Food has the power to impact our lives both emotionally and physically and create bonds among people. When Sweetgreen published a series of photos under the title “School Lunches Around the World,” the collection elicited a range of reactions. Although the photos are, according to Sweetgreen, “not intended to be exact representations of school lunches, but instead, are meant to portray different types of foods found in cafeterias around the world,” they nevertheless raise several questions regarding the quality and nutritional value of cafeteria food and the impact of that food on the wellness of children. A child, who is hungry and malnourished, will most likely perform at a suboptimal level compared to a child who is well fed and healthy. At the other end of the spectrum, children who are obese can also have health complications that may affect their well-being beyond their school years. These concerns continue to stir a melting pot of discussions that go beyond figuring out the types of food and how many calories we consume.
There is a general consensus that financial education is necessary. The global financial crises during 2000-01 and 2007-08 pushed the international community to better educate the population on how to manage their finances. Several of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to promote a robust economy while narrowing the socioeconomic gaps within and across the nations. While April is considered as Financial Literacy Month in the U.S., financial education is a lifelong process. After all, the economic landscape is always changing.
The long-term effects of having a financially illiterate population may prove to be more damaging than the recent economic recession if there are no interventions in place. Hastings, Madrian, and Skimmyhorn (2012) highlighted an array of financial mistakes that people have made and continue to make, such as irresponsible credit card usage, inadequate diversification of assets, and failure to refinance fixed rate mortgages during a time of declining interest rates. Individually, these mistakes are already costly; collectively, they create a complex web of economic problems.
In my previous post I touched upon the reason for and meaning of ‘designing’ our future. This time the emphasis is on the ‘future.’ In particular, the future as envisioned by the overarching framework of the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The deadline of these goals is set for 2030.