[Matrix-Q SDG Skills] “Before the enlightenment carry water; along the learning process towards enlightenment, carry water; and after the enlightenment, carry water: The SDGs Global Sustainable Development Goals Learning Curve & Engagement Rate Predicted for the next 12 years before 2030 “

Matrix-Q SDG Skills Carry Water.001
Matrix-Q SDG Skills Carry Water
"Before the enlightenment carry water; along the learning process towards enlightenment, carry water; and after the enlightenment, carry water" - LDMF. Matrix-Q SDG Hub www.sdg.luisdanielmaldonadoofnken.info
“Before the enlightenment carry water; along the learning process towards enlightenment, carry water; and after the enlightenment, carry water” – LDMF. Matrix-Q SDG Hub www.sdg.luisdanielmaldonadoofnken.info


TITLE: “Before the enlightenment carry water; along the learning process towards enlightenment, carry water; and after the enlightenment, carry water: The SDGs Global Sustainable Development Goals Learning Curve & Engagement Rate Predicted for the next 12 years before 2030 ”

  • DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.25449.34401
Luis Daniel Maldonado Fonken
Luis Daniel Maldonado Fonken

AUTHOR: Luis Daniel Maldonado Fonken, CEO, R&D Lead , The Matrix-Q Research Institute, A non profit organization dedicated to research, innovation, education and sustainable development. www.luisdanielmaldonadofonken.info [See below Urls SDG Projects & 4 Initiatives at the Dutch SDG Charter]

KEY WORDS: Sustainable development, SDG, education, globalization, 2030, skills, knowledge,  leadership, entrepreneurship, innovation


The author utilizes a metaphor to communicate a message on the need of adjustments in the education system, market, community/city management and corporate learning programs, that will enable time and resources, for a learning curve necessary for the engagement of children, to adults, on the achievement of the 17 global sustainable development goals, suggested by the united nations, for 2030.

Ancient cultures and civilizations education and values and social responsibility was in the hands of philosophers, artists and spiritual leaders or religion. The acquisition of knowledge, was considered as of a great value: “The Enlightenment” meant as well the achievement of skills and the capacity to cope with reality, based on a humanist foundation and knowledge about the nature of things. The statement: “Before the enlightenment carry water, after the enlightenment carry water” was utilized to inform individuals aiming for total acquisition of knowledge that even after acquiring complete knowledge they will need to engage into worldly actions necessary for living.

The author suggests that while understanding on the facts and research documents on SDG is necessary for a responsible decision making and well informed engagement into SDG Actions, or changes in life style, business, profession or daily life; the learning curve necessary may be too long, as for leaders or citizens, families and children in general; that it is not recommended to wait that long for acquiring knowledge before assessment and choice, instead suggested to engage into action, as for action enables a process of learning, which is quicker and more effective.

Volunteer, internship and participation in SDG Projects, contribution through engagement, action, may provide a more effective learning curve and experienced citizens able to make more responsible choices.

In that sense the author suggest to change the statement above into:  “Before the enlightenment carry water; along the learning process towards enlightenment, carry water; and after the enlightenment, carry water”; signing that our times have changed, we have no much time to learn by isolating ourselves from the world of action.

The author will as well point out on challenges employers experience when receiving young new employees with little experience of the reality of entrepreneurship or work, solving real challenges through multidisciplinary collaboration; and the engagement necessary for ownership of opportunities.

COPYRIGHT by the Stichting Luis Daniel Maldonado Fonken, all rights reserved

Matrix-Q SDG Skills Carry Water.001
Matrix-Q SDG Skills “Carry Water”






SDG Skills : Carry Water

SDG2030 is a call, a call for change.

But what does this change mean?

The understanding on why the SDG Global Sustainable Development Goals are necessary, for every country, nation, region around the planet, but in principle, of the SDGs meaning for the human species.

Through the process of achievement of the SDG2030, globally, we, as human species, planetary collective, will evolve.

How much we will evolve, we do not know, but some steps, necessary for human advancement will be taken. [ Human Evolution – Matrix-Q Time Line ]

Matrix-Q Time Line of the Human Species Evolution [Skills Based]
Matrix-Q Time Line of the Human Species Evolution [Skills Based]

The ability of learning and evolving as communities and cultures involves ownership of values, and capacity of acting accordingly is probably one of the most important skills we do need at the moment: Humanist Values and SDG, Sustainable Living values and SDG, Progress and Wealth generation values and SDG, Heritage care & legacy values and SDG, Family values and SDG, Community & leadership Values and SDG; and so on.

This brief message, article, in a bottle of water, is about values, cultures and nations.

Every culture has in its past or present, and will have in its own future, a given set of values, behavior, decision making guidelines, guidelines for assessment of value, that evolve in time. [See SDG 2030 the CGE Culture Generation Engine for the Global Village]
Philosophy, Ethics, Spirituality, Belief & Religion have found a place and role in all cultures of the world, mostly into the process of social communication and education, awareness rising, learning and integration of those values, into the cultural practices and customs.

As a multi-colour global village, rich in spiritual and cultural messages, there is so much work done and resources invested into values and social responsibility skills.

