At the 62nd Commission for Social Development, I had the privilege to join Sister Dusty Farnan of the Dominican Leadership Conference at the Civil Society Forum.

The panel, donned with highly esteemed guests was a continuous fountain of information from multiple international perspectives. These leaders in social reform and innovation spoke to the importance of retaining a global mindset, to ensure that all individuals from all walks of life can pursue their endeavors in an enabling society. There was a necessary emphasis on inclusion efforts– highlighting the fact that if one person is left behind, we are all left behind with them.

Sr. Janet Stankowski, Sister Donna Maria Moses, and Sr. Dusty Farnan UN Representative

Many of the conversation points from the panelists were surrounding the topics of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and the grim reality that we are off track on quite a number of them to be hit. Nonetheless, attendees were encouraged to stay tenacious in their pursuit of a more sustainable and equitable society.

The morning session was then rounded off with a few questions from the audience for the panelists, it was here that Professor Haroon Bhorat spoke about the difference between GDP growth and sustainable economic development. The University of Cape Town professor reminded the audience to look inside at what is and is not accounted for in these specific economic metrics, and to always consider if they are capable of monitoring true quality of life.

As the committee broke for lunch I took the opportunity to bask in the lights on the delegate floor and take a second to appreciate being in the room where change is accelerated.