Sustainability challenge and related SDGs:
Education is a key element of sustainable development. The handing down of knowledge, skills and experiences from generation to generation, enables us to make informed decisions. Passing on knowledge enables learners to make informed decisions. In turn, they add their own experiences and then pass what they have learned to the next generation. Therefore, it is important that students have access to appropriate resources.
Globally, there is a shortage of appropriate textbooks at all levels of education, but especially in elementary school. In a number of countries, four or more students share one textbook. This means that students have to spend more time copying, or are unable to read texts independently in the first place. The time lost in elementary school has consequences in all other grades.
However, #KnowledgeDistribution goes beyond textbooks. It also includes magazines and non-fiction books, for example on popular hobbies. It also includes documentaries and news. Also very important is, #KnowledgeDistribution in science. Scientific journals allow researchers to quickly share their latest findings with a wide audience, so that everybody can benefit from new discoveries or methods.
While social media today allows for easy sharing of knowledge, it unfortunately also allows for the spread of wrong information or deliberate falsifications (i.e., fake news). It is therefore important that publishers subject information to quality control before dissemination. To achieve SDG 4 "Quality education," we need companies to engage in #KnowledgeDistribution.
Possible solutions and their contribution to achieving the SDGs
In education, #KnowledgeDistribution occupies a crucial place.
For example, SDG target 4.1 is about ensuring that primary and secondary schools deliver effective learning outcomes. Accordingly, companies that provide digital or physical educational materials and services are critical to achieving this goal.
Another fundamental goal of quality education is to achieve sufficient literacy and numeracy for all (SDG target 4.6) This requires appropriate reading materials that cater to learners at all levels.
SDG target 4.4 focuses on ensuring that trainees have the relevant skills to fill decent jobs. In specialized occupations, it is particularly important to build on existing knowledge, and in turn, pass it on to younger learners. Textbooks, as well as specialized journals, are crucial here.
Finally, SDG target 4.7 aims at education for sustainable development. All learners should be able to understand and promote sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, and more. This can only be achieved if all forms of #KnowledgeDistribution, from the media to books and educational materials, pursue these common goals.
Primarily related SDG Targets: 4.1, 4.4, 4.6, 4.7
Investment Rationale and Growth Potential
In the end, we all strive for universal, high-quality education. Because we can only fulfill our potential with the best possible education. While the content or the way we learn changes over time, we will always have the desire to share knowledge. This desire has been recognized by publishers as a business opportunity. They will adapt to new learning methods, new technologies and new content. But as long as there are people, there will be #KnowledgeDistribution.