Solutions to our world's biggest problems start locally and get done when there's a system of accountability. Meet Miami's SDGs Consortium.
Alejandro Burgana manages OBE Power, the US's second-largest electric vehicle-charging network. Sandra Louk LaFleur drives Changemaking Education and Social Innovation at Miami Dade College. Sam Ligeti is a program experience coordinator with Venture Café Miami. Cesar S. Murillo works with Emergent Global Investments. Andreina Weichselbaumer is a senior manager of culture & strategy at Radical Partners. Two years ago, this group of diverse and committed leaders had likely never met before, and now they are part of a new social impact acceleration ecosystem born in Miami – the SDGs Consortium, a collaborative and inclusive space for impact leaders eager to build on their commitment to social progress, economic growth, and environmental protection.
"It's no longer an option. It's a must-have instrument. Governments, companies, academia, schools, and entrepreneurs must start adoptingthe UN Sustainable Development Goals, which offers a holistic, measurable and proven framework of interdependent economic, social, and environmental objectives and that is being implemented in over 185 countries and thousands of cities around the world," states Scarlett Lanzas, a passionate impact entrepreneur and founder of the SDGs Consortium.
During her career, Scarlett worked in diverse areas ranging from the United Nations World Food Programme to social innovation leading Puentes New Orleans, a nonprofit focused on developing economic and leadership-building initiatives for Latinos. Today, she leads Accountable Impactand works tightly with Claudia Akel, founder and CEO of Social Impact Movement, to advance sustainable goals and strategies in Miami.
Claudia and Scarlett are true SDGs champions who, for years, have been educating and challenging our local leaders to make sustainable choices and decision-making for governments, businesses, and communities. Last year, Claudia and Scarlett also launched the SDG Impact Pledge to ignite authentic and meaningful collaboration among SMEs in Miami and adopt the SDGs.
In 2015, the UN announced the SDGs as a call to action for countries, governments, funders, and investors to unite to accomplish 17 global goals to end poverty, protect the planet,
and ensure prosperity for all. The UN has outlined specific indicators to measure progress and a timeframe to achieve them by 2030, both of which help drive a shared understanding and urgency of this work.
Despite our officials’ and established foundations’ reluctance to speak the SDGs language – the goals are persistently absent from officials’ speeches, are rarely referred to or integrated into foundations’ impact reporting or social media –
there are individuals, businesses, educational institutions, and community organizations in Miami that are working to effect change and elevate local-level, community-led societal advancements in the context of the global sustainability agenda.
"Miami is my home, and I want to make sure that our children and our children's children can live and thrive in Miami," says Scarlett. Originally from Nicaragua, she has lived in Miami for over 20 years. "I wish, and I hope that my nephew, in 10 years, when he becomes a doctor, can come down here, and either start his own practice or work at a hospital, and have a good, healthy life."
SDG Ecosystem Builder| Founder and CEO at Social Impact Movement I Founding Member Co-Chair Catalyst 2030 US Chapter I Chief Strategy Consultant for Americas at Earth 51 I UNA-USA Miami Board I Accountable Impact Board