Intersectionality, a term that refers to the systems of oppression that are compounded under identities such as race, gender, class, and ability, is pertinent for inclusive sustainable development as it is the crux of inclusivity. The concept is visible in all aspects of life, especially within development theory. It is based in social identities and can be applied to almost every aspect of development, from gender inclusivity to social status. For example, a single mother that struggles with the trials and tribulations of sexism in a westernized society is facing a very different obstacle than somebody that is deaf in a developing community. These differences in overall struggle must be noted when discussing development because otherwise the problems of entire populations will be ignored in the grand scheme of things. Without committing to this concept of intersectionality, there is no chance for full advocacy on a global scale, and therefore no chance for global development.

The United Nations created 9 Major Groups Frameworks in an attempt to have greater inclusion within the processes of policy-making. The groups are the following:

  • Women
  • Children and youth
  • Farmers
  • Indigenous peoples
  • NGOs
  • Trade Unions
  • Local Authorities
  • Science and Technology
  • Business and Industry

Because these groups have been established, more emphasis is put on their individual struggles and therefore the problems that they face have a higher chance of receiving aid. Representatives of each group are given access to conferences, meetings, and an opportunity to make recommendations within the global sphere, but what about the groups that are not included in these 9 frameworks? Herein lies the problem; although the United Nations is making a genuine effort to include specific communities in their efforts towards global inclusive sustainable development, large portions of the population are still left out entirely. For example, person with disabilities are not one of the 9 groups even though they make up approximately 15% of the entire earth’s population, something that acts as an extreme hindrance on their ability to be heard within the global forum.

When considering global development, these groups must be taken into consideration in addition to those who are not mentioned. In a sense, the creation of these 9 groups holds the ability to overshadow other marginalized groups such as disabled persons. Because these 9 groups have been formally established, most of the emphasis within the field of development have been placed on them, leaving other populations to receive less aid. It’s by this logic that multi-stakeholder frameworks that include all marginalized populations should be of the utmost importance. This, of course, is much easier said than done. If all marginalized groups of the population were included in this framework, there would be little done for each group as the force for development can only do so much for each group. Unintended consequences are always apparent when striving for global development, something that has caused things such as the SDGs great stress when setting objectives and targets. However, the concept of intersectionality continues to grow as a larger amount of inclusion becomes both necessary and normal.

Inclusive Education

Sustainable Development Goal #4, “Quality Education” and, more specifically, CRPD article #24, “Inclusive Education”, are both in collaboration towards the ultimate goal of creating an inclusive global education framework that is open to all. SDG 4 defines its goal as the following “to ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning”. Although this goal is very broad, this framework acts as a guide for many parties, both State and non-state. This concept of inclusive education is intensely important within this class and especially within the concept of inclusive sustainable development. According to the United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organization, the term “inclusive education” is defined as “the process of strengthening the capacity of the education system to reach out to all learners.” This definition advocates for wholly inclusive environments within the educational system, meaning full integration of those who are part of marginalized communities that have, traditionally, been unable to receive equal education benefits. A large population of this group includes disabled persons that normally struggle to achieve full access to traditional education systems. Even growing up, it was obvious that the other children in my class that were autistic or struggled with a mental disability did not receive the same quality of education as I did because they were often placed in a separate room, a separate class, to keep them isolated from those who were considered to be “normal”. Growing up in the United States, it was difficult to see friends and other students that struggled with these disabilities received lesser education, but it is important to note that there are placed within this earth where those with disabilities sometimes don’t even receive education due to their disabled status. This isolation from the education system coupled with their overall isolation from society leads to the intensified vulnerability and lack of opportunity for these persons living with disabilities, something that is not conducive to the overall inclusive sustainable development of our world. It is for this very reason that inclusive education is at the top of the list of priorities within the SDGs.

Education plays a gargantuan role in the overall social and economic development of our society. With education comes transparency and inclusivity on the global issues that we face as a human race, and without that inclusive aspect of life there is no opportunity for involvement of these voices that are the most important when searching for solutions. There is a plethora of countries that are currently attempting to implement inclusive education policies in accordance with SDG 4. For example, the 2003 UNESCO report titled “Inclusive Education Initiatives for Children with Disabilities: Lessons from the East Asia and Pacific Region” discusses the overall concept of inclusive educational policies. This report is an extensive look into the lives of children growing up with disabilities in their current education systems, noting both the challenges they face as well as the successes. By making this category of information public, the rest of the world is able to see why such a large population is struggling to receive a proper education and why it is necessary to implement change into the varying systems that affect the children of today.

