Tom Rippin and Oliver Matikainen: Are the SDGs a dangerous distraction? | Benjamin Freud, Ph.D.

February 17, 2023

In this episode, I speak with Tom Rippin and Oliver Matikainen. I came across their article Are the SDGs a dangerous distraction? a few of weeks ago. It asks “Are we addicted to quick-fix painkillers – and still failing to address the underlying causes of our ailing economy?” In this conversation, we explore whether the worldview that created the SDGs is born from the same paradigm that created today’s major problems. Tom is the CEO of On Purpose, an award-winning social enterprise developing purpose-driven leaders and a Trustee at Global Action Plan. Oliver is an Associate at On Purpose and has a rich background in sustainability development. We discuss:

🥥 How development as a linear, one size-fits-all path doesn’t open up to different ways of becoming;

🥥 How the SDGs isolate problems in ways that don’t recognize the interconnected whole;

🥥 How there is no unradical future: either we respond radically to create conditions for thriving or we don’t and we risk facing radical futures that aren’t so pleasant.

Here is the link to Tom and Oliver’s Article in Pioneers Post.

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Benjamin Freud, Ph.D.

Benjamin Freud, Ph.D. is the co-founder of Coconut Thinking, which creates learning and action experiences where all learners have a common purpose; positive impact on the welfare of the bio-collective — any living thing, sentient or plant, that has an interest in the healthfulness of the planet. Benjamin also works as the Whole School Leader of Learning and Teaching at an International School in Thailand. He was the Academic Coordinator at Misk Schools, which, as the school of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is the most prestigious and high profile school in the kingdom. In 2018-2019, he was also the Head of Upper Primary and Middle School at Misk. Prior to this, he was Vice Principal of the Middle School and High School at the Harbour School in Hong Kong. He holds a Ph.D. in History, an MSc in Education, an MBA, an MA in International Relations, and a BA in International Affairs. Benjamin was born and grew up in Paris, France. He moved to the U.S. when he was 15 and spent 11 years there in different cities, before living in the U.K., Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, and now Thailand. He started his career in consulting for Internet start-ups in Silicon Valley in the late 1990s, working with people whose ambitions were no less than to change the world. This experience had a profound effect on Benjamin’s outlook on education, innovation, and entrepreneurialism.

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