Partnership. What’s in it for you?

Natalie Simmons
October 20, 2022

Of the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), number 17, titled Partnerships for the Goals, reads like this: 

Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development.

I’m in two minds why it sits in last place, because really, without partnerships, we limit our ability to succeed at the other 16 goals. Then again, maybe you need to read through all of the SDGs to arrive at the conclusion that we as individuals, businesses and communities cannot go it alone. 

One undeniable thing arose from the pandemic - it is through strong community that we can thrive - in good times and bad. When you heard that a relative or neighbour had to isolate due to a positive COVID test, did you call or text to offer help? I’m sure you did. And you did it because we are stronger together. In his book, Humankind, A Hopeful History, Rutger Bregman explores the idea that humans are fundamentally good. We are not the warmongering ‘killer apes’ that novels like Lord of the Flies make us out to be. 

“It's when crisis hits – when the bombs fall or the floodwaters rise – that we humans become our best selves.” - Rutger Bregman

Crises are everywhere. 

COVID-19 was, is, a global crisis. So is Russia’s unlawful invasion of Ukraine. Unless you’ve had your head under a rock, we are in the midst of a climate crisis. Europe is in the midst of an energy crisis. Africa has a food security crisis. Parts of eastern Australia are flooded again, see Climate Crisis. And while footage of anti-vaxxers, Zs on t-shirts, and looters sell more advertising and brew more outrage on the ‘socials’, actually, the majority of us, when we see this, we pitch in where, when and how we can. We talk about it with friends. We work together. We form partnerships.

So this then is what the UN is talking about with SDG number 17 - Partnerships for the Goals. Reassuringly, because forming partnerships is inherent in us, it’s relatively easy to do. When businesses see an opportunity to partner with a like-minded organisation that will ultimately strengthen their position in the market, watch the key decision makers find time to get it done. At Barefoot Citizens Consulting, we believe every engagement with our clients not as a transactional arrangement but as an opportunity for partnership. There’s an exchange, through which the net result is exactly what the United Nations intends for Goal 17 - a stronger, better, longer lasting shot at sustainable development. 

Knowing where to start can seem to be quite the hurdle. We think we’ve come up with a neat and easy way to get the ball rolling. It’s called Brands We Love and it’s going to be appearing in a number of places. Follow us on Instagram @barefootconsulting and LinkedIn to see insightful profiles of brands doing things differently, and all for a more sustainable future. The main purpose of this little campaign of ours is to offer up inspiration - the kind that makes you think and feel good so that the next thing you want to do is also good.

Knowing why to start thinking about partnerships, purpose and all things ESG is less of a hurdle when you consider that in their latest poll of the global workforce, Gallup revealed that only 21% of employees feel engaged at work. And with only 33% thriving in their overall well-being the report states, “most would say that they (employees) don't find their work meaningful, don't think their lives are going well or don't feel hopeful about their future.”


Barefoot Citizens Consulting is determined to change that percentage. We believe everyone can make a positive difference, to the point where they do feel their work is meaningful, that their lives are going well, and so that they have a genuine reason to feel hopeful about the future. 

Engage with us so that together we can discuss how to involve your people in your organisation’s transformation and to help you make ‘profit with purpose made possible’ not just our mantra, but yours too.

Purpose Drives People

People Build Communities

Communities Change the World