SEMA – “Understanding the other“ uses the international network of the Millennium Festival and its tools for participatory training to contribute to research about the post 2015 MDGs phase and the integration of European citizens in the new formulation and implementation of the Millennium Development Goals.
Statistics show that in 2009 only 10% of the European population were aware of the Millennium Development Goals. This is why the artists involved created the Millennium Festival whose aim was not only to inform European citizens about the importance of these objectives, but also to change their passive position and convince them that they are the real actors of the future. The main objective of this project is to expand and disseminate the achievements of the Millennium Festival throughout Europe, to encourage a positive vision and participatory attitude of European citizens for the completion and extension of the Millennium Development Goals.
Given the ecological and social crisis which has now manifested as global (climate change, depletion of natural resources, fresh water shortages, gap between developed and developing countries, food security, deforestation, natural and industrial disasters) the only way to find valid solutions is the mutual commitment of all political, economic and civil groups of society. Sustainable development is a process of management and change where the exploitation of natural resources and investment decisions take into account the present but also the challenges of the future. This requires changing some models of life and functioning that we are too attached or used to. This is the reason why the Millennium Development Goals and sustainable development represent unattractive topics for the European population, especially in the context of the economic crisis that provokes reactions such as xenophobia, intolerance, reluctance against investment in development.
The project SEMA – “Understanding the other“ is based on a system of communication which unifies and allows a direct dialogue between stakeholders and development policy-makers and citizens, thanks to the work of artists who acts as an intermediary and catalyst.
SEMA: Awareness - Expression - Motivation – Action
The basic idea: Understanding the other
Sensitization: Creating a new perception of the MDGs through a better understanding of each other. Building a relationship of respect for the other human beings even if they live in extreme poverty and are different from us.
Expression: Fostering citizens to express their own ideas, fears, concerns and proposals in relation to the MDG's.
Motivation: Helping citizens to understand the importance of their role and to see opportunities to act, by showing real examples and persuasive and charismatic personalities who "act".
Action: Establishing a European network that will actively participate in the dialogue on the future of post-2015 MDGs, which will be based on collaboration and multilateral accountability, as well as citizen participation in planning, implementation and monitoring of the MDGs.