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Never, in our entire species’ history, have we been more connected.

We can face-time with colleagues across the world. Perform remote surgery on a patient from another country. Deliver vaccines and medicines across the world in a day, not weeks or months. We have the knowledge – and the ability – to change our world for the better.

The problem is, we aren’t doing it fast enough.

We know climate change is real. We witness humanitarian crisis after crisis. We see biodiversity disappearing (as recently as October 2021, the COP 15 UN Biodiversity Conference in Kunming, China stated that “…a million of the world’s estimated 8.7 million species are at risk of extinction. Many natural services essential for their survival are falling apart. Time is running out for an agreement to save many plant and animal species.”.1 Every day we hear that healthcare is struggling – especially for those living in low, and lower-middle-income countries (#LMIC).

Our most recent challenge, of course, is the coronavirus pandemic. In many areas, amazing things have been accomplished to keep people healthy and safe as a wide variety of global scientific collaborations took place, particularly amongst individuals and groups from different disciplines that had never worked together before.2

This is an encouraging sign for the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (#SDG), which are meant to be addressed by 2030. That carbon emissions can be reduced, natural resources conserved, better jobs created, an advancement in gender equality, and that poverty and other inequalities are significantly reduced. But, again, we must move faster.

As mentioned within the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals Report 2021 regarding the pandemic, “Had the paradigm shift envisioned by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development been fully embraced over the past six years, the world would have been better prepared to face this crisis – with stronger health systems, expanded social protection coverage, the resilience that comes from more equal societies, and a healthier natural environment.”

Future generations shouldn’t suffer because of our hubris and short-sightedness. We all must play our part. Because the statistics aren’t pretty.