Conspiracy theories are increasingly reaching the House of Representatives and social media. Parties such as the World Economic Forum’s Democracy Forum advocate, Build Better, the Great Reset, and the associated Sustainable Development Goals, as a way for “a system to govern the world from above in the future.” Avans also works with sustainability goals, but has yet to receive any complaints from students or staff. Kees van Kam, former head of the Sustainability Projects Project within Avans, dismisses the theories as nonsense.
“Let me start by saying that it is good that the World Economic Forum and the associated Sustainable Development Goals are being monitored critically. This is good and necessary,” says Kees van Kam. He has worked at Avans for more than nine years as a teacher and researcher and is the man behind the goals Sustainability. But it is an illusion to think that there is a group of people who want to control the population, which leads to inequality. This is far-fetched. It is already impossible around the world to come to agreements on the climate issue. Let alone there are conspiracies.”
The World Economic Forum is a non-profit organization made up of scientists, politicians, journalists, and businessmen from around the world who meet regularly to discuss social and economic issues on the ground. The UN Sustainable Development Goals are mentioned on their site. Its founder, Klaus Schwab, released the book Covid-19: The Great Reset in 2020. In it he made a proposal to rebuild the global economy after the pandemic.
The ex-Avans employee is aware of the conspiracy theories being spread. He understands where they come from. “In times of crisis and low confidence in politics among the population, as now, these simply arise. Then people doubt. This is concerning. Referring to Donald Trump as former President of the United States and his theories on “fake news,” the rhetoric that What you see now from some politicians in Holland is the same you’ve seen for years in the US.. “You have this here now. And that goes too far: it undermines democracy.”
On the other hand, government agencies should be transparent about what they do. If it does not, then suspicion arises. And there’s also a lot of things that go wrong, like what happened recently with the tax authorities with the exemption issue. You have to look at it critically.”
Avans has been working with the 17 sustainability goals for several years now. During his time at Avans, Van Kam noted that goals sometimes led to criticism. Sometimes goals have been interpreted by students and staff as “left” and “green”. Then he had conversations with students, who sometimes called him climate bullying. argue wrongly. “The sustainability goals themselves are not political. The way they are implemented is political. You can address poverty alleviation or climate issues, which are the Sustainable Development Goals, in different ways. How that happens is political choices. But the goals themselves are not.”
There is no school for sustainable development goals
According to Van Kaam, who currently works as an innovation and sustainable development consultant, it is important for students to realize that Avans is not an “SDG school”. This means that Avans is much more than just sustainability goals. Also if, for whatever reason, you don’t like the idea behind the sustainability goals, that’s fine. “We just provide it, and students can form their own opinion about it. If a student isn’t very interested in climate or sustainability, that’s fine. But form an informed opinion about it.”
According to Van Kam, the SDGs are not a conspiracy for greater control, but rather a way of looking at the future with a new perspective. ”If you succeed in achieving all the goals and Objectives Be aware, you have a better world. For everyone. ”
The former Avans employee points out that people should not forget where the SDGs come from and what has already been achieved with them. It is referring to the 1948 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. “This is an introduction to the Millennium Goals from the year 2000 and the sustainability goals we are working with today. This is nothing.”
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