What are your priorities for our world? It’s not a question many of us consider, because we may feel so small compared with global issues. But it’s an important question, as we all share this world.
So, one good way to explore the EcoTypes possibility that many care, just differently, is to consider our differing global priorities. The EcoTypes survey includes a global priorities item for this reason. We may discover that people with differing EcoTypes list differing global priorities—or, sometimes, possibly the same priority.
These global priorities are presented on the EcoTypes survey as a list of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) promulgated by the United Nations. Take a quick look at the SDGs below: can you see that there are many different goals? The SDGs can thus ground our exploration of different ways of caring in the context of tangible, global actions. Each of the EcoTypes personae thus prioritize a particular SDG.
To go deeper on global priorities, you may be interested in studies on popular and expert SDG priorities, as well as general research on global priorities, including efforts such as the Global Priorities Institute, and Pew Research policy priorities surveys of Americans. More information on the seventeen SDGs, and an introductory SDG game, are below.
The SDGs represent the United Nations’ global priorities through the year 2030; they are the latest version of UN priorities. Here is a brief history, including a UNDP video of how the SDGs arose from earlier Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); and here is additional information from Wikipedia.
For more information on each SDG, you may consult the following:
- The one-page overviews below offer a quick summary. For fuller information, go to the SDG page, then click on any goal icon for a detail page.
- Each SDG detail page has a “Targets and Indicators” tab, showing how the goal is measured. Our World in Data maintains a nice graphical summary of these targets and indicators.
- Here are quick, one-page overviews produced by the UN in 2020; or, all seventeen are available as a downloadable file.
- No poverty
- Zero hunger
- Good health and well-being
- Quality education
- Gender equality
- Clean water and sanitation
- Affordable and clean energy
- Decent work and economic growth
- Industry, innovation and infrastructure
- Reduced inequality
- Sustainable cities and communities
- Responsible consumption and production
- Climate action
- Life below water
- Life on land
- Peace, justice and strong institutions
- Partnerships for the Goals
SDG Mosaic card game
One way to learn about the SDGs, while meeting fellow EcoTypes participants, is to play an SDG Mosaic card game. You can do this before taking the EcoTypes survey, to inform your selection of global priorities in the survey, and to ground your understanding of EcoTypes in a tangible way. Or, you can do so after completing the EcoTypes survey as well.
In SDG Mosaic, participants work in teams, in person or on Zoom, to assemble a mosaic of SDG cards (and, optionally, EcoTypes personae cards), by placing similar cards next to each other. The game is concluded when your team has played all cards and assembled their mosaic; many are possible! For fuller details, see below.
1. Prepare for the game
It’s necessary to prepare for SDG Mosaic, but preparation is relatively easy and can be distributed among team members. Make sure to do this first!
Divide into teams of roughly 4-6 players. Assign each player 2-4 SDGs to study in advance, using the above resources. You may assign the SDGs randomly, or have players choose SDGs they are interested in. Make sure each SDG is assigned to one player!
If you wish to include EcoTypes personae in your card game, assign each player 1-2 personae to study in advance. You may wish to imagine each persona above and beyond the brief summary provided. (This option may make the most sense to participants after completing the survey.)
If you are playing the SDG game remotely, your teams will form groups, including one team from each location. Go ahead and divvy up preparation as above; this will mean that multiple players in your multi-team group have prepared a particular SDG or persona.
2. Make your card deck
You can readily make the SDG Mosaic card deck yourself and freely use (but not sell or otherwise market) it. Even if you are playing remotely on Zoom, you’ll need a card deck!
SDG Mosaic includes 24 cards: the first 16 SDGs [#17 is a general SDG], and each of the eight personae, which include Place, Knowledge, and Action attractors for each persona as a reminder. You can download this PDF of the cards and print them yourself on two pages, then cut them into 2.5″ square cards. Images of actual cards are below.
3. Assemble team members
The teams assigned in step 1 above will then meet to play SDG Mosaic.
If in person you’ll have one deck of cards in the middle of your team. If remote, you may wish to have one team of 4-6 participants in each location, each with their own deck of cards. Keep the decks synchronized across locations by screensharing!
