The SDGs are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. From tackling climate change, to eradicating poverty, to advancing education and health, the SDGs are a lens through which to view the progress of international development.

Canada’s adoption of the SDGs signalled our commitment to working together — within and across nations — to implement the agenda. At ACGC, we wanted to explore what this commitment actually looks like from different perspectives and at various scales.

The beautiful artwork featured on the cover of this notebook by Paul Twa is a metaphor for the collection of stories that follow. Making reference to all 17 of the SDGs through colour and image, it illustrates the interconnectivity of our global society, while demonstrating how all the goals are related and their solutions contingent upon one another. As Canada’s 150th year of Confederation comes to an end, this composite image is a timely reminder that we all have a role to play in building a better, more sustainable future. As far as Together goes, we hope this is just the beginning, as we know there are so many more stories to be made and shared.

Special thanks to our wonderful office pup, Kalihari, for providing us with kisses and snuggles during the creation of this magazine. – Illustration by Amanda Ozga