ICTs are one of the most important contributors to achieving this concept of inclusive education due to the fact that it acts as a resource for those living with a disability to receive the education they would not have otherwise been able to obtain. For example, as mentioned in an earlier blog post, within the United States it is very common for universities to have an online option where people are able to receive their degree online. This is important because many persons living with a disability don’t have the resources or the ability to physically attend school. In other countries, access to the internet is also an incredible asset towards inclusive education because it allows for those marginalized communities to participate in global discussions and learning that they would not have had access to otherwise.

As more governments implement these inclusive education policies within their countries, more and more people are obtaining the ability to receive a quality education, which inherently reduces the global inequalities that the SDGs are implemented to eradicate. Additionally, the goals that have been established by the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities are a great foundation for states to properly induct these inclusive education policies. Global education is crucial towards achieving not only the SDGs, but also in moving towards the ultimate goal of complete inclusive sustainable development.

Opportunities and Limitations in Global Strategic Frameworks

The Millennium Development Goals, although replaced with the refined Sustainable Development Goals, withheld successes that set a foundation for future development initiatives. Adopted in 2000, the MDGs set their goals to reached by 2015, a goal that ultimately was not achieved. Because the MDGs were so ambitious in their goals, it’s not completely surprising that their outcome was less than expected. Amongst some of the goals included in the MDGs were the eradication of poverty and hunger, universal primary education, and gender equality. Although these goals were not achieved in their entirety, they act as an important global framework for how certain actors approach things such as poverty reduction and global education. The unifying framework that was laid out by these goals set the foundation for the Sustainable Development Goals and allowed for the exchange of dialogue and practical approaches towards overall solutions to the problems at hand.

Although this framework was created by the MDGs, one major limitation that continues to exist is overall access to outlets of influence. This is addressed more deeply within the SDGs, but is still a major problem everywhere.In modern society, the only people that are able to access policy-making opportunities are those who withhold access to Prep Coms and the resources to do so, such as ICTs and financial ability. Due to the fact that over 80% of the world lives in poverty and 15% of the world’s population lives with a disability that hinders their ability to access these kinds of opportunities, there is a huge disparity between those who are allowed a voice in decision-making processes. One of the main reasons why the MDGs are seen as a failure by some is that persons with disabilities were completely left out of their framework, leading to policies that made little to no mention of them, a problem that is intensely problematic given the amount of people on this earth that live with a disability. It has been claimed by countless scholars, including people like Kett and Lang, that would be impossible to achieve the goals of the MDGs. Not only did the MDGs struggle with inclusion, but they also struggled with implementation due to the fact that the goals are not legally binding, providing no real motivation for states to implement their policies. This coupled with the fact that the wording and content of these goals were both vague and general sets a foundation of rhetorical commitments that holds no valor in the global sphere. This is highlighted by Deepak Nayyar when he notes the difficulty in contextualizing the MDGs in different setting, both locally and statewide.

On the whole, the MDGs withheld positive and negative aspects. Although they failed in their implementation and overall sphere of influence, they did in fact set a trail for the SDGs through allowing the global community to grow and strategize off of what failed and what succeeded. For instance, when looking at the disparities between the MDGs and the SDGs, the SDGs withhold 11 mentions of persons with disabilities, a number that emerged out of the need for the MDGs to include this large population of people. As we progress as a society, hopefully we are able to continue to grow and learn from the failure of our attempts towards inclusive sustainable development.

Multistakeholder Internet Governance and Sustainable Development

Multistakeholder Internet Governance is an incredibly important concept that can actually act as a solution to some of the challenges discussed in the previous blog post regarding the digital divide. The term “multistakeholder” is, in itself, inclusive and therefore allows for policies that reflect the needs of many different groups, including marginalized groups such as disabled persons. Because the SDGs are such a multitudinous group of goals, there are countless actors that are promoting and working on their implementation. From local government participation to global initiatives, each goal contains elements that require the cooperation of many different communities in order to surpass the Grand Challenges that are facing our local society. Each actor brings its own methodology, action plan, and set of skills to the table, emphasizing the importance of having multistakeholder governance as a major pillar of solving global development problems.

