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Learn About the World's Largest Problems

Learning Objectives

  • Identify the biggest problems faced by the people in the world today.
  • Explain who the United Nations are.
  • Understand the purpose of the United Nations.
  • Explain what Sustainable Development is.

Solving the World’s Largest Problems

Imagine that you’re president of the world and can make the world a better place. What problems do you want to solve?

Cartoon of Earth surrounded by a wheel of colours representing the sustainable development goals.

There s a vast array of issues facing the world, including poverty, pollution, poor health and disease, corruption, and injustice—to name a few. It can be overwhelming just thinking about all those problems. Luckily, there s an organization of people devoted to solving the world s largest problems.

What Is the United Nations?

logo of the United Nations - a map of the world representing an azimuthal equidistant projection centred on the North Pole, inscribed in a wreath consisting of crossed conventionalized branches of the olive tree, in gold on a field of smoke-blue with all water areas in white. The projection of the map extends to 60 degrees south latitude, and includes five concentric circles

The United Nations, or the UN as it s commonly known, was established in the aftermath of World War II to help stabilize international relations and give post-war peace a more secure foundation.

The primary aims of the UN are to secure international peace, eliminate poverty, and protect human rights.

The UN and its family of programmes, funds and agencies are engaged in vast web of work intended to improve the lives of people around the world.

The work of the UN is vital because the challenges facing the world today—from climate change to infectious diseases—are not localized. They require international action. The UN provides a unique and vital platform for generating the global solutions needed to address these global problems.

The UN is not a “world government.” Its activities are governed by its member states, and are the result of (often complex) political negotiations.

Wide view of the UN General Assembly Hall with a session in progress

From its headquarters in New York City to its local offices around the world, the UN tackles all these large issues and works to improve the lives of people everywhere.

What Is Sustainable Development?

Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Sustainable development requires simultaneous and balanced progress in three interdependent dimensions.

Diagram to illustrate sustainability, 3 circles intersecting, the top circle is labelled environment, the left circle is labelled society, the right circle is labelled economy, the word sustainability appears in the intersection.

For example, a farm that pays workers fairly (economy) and supports a local community school (society) but produces large amounts of greenhouse gases in its farming process is not sustainable because it contributes to climate change (environment), which undermines the other two elements in the long term.

Check out this fantastic animation created by UNICEF Norway that explains what sustainable development is.

The Environment Is a Key Stakeholder

At Salesforce, we consider the environment to be one of our key stakeholders. And we re committed to harnessing our culture of innovation to improve the state of the world. We use the power of our people and our products to reduce the impact that we and our customers have on the planet. Together we can create a more sustainable future.

“The planet needs immediate action, our customers expect us to take a leadership role, and we’re proud to provide them a carbon neutral cloud. Committing to work toward 100% renewable energy is an important step on our ongoing sustainability journey,” says Patrick Flynn, our senior director of sustainability.

We believe that the business of business is to improve the state of the world. We work to make sure Salesforce is a platform for change through serving the interests of all our stakeholders—employees, customers, partners, communities, and the environment. We’re working to play a meaningful role in creating a sustainable, low-carbon future by:

  • Working toward 100% renewable energy for our global operations
  • Continuing to deliver our customers a carbon neutral cloud, and operate as a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions company
  • Pursuing green building certification and other innovative green office initiatives
  • Using our people, technology, and resources to help environmental causes around the world

When it comes to protecting our planet and combatting climate change, we know that companies have a key role to play. We aspire to never settle for the status quo. At every turn, we look to innovate, taking bold action and paving the way for others to join us. Together we can create a more sustainable future.

Learn more about how Salesforce approaches Sustainability here.