Education is a fundamental human right however millions of children around the world are denied this right. One out of every five children and youth are out of school and 1 in 4 young people in low-income economies is illiterate implying that they lack the necessary skills to better their living conditions and break the vicious cycle of poverty. Access to education is critical to long term improvements in productivity, demographic transition, preventive health care, the empowerment of women, reductions in inequality and thus sustainable development. In addition to lack of funding at the national level, high cost related to education, lack of skilled teachers, inadequate classroom facilities, exclusion based on gender and disability are some of the factors that limit access to education.
According to Global Partnership for Education, only 20% of aid for education goes to low- income countries but it costs an average of $1.25 a day per child in developing countries to provide 13 years of education. There is currently a $39 billion gap to providing quality education to all children by 2030. For just 15 cents a day per child, the international community can help bridge the financing gap. And, at FSI we are here to work with the global community to leverage opportunities for synergies and work together with governments and policy-makers to make access to education a reality.
As education plays a vital role in molding a nation’s future, we at FSI want to ensure inclusive and quality education for all. We aspire to promote lifelong learning opportunities for everyone irrespective of social status. Education, both formal and informal is vital for promoting sustainable development and we want to be part of that by recognizing best and innovative approaches in this field.
An environment is a sole factor for the existence of life on Earth. The impact that human activities have on environment around us is undeniable. The rapid depletion of our critical natural resources due to overuse resulting in loss of biodiversity and climate change are unprecedented environmental challenges of our time. In the past decade we have witnessed surge in natural disasters across regions and extreme loss of life in natural environment, with 27,000 species are threatened with extinction in 2019 alone. To address these challenges, we need to modify our current consumption model and device a coordinated, comprehensive and timely response.
Most of the countries and governments have now come together to save the planet by conserving the natural resources, repairing the damages to reverse the trend. According to the World Bank the developed countries of the world make up about 18% of world population, yet use about 88% of the world’s resources and produce about 75% of world’s waste and pollution. Most of this waste ends up in landfills generating enormous amounts of methane. With forest fires, deforestation and huge amount of timber being harvested for commercial use, our forests are decreasing at an alarming rate.
We at FSI support various initiatives suggested by the government and implemented a few at our own offices. Our volunteers are also active participants of initiatives organized by World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Our Energy and Environment research yields a lot of valuable details on Water & Waste Water Treatment, Waste Management, and Energy Management which can be used by governments, NGOs to focus on the grey areas that require attention and develop a plan of action. Our Industry experts can also provide additional support by working on research & analysis with the governments, NGOs or other institutes and share our suggestions on how we can preserve & protect the planet.
Along with economic prosperity, the transformational force of globalization and technological advancement have given rise to income inequality in developed as well as emerging markets. Reducing extreme economic inequality and mitigating its polarizing effect is likely to be one of the greatest global challenges in our time. But economic gaps have continued to grow as the very richest amass unprecedented levels of wealth. The world’s richest 1 percent, own 45 percent of the world’s wealth. The United States is by far the most top-heavy, with much greater shares of national wealth and income going to the richest 1 percent than any other country. The world’s wealthiest individuals, those owning over $100,000 in assets, total less than 10 percent of the global population but own 84 percent of global wealth.
Economic disruptions and the widening of inequality over the past several decades have affected large segments of the population across the globe. Reducing inequality requires transformative change. Both old and new measures and interventions may be needed to counter disparities and strengthen inclusive growth. Greater efforts need to be exerted for social protection and creation of decent jobs especially for young people, migrants and other vulnerable communities. As each country has a different situation than other, consensus-building around this issue is vital at the national level among policy makers, business leaders, and citizens. We can ensure equal opportunity and reduce inequalities of income if we eliminate discriminatory laws, policies and practices.
Our extensive work with governments and policy makers around the world gives us an in-depth understanding on economic inequality and adept in working with various partners to address factors driving the inequality crisis.
Half of the world’s population still lacks access to essential health services and increasing number of households are pushed into extreme poverty each year because of the financial distress due to rising healthcare costs. Never before has there been greater need for commitment to improve access to healthcare services—without facing financial hardships—as there is right now. From natural disasters linked to climate change to health impacts of environmental pollution, the world is facing immense health challenges. Providing affordable care to all is not just right but also the smart thing to do; it is ensuring the well-being of a country’s human capital so that they can aspire to reach their highest potential and drive sustainable economic growth and development. It is no wonder then that reaching health related targets are essential to achieving some of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Whether is it lack of proper national healthcare infrastructure or poor quality of existing health services, the outcome is lack of access to essential healthcare services. As nations commit to achieving universal health coverage by 2030, it will require concerted efforts from the government, international partners, and private sectors to strengthen the health systems and become more adept at involving multiple stakeholders to finance the system and provide necessary health workforce.
With our intensive research on healthcare industry and knowledge about the latest in science and technology, we know of innovative approaches being developed for better health services delivery. At FSI our aim is to acknowledge and showcase the innovative approaches and efforts across the board in the healthcare industry.
Despite the widespread acceptance among governments and private sectors on the importance of infrastructure on continued economic progress, the inadequate provision of critical infrastructure services is emerging as one of the most significant risks to development. Existing physical and digital infrastructures are under stress from population growth and face challenges from extreme weather and climate change. In a scenario where infrastructure is underdeveloped to meet current needs, communities most vulnerable to climate change face an even greater threat.
As we strive to achieve the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals of universal provision of clean water, sanitation and electricity in emerging markets, as well as upgrade the infrastructure in the developed markets, the level of required investment is expected to double or treble over the next decade. The global infrastructure required by 2040 is estimated at around US$ 97 trillion. However, following current spending trend, the actual investment by 2040 is estimated at $79 trillion, indicating a shortfall in infrastructure investment. In the current circumstances, with the right information on the when and where of infrastructure needs in the future, this gap can be addressed.
With over 5 decades of work on this sector, FSI can fill this knowledge gap and help governments and businesses plan and execute infrastructure projects based on research over time and across geographies. In addition to funding and supporting critical infrastructures around the globe, we will leverage our multi-sectoral knowledge to identify priority projects and innovative financing approaches to be a catalyst of change.
As the world around is evolving and becoming increasingly complex and interconnected, the nature of threat to global security is also transforming. The recent rise in protectionism along with nationalism, intensified geopolitical competitions and resurgence of regional conflicts all pose serious challenges to global security. Over the years, the threat of environmental risks aggravated by climate change has been a rising concern for global security. Similarly, in a world of interconnected systems, cyber security has been cited as number one threat to global economy. Furthermore, the nature of conflict and warfare is changing, conflicts are no longer limited to conventional weapons and battles. While the world has become remarkably adept at understanding how to mitigate conventional risks, we still struggle when it comes to dealing with complex risks that underpin our world. A trend towards nation-state unilateralism may make it more difficult to sustain the long-term, multilateral responses that are required to counter these cross border issues.
Countries need to work together to tackle challenges that extend beyond their own borders. Cooperative efforts are also essential for enhancing cybersecurity, tackling corruption, and mitigating and coping with climate change.
At FSI, we offer a global community so that you can network and collaborate across sectors and regions. We recognize deserving governments, businesses, individuals or organizations that have adopted an innovative approach to addressing international security challenges.