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Amber Stark

SIOP UN Committee Releases Video Series

The SIOP United Nations Committee, which seeks to bring theory, research, and practice of work psychology to support the achievement of the United Nations mandates, has created a series of videos designed to show that there’s no one way to contribute to the UN’s global agenda.

“Our committee is extremely diverse, from the people we are to the topics we pursue. But we are all dedicated to achieving a common goal,” said Committee Member Drew Mallory. “We want to show SIOPers that just like there’s no one way to be an I-O psychologist, there’s no one way to contribute to the UN’s global agenda. We’ve talked about how we wish we had been given examples of what an I-O might look like working in these areas when we were starting our careers. This series provides some examples for everyone.”

Three videos have been posted on the SIOP YouTube page, and more will be added over the next several months.

Mallory shared that the mission of the United Nations can be hard to grasp. Even the sustainable development goals can seem abstract when examined at a high level.

“But the truth is, many of us are already indirectly participating in moving toward a more sustainable society – and more of us can find ways to begin,” he said. “We took some of the main questions we’ve received about the SDGs and SIOP’s involvement with the UN and brought them together in a video series that showcases some of the ways that members of the SIOP UN Committee have incorporated the SDGs in their own research and practice.”

The SDGs are a set of 17 interconnected goals developed in 2015 with the hopes of making strides toward a more sustainable future for the world by 2030. The goals are a plan of action for the advancement of people, prosperity, the planet, collaborative partnerships, and ultimately, peace. Combined, they reflect a vision for a world that benefits each person, community, and environment on the planet.

The 17 goals are: (1) No Poverty, (2) Zero Hunger, (3) Good Health and Well-being, (4) Quality Education, (5) Gender Equality, (6) Clean Water and Sanitation, (7) Affordable and Clean Energy, (8) Decent Work and Economic Growth, (9) Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, (10) Reducing Inequality, (11) Sustainable Cities and Communities, (12) Responsible Consumption and Production, (13) Climate Action, (14) Life Below Water, (15) Life On Land, (16) Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions, (17) Partnerships for the Goals.

At the surface level these goals are broad. Diving deeper, each goal has a number of specific targets and indicators that can be used to measure success. For example, the UN has defined 12 Targets and 23 indicators for SDG #16. One target of goal #16 is to “ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels” and an indicator of success for this target is to look at proportions of position (by sex, age, persons with disabilities and population groups) in public institutions compared to the national distribution. At any time, someone can track the world’s progress towards the SDGs targets and indicators through the SDG Tracker online.“We’ve heard that students are especially interested in learning more about the crossover between SIOP and the UN, and as the focus of our work on the committee, we feel this is really the place to start,” Mallory said. “But as the SDGs are undergirded by the same values and principles that I-O psychologists strive to emulate: dignity, justice, sustainability, and equity, we really hope all SIOPers become familiar with them and think creatively about how to work them meaningfully into their professional lives.”

Each video is a sample of some of the research and practice that committee members have done, a true story illustrating the SDG in practice.

“The SDGs are not abstract ideas that don’t relate to your life or work. They reflect what’s happening all around us. Once we are aware, we can shift our thinking to focus our research and practice to ensure we each do our part to contribute to a sustainable future,” Mallory said. “We encourage SIOPers to become aware, become inspired, and become involved. You can reach out to members of the committee if you see projects you’re interested in or want advice on some of your own. We’d love to hear about how members are pursuing the SDGs in their own practice.”

The SIOP UN Committee webpage includes strategic goals, member information, current partners, and volunteer opportunities. To share how you are pursuing the SDGs in your own practice, email siopun@siop.org.

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