Because we live in a society where technology grows at an astounding rate every single day, the concept of internet governance holds a lot of importance. There must be constant improvement, constant administration of the internet due to the fact that it is what connects every and all communities that withhold access to it. It’s important to have more than one stakeholder in the governance of the internet, i.e. the government, because this allows a much more comprehensive approach to the governance of it and it also allows the free flow of discussion of policy issues and potential improvements. This multistakeholder approach has allowed an intensified sense of inclusivity within the public forum. For instance, the Internet Governance Forum, a forum for multi-stakeholder dialogue on public policy that are related to internet governance issues, website quotes that their main goal is to “facilitate inclusive, productive discussions on Internet related public policy issues from a general perspective, while keeping all stakeholders involved.” This sentence is a quintessential of what this entire class is based upon; the inclusivity of all groups for the betterment of development and forward thinking. In terms of disabled persons, the more access to things such as internet governance, the louder the voice of their community, leading to more inclusive policies and heightened participation of these marginalized communities. By allowing these communities to have a voice in something as important as the internet, the rest of the world will now be able to create real, meaningful change when it comes to issues that are specific to the communities.

Inclusive sustainable development is only possible if it is, naturally, inclusive. For instance, multistakeholder internet governance is such an important concept for developmental organizations because it allows these groups to aid in efforts that they are the most educated about. In summary, we have these NGOs or these grassroots organizations that are doing hands-on work, getting to know these target populations on a more personal level and acquiring knowledge that most other groups would not be able to receive otherwise. For example, a previous professor of mine lived in Haiti for months studying soil degradation, living with the community and learning their farming techniques. After an elongated time of living with these people, he realized that the efforts the government was making in order to salvage the soil was mostly commercialized and targeted at the “most popular locations” where the United States had the most advertizing rights. Because of this, the local communities where the soil was needed the most were receiving little to no help and were suffering the most. Through working with them, he received a heightened amount of knowledge that allowed him to implement local policies that actually helped the local farms and soils in a way that was not only sustainable but specific to the populations that were using the strategies. In a larger sense, anything that is multistakeholder, not just internet governance, allows for the open dialogue between those who are familiar with the targeted areas and those who are familiar with the technologies to help to collaborate and create necessary, productive change. In terms of inclusive sustainable development, this should be regarded as the best tactic.

In addition to this tactic, macro-level solutions are also important. For instance, international organizations such as the World Bank and the HLPF promote international cooperation on a larger scale, allowing governments to notice the importance of these issues and advocating for global initiatives to help with the SDGs. This can be done through legally binding treaties and government initiated policies that enforce certain strategies. The combination of all these differing strategies leads to an inclusive form of sustainable development, emphasizing the importance of multistakeholder internet governance and multistakeholder governance on the whole.


Digital Divide(s)

The concept of a “Digital Divide” refers to the ever-growing gulf between those who have access to the internet and internet outlets, such as computers, and those who are unable to achieve them. This is such an important concept due to the fact that access to telecommunication is vital within the field of development, especially within the disabled persons communities as it allows the surpassing of their physical hindrances. The origins of the concept of a digital divide can be traced back very far. In the 1985 Maintland Report titled “The Missing Link”, the gargantuan imbalance in telephone access between developed and developing countries was drawn upon, receiving intense international attention. Not only did the report discuss global telecommunication inequality, but it also brought it to a deeper level by emphasizing the rifts that exist domestically. This report was one of the stepping stones towards creating transparency in regards to the digital divide on a global and domestic scale, noting that there are still people in modern times that live completely isolated from the rest of the world due to their inability to access to ICTs. The report discusses the fact that a lot of the companies that hold the responsibility of installing this kind of technological infrastructure within these communities is a waste of time because they are too marginalized to truly benefit from it. Ten years later, a survey of the “have nots” within rural and urban America was published titled “Falling Through the Net”. The combination of the Maintland Report and “Falling Through the Net” opens up a very important dialogue that continues to be significant today; with the transformation of technology and the intensified need for access comes the paralleled need to extend access to these ICTs to the rest of the world that is considered “isolated” due to their lack of telecommunications abilities. Without this, global development cannot be achieved fully.

