Finding our name

Localizing the SDGs has been an incredible journey so far. As we get ready to take another important step – launching our website – we are asking for feedback from everyone involved in the process so far to choose our name. We’ve got twenty-six responses in our survey plus a few emails and phone calls. We want to say thanks for all of you who took the time to share some of your knowledge with us.

Here are some highlights of what we found.

London? Yes!

The majority (61.5%) agreed that it makes sense to use London in our name and we received just one reply that said “no”. There was one particular question: “Should we add Middlesex to our name?” that might need to be considered since many of the challenges we face are intertwined within the London Region. And some of our indicators already use that wider lens, such as the health-related ones provide by the Middlesex-London Health Unit.

SDG? Uhh.. maybe !?

The discussion was more polarized than we expected. Strong opinions about why we should and shouldn’t use SDG in our name. On the pro side:

“keep SDG in the name even if people don’t know what it means because it’s an awareness campaign and people will learn.”

On the con side

Avoid acronyms. SDG is a top-down term. We should use local, plain language

To make things clear as mud, we also had 42.3% of “Maybe” answers.

Indicators/Metrics? Nope!

We heard loud and clear that these terms are academic, research jargon and don’t resonate with a lot of people. The most popular grade was 2 out of 7 for both (with average values not far from that: 2.8 and 2.4 for Indicators and Metrics respectively).

Local/Community? Now we are talking.

In contrast, these two terms were much more welcomed according to our survey. The average evaluation for both terms was 5.3 out of 7.

City? Lukewarm

Most answers lie in the middle of the spectrum. No strong opinions for or against it.

Any other suggestions

We got so many suggestions that it wouldn’t be feasible just to list them all here. But we noticed a few patterns:

  • Simple and short is better
  • Use terms that capture the “leave no one behind principle”: just, fair, inclusive
  • Use terms that point to a new economy: thriving, prosperous
  • Use terms with an emotional component: cares, living
  • Sustainable contains the essence of the SDGs but it tends to be associated with the environment but not the social and economic aspects.

So what is the name?

Based on all this rich feedback, we created a list of possible names to choose from. They will be part of our second and final round of collective decision-making. Stay tuned!

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