Peter Bury

Management & KM consultant/facilitator

The process towards agreeing and working on the SDGs has been a major improvement on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) process. From the start, it was set up with a globally inclusive participative approach. For the first-time, development refers to humanity and its environment on the whole planet. This facilitates holistic inclusive processes that, in theory, can cater for true global Information Management and Knowledge Sharing (IMKS). Away from traditional top-down knowledge transfer approaches, Knowledge Management for Development is, or should be understood as short for IMKS for Development. To be clear, lots of knowledge and information exists and grows at all levels across all categories of stakeholders. Stakeholders are the citizens on this planet, all of us. More knowledge and information will emerge, but that is not the point. The point – the challenge – is to advocate for, to promote and to establish a global practice of knowledge management that allows synergies, cross-fertilization, bottom-up and top-down, horizontal and vertical learning and sharing.

My vision, at least for the period until 2030 covered by the current SDGs, is that the above understanding of a global good practice of knowledge management for development, is advocated for, endorsed and; fully integrated into all elements and approaches towards achieving each SDG goal. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (UN, 2015) states that ‘The spread of information and communications technology and global interconnectedness has great potential to accelerate human progress, to bridge the digital divide and to develop knowledge societies…’ Note that I propose to rename the term ‘Knowledge Societies’ to ‘One Global Knowledge Sharing Society’. The proposed Agenda Knowledge for Development operationalizes Knowledge Development Goals (KDGs). The concept of ‘Knowledge Societies’ has been championed by UNESCO and others in recent years. We need to go a step further. In this increasingly interconnected and interdependent world, if we are to survive as a species, we increasingly need to ensure that self-determination of communities and societies, based on their own realities, is compatible with and takes into account globally accepted realities, basic human values and rights, including respect for the commons. It is my aim to contribute to this endeavour at the global level through KM4Dev and in my local environment through facilitation of and participation in transition processes. I’ll try to be and remain an earth guardian.