A term that properly sums up the digital divide is the entitlement theory, a term that was coined by Amartya Sen in his paper “Exchange Entitlements”. In this paper, Sen discusses the cause of famines and how they are not perpetuated by an overall lack of food, but rather a lack of access to food. This can and should be compared to ICTs, as it is not a problem of quantity that is being provided to these communities, but rather access to them in the first place. Those living in rural villages and towns receive a disproportionate amount of access to these ICTs in comparison to those living in populous urban communities.

Branching from these very important concepts emerges a discussion on the need for increased access. In the United States alone, the amount of online learning and business platforms has increased substantially, allowing persons with disabilities to enhance their status throughout the country. As there is a heightened participation of these groups of people within the political and economic platform throughout countries such as the United States, there will be a heightened amount of inclusive policy-making that will spread like wildfire across the globe. For instance, in 2003 and 2005 the World Summit on the Information Society encouraged global governance that focuses on bridging the digital divide.

A lot can be done to shrink these digital divides, both on a domestic level and a global level. Sen mentions a plethora of conditions that must be met in order to obtain a proper balance of public and private access to ICTs, such as democratic governments that allow the highest level of efficiency, perfect competition in the market, and awareness of the importance of bridging this digital divide. Although there are a lot of parameters that must be met and a lot of limitations in regards to solutions, in today’s society there is no room for exclusivity. Because ICTs have become such an essential part of life, it is of the utmost importance that all members of the global population receive adequate access to these necessary forms of communication and information sharing.

ICTs and Inclusive Sustainable Development

The term “ICT” refers to information and communications technology, a broad term that encompasses certain types of technology such as computers, phones, radios, but also intangible kinds of technology such as software, hardware, applications, and the like. ICTs are a major part of the SDGs and the overall global shift towards sustainable development due to the fact that they allow for increased accessibility to the global community. ICT are the crux of the solution in regards to inclusivity because it allows for easier access to the public forum and allows for people of all abilities to participate. Additionally, ICTs are integral in solving some of the largest grand challenges of our time, including that of the digital divide, which is the gulf found between those who already have access to the internet and to technologies that allow the internet, and those who are unable to access it. In addition to the digital divide, ICTs aid in the development of grand challenges such as disaster risk management and education and countless others.

The very first document to truly recognize the scope and reach of ICTs was the Maitland Report, drafted in 1984 in response to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Plenipotentiary Conference that occurred two years prior. This report staunchly recognized the ability of ICTs to fuel global economic growth across all nations and also recognized the discrepancies in access to technology. The report was referred to as “The Missing Link” because it highlighted and elaborated on access to technology such as telephones and the very different situations that were being experienced by both developing and developed countries. The very ideas that were found in this report were expanded upon in the future report named “Falling Through the Net” which focused on closing the gap between the rural and urban populations on multiple fronts, one being access to the internet. The combination of these two reports, the Maitland Commission Report, and the “Falling Through the Net” Report acted as trailblazers in the movement toward achieving universal access of ICTs.

A perfect example of the progress that these two reports have aided in is the country of Kenya which has been a global leader in this effort towards increased access to ICTs. A quintessential example of this is what they refer to as M-Pesa, a mobile banking service launched in 2007 in response to growing financial concerns around the globe such as a lack of trust in the banking systems, theft, complications with money wiring to rural areas, and many more. This service, with the use of ICTs, has allowed a gargantuan amount of people to have the ability to participate in the same economic and monetary processes as everybody else.

Smart Cities, Habitat III and the New Urban Agenda

In October 2016, the Habitat III Cities Conference saw the creation of the New Urban Agenda, the outcome document that will guide the efforts of global urbanization for the next 20 years. This document is essentially supporting and reinforcing the idea that sustainable development and urbanization are interrelated, doing so by including aspects that accomplish both of these concepts simultaneously while at the same time promoting social agenda items. The New Urban Agenda includes concepts that touch on all aspects of the spectrum, from participatory communities to gender equality to disaster risk reduction. All of this is done in a sustainable and eco-friendly manner and in the name of the “vision of future cities”. Although this initiative is a phenomenal effort in striving for global development while simultaneously striving for sustainability, there are many flaws within it that make it undesirably accountable. For instance, it is a non-binding agreement and therefore does not include clearly stated measurements to strive for, making it very difficult to rely on.