Ancient civilizations and cultures did show sign of evolved social practices, while also their communities evolved under the guidance of spiritual leaders, artists, scientists or philosophers.

One of the favorite messages of sages and spiritual leaders, is that of the aim of the spiritual practice or the idea of achieving qualities and skills of an advanced human, a saint, a holy man or an enlightened one. The traits, skills, capacities, behavior that signs a holy man or women vary from time to time, culture to culture, and the documentation of them is vast in numbers and pages, that experts into the acquisition of knowledge and the signs of it did write about.

There are many words used, and skills or qualities, that describe what means to be an advanced human being capable to care not only for himself but for humanity in general into every day life. I will refer to that achievement as an individual with the word “enlightenment” and i mean : “acquisition of knowledge, skills, tools, technology and the ability to cope with reality, engaging into action and interaction with the world as we know it”.


What did ancient cultures and civilizations mean with the achievement of enlightenment?
. Insight or awakening to the true nature of reality
. Acquisition of knowledge and skills
. The emphasis on feeling, on intuitive insight, on a true essence beyond the world of appearances
. Awakening
. Understanding
How individuals or particular cultures achieve enlightenment, acquire knowledge is a matter of religions and spiritual leaders to care for.

The understanding of reality is also the aim of science and the original role given to technology when helpful for these matters. Natural mechanical science and social science, as well as human science like medicine and political science, and education. what is nature, what is human, and how is the process of interaction between one and another.


When we face the challenge of achieving the 17 sustainable development goals, SDG2030, and the human values they represent, we realize the need of acquiring knowledge, information, skills, technology and tools that would be innovative and effective enough for us to achieve the goals for 2030.

Sometimes a scientific discovery can help us solve a problem in 1% of the time the current knowledge and technology available will help us do.

If that is the case, then innovation is of a great added value for SDG2030 projects and organizations.

One of the main challenges faced by SDG2030 is not only the time frame in which goals need to be achieved, but the fact that the collaboration from leaders and citizens in the whole system is required.

For individuals to make the choice of investing resources, time, attention, into SDG2030, a learning curve is necessary. Awareness, awakening, understanding on the reality of our planet, its resources, of the cultures, people, nations living on earth, on events taking place challenging us: like climate change; on approaches that need to change in order to facilitate effective changes, like for example gender equality and women empowerment, education, wealth generation; or challenges for which we need to be ready and to prevent by implementing changes today, as for example: sustainable cities and communities, smart cities. L

eaders and citizens need of understanding and awareness on the chances and possibilities we have to overcome the problems we need to face. Humanity needs to achieve a state of natural owned insight or awakening to the true nature of the reality of the planet and human species, and the emerging global culture and civilization living on it.
I would like to create a bridge, through a metaphor, between SDG2030 knowledge and the concept of enlightenment as the process of achieving understanding, of awakening, of becoming aware, by acquiring the necessary knowledge, on the reality of the sustainability challenges to be faced; and the opportunities and possibilities each individuals has to contribute and collaborate with the process of achieving the goals.



Today is 28th October 2018, 8:00 AM Amsterdam Time Zone.

The year 2030 will meet us in about 12 years.

If you review the 17 Goals, the targets, the achievements necessary, there is actually little time available.

What can we do then ? Instruction, information, the process necessary to facilitate awareness, acquisition of knowledge and skills, on the reality of the situation and its impact for future generation and the level of systemic and collective action, achievement, necessary in order to meet the goals target would eventually take too long.

We can not wait that long for the readers of this brief article to learn, to become enlightened with the knowledge of the reality that SDG2030 is communicating to us, globally.

But we do not prefer neither to enforce or manipulate people to act, engage, make choices that will change their life, and the life and future of their families and communities.

As SDG Entrepreneurs we are aware and grateful for the interest of communities, leaders and organizations, stakeholders, to listen to our proposals and projects and evaluate them and make the necessary choices according to the best of their knowledge.

As well our resources are limited, as SDG Entrepreneurs we would like to contribute but we need to stand financially the expenses and costs generated by the learning curve process of our beneficiaries and stake holders: their acquisition of knowledge, their achievement of a state of Insight or awakening to the true nature of the reality being faced and the purpose of SDG2030 and the role they are invited to take.
I personally think that there is already wonderful sets of information and documentation available online at the UN site for SDG. http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/ or in the national or local charters, as the one in the Netherlands i am member of with 4 initiatives: https://gateway.sdgcharter.nl/user/4666/groups



SDG Education materials able to reach stakeholders, their team members and citizens, communities, children and youth, challenge the learner in the amount of time necessary to get properly informed for a choice.

Time is a rare commodity in our modern time. Video lessons of 30 seconds that communicate everything are more appreciated than resource documents with solid foundation and organized abundant information and facts.

While i do not believe it is necessary to have a profound knowledge on SDG goals, facts behind them, and solutions available, in order to decide to act.

Action can take place simultaneously to learning. And actually from the standing point of action, it always does. Not the same apply for intellectual learning or accumulation of information.

I trust the choice that need to be taken is to create time and space for both, action and learning, in our life (private life, family and community life) and in our companies and organizations (professional life, business, government).


