One of the most challenging aspects of participating in United Nations efforts is the sheer expanse of global issues and the complex intertwining of one with another. Governments working together on international migration, for example, encounter migration-related issues of human trafficking, women and children, climate change, armed conflict, and extreme poverty, not to mention financing concerns.
Addressing global challenges on a long-term basis takes concerted effort to collaborate, persevere, strategize, and compromise, but in my experience, the most valuable feature needed by governments, NGOs, and the private sector is creative dreaming, thinking outside the box. The following story illustrates this quality very well:
“We went to breakfast at a restaurant where the ‘senior special’ was two eggs, bacon, hash browns and toast for $2.99.
‘Sounds good,’ my wife said. ‘But I don’t want the eggs.’
‘Then I’ll have to charge you $3.49 because you’re ordering a la carte,’ the waitress warned her.
‘You mean I’d have to pay for not taking the eggs?’ my wife asked incredulously.
‘Yes!’ stated the waitress.
‘I’ll take the special then,’ my wife said.
‘How do you want your eggs?’ the waitress asked.
‘Raw and in the shell,’ my wife replied.
She took the two eggs home and baked a cake.”
This wonderful story highlights what one can accomplish with imagination. And creativity and innovation are what it takes to deal with critical issues on a global scale, which the UN does on a daily basis.