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Decolonization of the sustainable development: The journey


We are excited to take you through our Value creator journey as we worked on a topic that by now is close to our hearts. We chose the topic to be decolonization of sustainable development. This decision took us on a mission to explore and redefine sustainability, challenging existing norms, while exploring the ongoing effects of colonialism. 


Decolonizing sustainable development refers to challenging and moving away from colonial approaches to sustainability, which often prioritize Western perspectives and exclude Indigenous knowledge and practices. It involves recognizing the importance of respecting and learning from diverse cultures and perspectives, as well as addressing the ongoing impacts of colonialism. After finding out about those issues we were all driven by a shared commitment to dive deeper into these narratives and contribute meaningfully to this complex issue. 


As we dove deeper into our research, we found ourselves grappling with questions about the very definitions of sustainability, development, and decolonization. These doubts added layers of complexity to our exploration, but we pushed forward, eager to learn more. 

During this time, we scheduled several meetings with various individuals, each offering unique perspectives. One conversation left us feeling demotivated, but we quickly regained our motivation through subsequent discussions. These talks allowed us to reflect on our position and approach in this matter, and we emerged with a deeper understanding and renewed determination. 


The 10th of November was the day our journey changed. This day, we had a very valuable meeting with one of our stakeholders, who presented an opportunity to host a webinar with a Venezuelan community on alternative practices of sustainability. We really liked this idea and started exploring more possible sessions and eventually came up with the idea to have an event with multiple sessions focused on the topic of decolonizing sustainable development.  

 

These sessions will be part of Windesheim University's biyearly festival dedicated to the Sustainable Development Agenda and the SDGs. Our sessions will feature a workshop exploring the historical and current impacts of colonialism, a session examining diverse cultural sustainability approaches, and a closing discussion celebrating the integration of varied knowledge systems. Additionally, the event will include interactive workshops, collaborative activities, and a traditional music component. 


Our goal is to create a space where attendees can reflect on their own biases and prejudices and begin to understand the ways in which they may contribute to systems of oppression. Through engaging discussions and meaningful interactions with our network of experts, we hope to inspire attendees to take action and create positive change in their own communities. We believe that this ripple effect can lead to a broader impact, as attendees share their learnings and insights with their friends, families, and colleagues. 


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