An in-person classroom would thus include multiple teams of roughly 4-6 each. For remote play, you may wish to use a feature such as Zoom breakout rooms for each group of teams.
Assign a moderator for each team (or each group of teams, if playing remotely). The moderator ensures that all procedures are followed, and that all interactions are respectful.
4. Play the game!
There are two options for SDG Mosaic: with or without the personae cards. EcoTypes personae are perhaps best understood after participants have completed the survey, but it’s up to you. Here is a quick one-page handout of the simple game (without personae cards).
Start by shuffling the 16 SDG cards. If including personae, shuffle the eight personae cards separately. Put each in their own stack, face down, in the middle of your team.
The moderator then reveals the topmost SDG card. The person who prepared that SDG in step 1 briefly introduces themself and offers a one-minute, informational overview of the SDG, including interesting details. They then place the card face up in the middle of their team, and reveal the next SDG card.
The above step is then repeated, with the exception that each subsequent person will engage fellow team members in deciding where to place the SDG card. If the card has something in common with another face-up card, they can place it along the top, bottom, or sides; if not, they will place it separately.
If the team is including the eight personae cards, play one after every other SDG card (since there are 16 SDG cards but only eight personae cards). To do this, after placing your SDG card, turn over the topmost personae card, then the person who prepared that persona in step 1 will offer their overview, decide with the team where to place it, then reveal the next SDG card so that play continues.
Here is a sample of six SDG cards, with three separate (for now) components to the mosaic, based on similarities the team observes between SDGs #14-15, #1-8, and #7-13. (These similarities derive from summaries each team member has provided on their SDG card.) For now, the mosaic suggests that these three sets of SDGs are different from each other in important ways, and thus cannot be joined. Remember, difference is important in EcoTypes! Try not to join cards without the team agreeing on a good reason.
As more SDG cards are revealed, your mosaic will change, in many possible ways. In this image, nine SDG cards have been played so far, and the team has collectively decided to change their mosaic, given three new cards. First, the team feels that SDG #12 has important similarities with both SDGs #14-15 (since consumption and production may affect terrestrial/aquatic habitats), and SDGs #1-8 (since consumption/production are in part economic decisions), so these previously separate pairs are now joined in the mosaic. Second, two new cards, SDG #4 and #5, were agreed to have sufficient commonalities with their adjoining SDG cards (since gender equality is arguably closely connected to eradication of poverty; and quality education can support decent work and economic growth), and with each other. Cards #7-13, however, have not yet been connected at this stage in the team’s mosaic; it is possible they will be connected later, or remain disconnected.
If your team is including the eight personae cards in SDG Mosaic, each of course supports the SDG noted in their summary, but your preparation may have suggested that they potentially support other SDGs as well—possibly related to their Place, Knowledge, and/or Action theme attractors. In this image, four personae cards have been played so far, together with the nine SDG cards above: Kabir has been connected to SDG #7 as given in their summary; Latisha has been connected not only to SDG #15 as given in her summary, but SDG #12 given her commitment to small Action; Morgan has helped connect the two unconnected SDG cards in the above image given their commitment to SDG #13 as in the summary, and also to SDG #5 given their gender identity and commitment to big Action; and Mustafa has been placed below SDG #8 given his commitment to business.
5. Final steps and discussion
When all SDG cards (and, if included, all personae cards) have been played, your game is complete! But you’ll get much more out of the game if you reflect a bit on what you learned. Here are some questions to consider, discuss, and/or write about.
What sort of mosaic have you created? What are the significant connections (and disconnections) it reveals? Which SDGs (and, if included, personae) are near or distant to each other, and what does this say to you?
Remember, an important EcoTypes theme to consider is that many care, just differently. What observations do you now have about this theme, given your SDG mosaic?
If you have completed the EcoTypes survey: where do you fit in your SDG mosaic? Where do other members of your team fit? What might this say about many care, just differently in the context of your actual team members, not just the personae?
Please take a photo of your mosaic to share with others by uploading (feel free to share your thoughts on the game as well!); we will soon assemble a gallery here. If you are playing in person, walk around your classroom to see the other mosaics teams have assembled; if you are playing online, each team group can screenshare their mosaic. How do others compare with yours? What insights follow as you compare team mosaics?