The SDG Pyramid of Happiness

     THE Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), launched in 2015 at the United Nations, are intended to be universal: 17 global objectives to eliminate poverty, improve education and health outcomes, create better jobs and tackle environmental challenges everywhere by 2030. At the same time, it is also important that the SDGs resonate within different cultures, aligned with local beliefs and traditions to ensure the broad engagement needed to achieve the goals. The Island of Happiness, Kura-Kura Bali, is one of the projects embracing the SDGs in alignment with Balinese culture.

     The initiative is an eco-development project transforming Kura-Kura or Turtle Island, located just south of Bali, and home to Serangan village, where several thousands of Balinese Hindu and Muslim continue to practice traditional customs. The Kura-Kura Bali also hosted the United in Diversity Creative Campus and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network Southeast Asia (SDSN-SEA) head office, where Cherie Nursalim is the Chair. The mission of the SDSDN-SEA is to help advance the achievement of the SDGs in the region.

     Ms. Nursalim, a Business and Sustainable Development (BSDC) Commissioner, believed the SDGs can be viewed in terms of Balinese philosophy known as the Tri Hita Karana or Three Ways to Happiness. It emphasizes on harmony with people, nature, and spirit. Each of the 17 Global Goals, The SDG Pyramid of Happiness said Ms Nursalim, reflects one of the three elements, forming what she calls an “SDG Pyramid to Happiness.”

     “The first 10 goals are aligned with social issues, the next five goals on ecological challenges and the final goals on peace and partnership linked to spiritual values,” said Ms. Nursalim, Vice-Chairman of GITI Group.

     “If we can find harmonies in the social, ecological and spiritual as framed by the SDG Pyramid, I feel we would be closer to genuine happiness.” Ms. Nursalim presented the idea of the SDG Pyramid and Tri Hita Karana on World Happiness Day on March 20, at the United Nations in New York. And on the following day, the United in Diversity Foundation hosted a discussion on “SDG Pyramid: The Shared Value Case for Sustainable Development.”

Harmony with people

     To better consider the first ten goals and social issues on the island, an education platform is established to support enterprises, education and solutions. A value creation ecosystem evolved around the campus to encourage long-term sustainable solutions for the island, its inhabitants, engaging with the wider global community. United in Diversity’s Cultural Revitalization program nurtures a creative ecosystem where local wisdom, traditions, arts and music may flourish through many generations with platforms to share their culture with the island’s guests.

Harmony with nature

     The island is designed around an integrated green master plan. “Tri Hita Karana has inspired me to challenge the norms in the development of the Kura-Kura Bali project,” explained Ms. Nursalim. “Our team has pioneered methodologies together with partners from around the world in the greening of the Island of Happiness.” Around 95 percent of the island’s population is within a 10-minute walk of green transportation. All buildings are 100 percent green certified and public lighting is powered by renewable energy. And conservation becomes a critical theme. On the 500-hectare island, over 80 hectares of Kura-Kura Bali is dedicated to mangroves and 260 hectares becomes car-free zones.

Harmony with spirituality

     Partnerships and peace are crucial goals linked to spiritual values. Armed with Balinese practice spiritual balance, the project promotes the research of Happiness through wellness, mindfulness and spiritual harmony. United in Diversity Foundation engages many stakeholders around the world to find solutions around the social, ecological and spiritual harmonies. 300 IDEAS Fellows have worked on prototypes of sustainable solutions. United in Diversity is a non-profit organization launched in Bali with the leaders from diverse sectors of business, government and civil society. It is now presided by Mari Pangestu, respected former Minister of Indonesia. Over the past decade, IDEAS program is facilitated by Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management, University of Indonesia and Tsinghua University. v BTNewspaper

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