The Sustainable Development Goals: The Missing Dimension
In Geneva this April, The Relational Thinking Network hosted its first Round Table Dialogue , focusing on the “missing dimension” in Social Development Goals. You can download Dr. Michael Schluter’s paper below. A report will follow soon on the conference itself.

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About relationships generally

“Our Gross National Product, now, is over $800 billion dollars a year, but that Gross National Product… counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for the people who break them. It counts the destruction of the redwood and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl. It counts napalm and counts nuclear warheads and armored cars for the police to fight the riots in our cities. It counts Whitman’s rifle and Speck’s knife. And the television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children.

“Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country, it measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.”

Robert Kennedy, speaking at the University of Kansas March 18th 1968


 “Each of us is defined, and enriched, by our relationships to others.  It's the strength of our relationships, the warmth of our friendships, the time we have with our partners, parents and children, the respect we're given in the workplace and by our peers, the achievements we forge collaboratively and collectively, which generate real happiness and fulfilment."  

Michael Gove, Member of UK Parliament 


“Everything seems to conspire these days against distant goals, life-long projects, lasting commitments, eternal alliances, immutable identities… One cannot build the future around partnership or the family either: in the age of ‘confluent love’, togetherness lasts no longer than the satisfaction of one of the partners, commitment is from the start ‘until further notice’, and today’s intense attachment may only intensify tomorrow’s frustrations.”

Zygmunt Bauman


“… I realise how much my own thinking has changed since it became almost second nature to approach a subject from a relational perspective. The disappointment is to realise how little understanding government has of relationships – within itself, with public servants, with the electorate (not the same thing as the popular press), even with its own supporters in Parliament. Nor does it seem to have much understanding of professional or institutional relationships…”
David Faulkner, retired UK senior civil servant