Investments in sustainable industrial development and resilient infrastructure are indispensable components of the UN’s 2030 Agenda. However, for industrialization to be sustainable, economic growth must be decoupled from environmental impact. This requires significant investments in research and the development of alternatives.
The targets for Goal 9 include:
- Developing infrastructure that is reliable, resilient, and sustainable in support of economic development and equitable access.
- Promoting sustainable and inclusive industrialization while raising the share of industry in the global GDP.
- Supporting small-scale enterprises, especially through financial services such as credit.
- Investing in innovations, especially in developing countries, to boost sustainable economic development.
- Increasing Internet access, and especially striving to ensure that those living in least developed countries have affordable access to the Internet by 2020.
The stories in this collection teach us about building resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and fostering innovation. We learn about how one researcher in India has helped pave thousands of kilometers of roads with discarded plastic, tackling problems of both waste and development.
Across the globe, in the Amazon, we see the region’s first solar powered public transport system—one that travels by river. We also travel to Michigan, where researchers are using the radio frequency spectrum to beam high-speed internet to under served communities. Read on to discover how!
Click here for more stories in the Solutions Story Tracker on Industry, innovation, and infrastructure.
- Articulate what characterized the first, second, and third industrial revolutions? Is a fourth industrial revolution required to achieve the UN's goal of sustainable industrial development? Why or why not?
- Enumerate the various efforts being made by UK universities to fight COVID-19. Assess whether you think any of these efforts or technologies can be adapted to other purposes after the pandemic, and describe what those purposes might be.
- Define the cargo container revolution and explain its impact on global development and sustainability over the last three decades.
- Identify and define the key aspects of what the UN refers to as the "infrastructure-inequality-resilience nexus." Can you explain or summarize the relationship between these concepts in your terms? Summarize the positive and negative aspects of the widespread use of mobile communications technology, such as smartphones. In what ways has this contributed to the expansion of access to information? Are there any downsides?
- What are the positive and negative aspects of the widespread use of mobile communications technology, such as smartphones? In what ways have they contributed to the expansion of access to information? Are there any downsides?
- Evaluate whether it is possible to achieve sustained, inclusive economic growth without an impact on the environment.
- Choose an Issue Area or Success Factor related to Goal 9 and explain its significance. Create your own collection of at least 4 stories from the Solutions Story Tracker that provide evidence to support your choices.
- The first industrial revolution refers to the unlocking of fossil fuel energy in the form of coal to create steam, powering the first industrial textile factories in Northern Europe and England in the mid-18th century. The second industrial revolution refers to the growth of electrical, chemical, and steel industries associated with the development of innovations such as the Bessemer process, aniline dyes, and concentration of factory labor in large works. The third industrial revolution typically refers to the explosion in information technology and data processing that occurred after the 1960s and 70s with the proliferation of computers. Looking to the future, many argue that a fourth industrial revolution is imminent, as innovations in technologies ranging from biotechnology, artificial intelligence, and renewable energy promise to unlock future social potential.
- Some of the efforts, such as offering free dorm space to health care workers or sewing masks, are specific to the pandemic. Many others, however, can be applied to a range of challenges. Researchers have developed a new breathing aid that frees up ventilators for those most in need; Cambridge has developed a new genetic test that can diagnose COVID-19 within 90 minutes; Nottingham U. has developed vertical farms to feed the homeless; the Royal Conservatoire in Scotland has begun streaming performances, interviews with staff and performers, and original productions to combat isolation; Teesside U. is helping local businesses stay afloat and providing expert assistance to digital entrepreneurs; the UK’s biggest robotics center is loaning its video-conferencing robot to a closed art gallery so people can take virtual tours of the collections; and the U. of Liverpool has developed new algorithms that allow them to deploy mental health services where they’re most needed. Student answers to the second part of the prompt will vary, but it stands to reason that universities helping business communities, 3D printing of PPE, vertical farms, the research that went into the “tracker app,” and the multiplicity of virtual experiences are all scalable and are potential solutions, or partial solutions, to persistent non-pandemic social problems and challenges.
- Cargo containers, first developed in the 1950s and 60s, have led to the expanding of intercontinental shipping routes. Today, according to the SDG Knowledge Platform, “Efficient transportation services are key drivers of economic development, and more than 80 per cent of world merchandise trade by volume is transported by sea, making maritime transport a critical enabler of trade and globalization. International maritime freight increased by an estimated 3.7 per cent globally in 2017 and projected growth will test the capacity of existing maritime transport infrastructure to support increased freight volumes.” Read more here.
- Refer to the following table, found here. Table 2-1: Working definitions:--Inequality: The disparity in opportunities or outcomes between people or groups of peoples.--Infrastructure: Basic assets and objects that are considered essential for the functioning of the society and economy.--Resilience: Ability of people to withstand and adapt to economic, social or environmental shocks so they can continue to lead the life they have reason to value.
- According to the SDG Knowledge Platform, “almost all people around the world now live within range of a mobile-cellular network signal, with 90 percent living within range of a 3G-quality or higher network. This evolution of the mobile network, however, is growing more rapidly than the percentage of the population using the Internet.” More access to information has provoked fundamental changes in the way we find and consume information. But does limitless information decrease our ability to seek and find factual and accurate information? "Fake News," cyber-bullying, and the misuse of social media platforms--to name just a few--are examples of how this unlimited access can be confusing, divisive, and dangerous to our democracy.
- As the structure of world economies shifts to less energy-intensive industries and countries implement policies for enhanced energy efficiency, almost all regions have shown a reduction in carbon intensity of gross domestic product (GDP). Global carbon dioxide emissions per unit of value added showed a steady decline between 1990 and 2013, a decrease of about 30 per cent. There is, however, a valid argument to be made about the sustainability of continued economic growth, read more here.
- Answers will vary by student. For more on creating collections, click here. For more on Success Factors, click here.