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While ASEAN leads other subregions in quality education (SDG 4), affordable and clean energy (SDG 7) and industry, innovation and infrastructure (SDG 9), many targets within these goals will not be achieved if the pace of development is not accelerated, notably for renewable energy (7.2).

ASEAN has moved backwards on decent work and economic growth (SDG 8), climate action (SDG 13), and peace, justice and strong institutions (SDG 16), and areas requiring immediate action to reverse trends including a number of other social and environmental indicators.

However, the lack of reliable data is a big challenge in judging each region’s progress accurately as there are data gaps in two thirds of the global SDG indicators. Nearly one-quarter of all SDG targets lack evidence related to the environment, forcing regions to make greater use of alternative data sources to complement traditional sources such as surveys and to paint a more accurate picture of progress towards the SDGs.

The findings from the report are hardly surprising.

In its SDG Index and Dashboards Report 2018 released last July, German NGO Bertelsmann Stiftung and the UN’s Sustainable Development Solutions Network said that for the first time, they were able to show that no country is on track to achieve all the SDG goals by 2030.

Even the top three countries in the index – Sweden, Denmark, and Finland – still have considerable work to do in order to achieve goals such as sustainable consumption and production (SDG 12) and climate action (SDG 13).

UN Secretary-General António Guterres used his “State of the World” address in January to focus on climate change as one of the key challenges facing the world, insisting that “we are losing the race” to manage it.

“Climate change is running faster than we are,” he said, highlighting that even though the reality was “proving to be worse than what science has foreseen” as the world experiences ever-warmer temperatures, political will to do something about it was “slowing down”.

When does networking happen?

Word-of-mouth marketing is happening no matter what. People are always talking about other people. Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon*, says, “A brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room”. I would add: “That is how networking happens”. It is the coffee chat, the water-cooler conversation. Here’s how one such goes:

Person A: “How’s that project going?”
Person B: “Not too bad, but Jim has dropped out, so we’ve come to a grinding halt!”
Person A: “Have you found a replacement yet?”
Person B: “No, we’re struggling to find someone we can trust and who has the right skills.”
Person A: “I know just the right person…”

The act of turning up, engaging with people, leaving a great impression and staying in touch will give you those future business opportunities. And if you don’t build those relationships, someone else will.

Popular networking misconceptions

There are some common misconceptions about networking that can inhibit both individuals and businesses.

  • Many junior staff think networking is only for senior employees, sales people and the gifted few. So if you have a team that need to be networking, be aware that this might be a challenge for them.
  • Most people see attending events or playing golf as the only way to network. Get creative with how you meet up with people.
  • Many companies think the more people they send out everyone to network, the better. Sending out an unwilling person can do serious damage to your brand and business.
  • Most people think networking is just another word for selling. So very, very wrong. It should lead you to a sale, but the only thing you have to sell in the first instance is YOU.
  • Many people think you have to be gregarious and “in your face” to network. So long as you engage fully with the other person, then any personality type can be successful at networking. It’s all about the rapport and connection.
  • Many people think you have to be out every night. I use many ways to deepen key relationships, such as over the phone and via social media as well as face to face meetings.
  • Many people are not convinced it works. If it’s not working for you, you might be doing it wrong.


Now with the right mindset, a strategy and by getting out there and engaging, you can make it happen.

This article was first published in Marketing Donut.
Photo by Ambrose Chua on Unsplash.

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The Power of Networking

29 May 2019