A good example of this can be observed in 11.A where it’s main goal is to “support positive economic, social, and environmental links between urban, per-urban and rural areas by strengthening national and regional development planning.” The indicator that is associated with this aspect of the New Urban Agenda is problematic because it does not account for areas outside of the cities. This is a large problem because there is a constant form of communication between urban and rural areas, even if a minute one at that. The indicator states refers to the “proportion of population living in cities” and nobody else, intrinsically limiting the overall scope and reach of this protocol.

According to World Bank data, between the years 2015 and 2020, the population of people living within cities will grow at a rate of 1.84% per year, an incredibly fast pace given the fact that already 54% of the world population resides within urban areas. This factor coupled with the fact that 15% of the world’s population is made up of persons with disabilities, modern urban agendas for sustainable development around the world have increasingly been making efforts to include this part of the population. Because of this, international policies have begun to include access to cities for persons with disabilities. This can be found within countless parts of the Sustainable Development Goals. The crux of this is SDG 11, “Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable”, which directly references persons with disabilities and seems to put an intense amount of emphasis on their access to public spaces and transport systems. Although this and other efforts are being made to include persons with disabilities in the agendas, there is still room to grow due to the fact that in many cases they do not have direct access to the discussion table. It should be a requirement that those who are being directly affected by these measures be allowed direct access to the decision-making processes and initiatives. A solution to this problem is found in different collaboratives such as the Disability Inclusive Development (DID) Policy Collaboratory that allows persons with disabilities to participate in governmental processes. It is a seemingly simple solution to a very important issue. Policies and initiatives can’t expect to be in full support of the global population if they exclude such a large, important portion of the population.

SDG Overview and the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF)

Two large appendages of the United Nations that are making intense movements towards inclusive sustainable development are The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) and the High Level Political Forum (HLPF). Building on the successes of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the SDG’s were adopted on January 1, 2016 and include 17 separate agendas for the efforts towards sustainable development, including things such as no poverty, good health and well-being, quality education, clean water and sanitation, etc. Within each of these 17 goals are a farrago of targets and indicators that grant each goal a more attainable sense of purpose, equalling to 230 individual indicators to monitor the 17 goals and 169 targets of all 17 SDGs. These new Goals universally apply to all and will be enacted throughout the next fifteen years in an overall effort to promote prosperity while simultaneously protecting the planet.

Formally established in July 2013, the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) is the main platform of the United Nations that deals with sustainable development. Within the HLPF is a group of 12 objectives that include targets in achieving said sustainable development, targets such as providing political leadership, enhancing integration at all levels, encouraging high-level system-wide participation of UN agencies, etc. Within the topic of achieving sustainable development is the Major Groups system, which came about from Agenda 21 and identifies nine different sectors of society as the main channels through which “broad participation would be facilitated in UN activities related to sustainable development”. These Major Groups include, amongst others, women, children and youth, indigenous peoples, local authorities, farmers, etc. The importance of engaging these nine sectors within society is continuously reaffirmed through the efforts of both the High Level Political Forum as well as the Sustainable Development Goals.

In regards to people with disabilities (PWDs), there has been a long history of unequal access to these many efforts towards bettering the development of the world. As Amartya Sen states in his book Development As Freedom, the rate and form of globalization is decided by the very people that are found within a community (240-242). When Sen exclaims this, he is talking about every part of the community and population. According to the World Report on Disability by the World Health Organization, about 15% of the world’s population lives with some form of disability, making PWDs not only an important group to make use of but also an incredibly large amount of people.

Within his book Social Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities, Rimmerman outlines a religious and genetic rationalization for this longstanding prejudice and stigmatization against PWDs, citing things such as the Bible and the Qur’an. Between the two religious texts, he points out that both see PWDs as burdensome, the bible referring to them as “sinners” and the Qur’an as people that should be excluded from certain aspects of society (12-13). As religion plays a gargantuan role in the lives of so many people throughout the world, it is easy to see how religion can be used as reason for this stigmatization against this marginalized group of people.

In addition to religious texts, history itself has played a large role in the current treatment and involvement within development amongst PWDs. In the United States itself, PWDs were not allowed basic civil and human rights until the late 20th century, a phenomenal change from just a century earlier when the country forced the euthanasia of what they referred to as “defective babies” (18-19). These stigmas, although diluted by a more modern way of thinking, are still very prevalent in the culture of many countries involved. Rimmerman and other scholarly authors consistently point out the fact that these newfound global initiatives such as the SDGs and the HLPF must make an extreme effort to incorporate PWD in order to eradicate these prejudices and stigmatization from the theme of international sustainable development. There is no globalization unless all that are being affected by the problems at hand are included in the solution.

What is Development?: Theoretical and Conceptual Approaches

Development can be described in three different ways according to authors Andy Sumner and Michael Tribe in their book International Development Studies. Development can either be a long-term process of structural transformation, a short-to-medium term outcome of targets, or a western discourse. In addition to this three-pronged definition of development, countless other scholars have weighed in and created differing definitions in terms of other theoretical understandings. For example, Amartya Sen, in his book Development as Freedom, defines development as the expansion of five freedoms. Another example is in the well-know book Why Nations Fail written by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson, where they describe development as inclusive political and economic institutions. There is a plethora of definitions and explanations as to what development truly is on a foundational and theoretical level, but this ever-changing definition seems to be relevant to whichever kind of development it is referring to. For instance, in the book Why Nations Fail, the authors discuss and compare the United States and the Mexican side of Nogales, Arizona. The disparity between the two allows us to realize and ponder that a lot must be taken into account when discussing the universal definition of development.

It is pertinent that we understand the many global crises that are affecting our world today in order to understand the many different forms of development. We must be able to look at the disparities between the different areas of Nogales and be able to analyze them for the sake of deciding which definition of development would be best suited for that particular problem. Another good example is the nutritional poverty trap and famine that Amartya Sen discusses in his book. He explains that famine is the result of a state’s economy and society, proving that food must be earned. This poses itself as a horrible, cyclical problem due to what is referred to as the nutritional poverty trap; a concept that states that because the poor are malnourished and unable acquire food as easily as some, they are unable to work as productively as they should and therefore leads to scarcity in income and other commodities that are necessary for a healthy life. It’s a vicious cycle of lack of resources and malnourishment that is very hard to break out of, and it affects a very large portion of the developing populations. This leads to the overall weakening of countless economies and therefore is seen as a very intense and relevant development issue.


The Global “Grand Challenge” of Inclusive Sustainable Development

The concept of “Grand Challenges” emerges from a very important and iconic speech that was given by former President of the United States, John F. Kennedy: “We set sail on this new sea because there is new knowledge to be gained, and new rights to be won, and they must be won and used for the progress of all people….We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” This speech was given to Rice University on September 12th, 1962 and in less than seven years time, humans landed on the moon. This kind of thinking came to be known as “moonshot thinking” being defined as ambitious, aspiring, and determined ways of thought that pushes us a human race to strive for all that is achievable and possible.

“Grand Challenges” embodies this style of thinking in the field of development. The term, coined by David Hilbert, originally was meant to focus on technology and sciences of the sort but grew to encapsulate socially-focused projects such as global sustainable development. The Sustainable Development Goals act as a quintessential example of such “Grand Challenges” because they are, according to the United Nations Development Programme, “a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity”, which is not an easy feat. The Sustainable Development Goals emerged out of the Millennium Development Goals, exemplifying the fact that we are striving for more ambitious goals and changing our aims of development as times change the need for specific protocols. In addition to the SDGs, the framework of these “Grand Challenges” is being used by countless other organizations such as USAID, something that can be seen through their projects such as All Children Reading and Combating Zika and Future Threats.

The Sustainable Development Goals are the “Grand Challenge” of our time as they embody an ambitious grouping of 17 diverse goals for the global community in a minute 15-year time span. These goals are aided by their targets and indicators which act as sub-goals and key points to focus on when striving to accomplish them. Another reason as to why these goals are so phenomenal in their goals is because they are increasingly inclusive in compared to their predecessors. For instance, there are eleven explicit references to persons with disabilities throughout the 17 SDGs, something that is practically unheard of in past protocols for global development. Not only is it refreshing to see this level of inclusivity within something that is so monumentally positive for our global development, but it is also necessary. It may not be as extraordinary as landing on the moon, but the inclusion of everybody, especially a group of people such as disabled persons that take up around 15% of the entire earth’s population, is a feat in itself that certainly should be considered a “Grand Challenge”. There is no global development unless everybody is involved, and that is exactly what the SDGs and countless other development protocols are striving to do.