“Before the enlightenment carry water, after the enlightenment, carry water”

About enlightenment there is this well known statement used to guide the apprentice through the process and help him/her/it manage expectations: “Before the enlightenment carry water, after the enlightenment, carry water”

A message that can be understood as “the world and the needs to be fulfilled will not change once you achieved enlightenment”.

In ancient times two pathways were made available for enlightenment, apprentices will take the path of a monk, isolation from the world in order to commit fully to the achievement of enlightenment, (even shared with a community of other seekers and apprentices, with daily duties or not) but with awareness of the fact that once enlightenment is achieved it also means the capacity and achievement of integrating the world as it is: “Before the enlightenment carry water, after the enlightenment, carry water”

The second path, was given to those apprentices that would look for acquiring the knowledge of reality and of themselves but “without leaving the known world”, and by developing the ability of “living in the world while achieving enlightenment”.

Which path people took was a matter of personal choices. The first path became popular as the individuals that achieved enlightenment were praised as sages and leaders, spiritual leaders of great wisdom; while many of them did not carry water again, after “their enlightenment”.

While the other ones became leaders in the world and their achievements and values, actions, talk for themselves. Not to mention that were considered as good people, wise leaders, and not at all as spiritual per se, at least not in all cases.

A conflict regarding which path is the most suitable for humanity has a time line of discussions among their representatives and mostly found peace in the fact that both sides do not walk among each other.

When to carry Water ?

My personal approach to this question of “when to carry water”? is that the learning curve does not take place into an isolated realm away of reality, of the human individual reality, the reality of human history and its destiny, the reality of our time, for example the one described by the SDG2030.

The learning curve takes place into reality.

But the time necessary for the learning curve, the achievement of enlightenment may take a whole life. 20, 40, 70 years or more. “the insight or awakening to the true nature of reality, the final acquisition of knowledge and skills, awakening, understanding” including that of SDG.

Awakened or enlightened people may have come “back to the world” quite advanced in age, with the achievement of knowledge acquisition, but maybe, in the case of monks, not with the achievement of the legacy of a family or children, blessed with the education and DNA legacy of their parents.

Family and community that evolves as much as its members, is able to generate change and innovate, with science and technology, governance, policy, and social changes, that advanced as their leaders and their members are.

So here i found a question that mostly makes me wonder: If the leaders of the future to come, that find themselves into the process of learning, acquiring of knowledge, skills, tools technology for enlightenment live isolated from the world, for so many years and do not build up the experience of the world, nor the bond with family and community, which enables them to transfer their knowledge and wisdom, how fast the communities would then evolve ?

On the contrary, if we seek and learn as for enlightenment, while doing daily life, how much we can learn and achieve ? and at which speed ?

This question may be today not relevant at all. As for SDG2030, in 12 more years would not matter at all. But 80 years ago was necessary, ye we did not ask this question.

SDG & Education

As an SDG Entrepreneur is can not avoid to experience, perceive, the modern international education system as similar as a monastery which provides knowledge and skills, tools and technology to its students, between 6 years old and 30 years old, 24 years high education, learning curve possible; for the achievement of wisdom and expertise, necessary to lead communities, organizations and nations in the world.

Longer the students learn in isolation, less their ability to respond to the “world challenges” according to the current needs and urgencies, as the students evolve and learn in a laboratory, in institutions, that are not providing to them “a direct experience of the world” they will need to decide on later on.

In other words, i see the need of a structural change in education towards a more “learning by doing, learning by playing, learning by facing challenges” approach, which will enable students acquire the necessary skills along a self-paced learning curve. (See Matrix-Q Skills). Otherwise, as we have experienced in the last 20 years, young employees need of years in order to learn and adjust their accumulated information and knowledge to the reality of business, entrepreneurship, professional challenges, and reality challenges, as for example the 17 global sustainable development goals suggested by the united nations, to be achieved as for 2030 year.
The statement: “Before the enlightenment carry water, after the enlightenment, carry water” needs to be changed into: “Before the enlightenment carry water; along the learning process towards enlightenment, carry water; and after the enlightenment, carry water”.

Matrix-Q Education & Ownership of Knowledge & Skills

The Matrix-Q Research Institute, a non profit organization dedicated to research, development, innovation, education and SDG, provides a unique “learning”environment which combines modern technology with reality challenges as SDG2030 and entrepreneurship.

The internship program helps young or senior potential employees acquired Matrix-Q Knowledge, Tools, Skills & Technology, and integrate it to their previous knowledge, while engaging into solving challenges of the real world. [Matrix-Q Education]
The acquisition of knowledge and skills for us, tools and technology, is in our times of a proportional value, and congruent, with that approach developed by ancient cultures and civilizations, in their philosophies, religions and spirituality; a foundation education in values and knowledge on the reality of life, nature, and human being, as necessary for leaders capable to care for their communities and the development of their cultures and nations.
In both paths, as described above, the path being taken by “leaving the world” (modern universities, education system, and ancient monasteries), and the path of “learning while living in the world”, a learning curve is necessary; for which at the current stage of development of our planet, global civilization and culture, we have not the time necessary, according to traditional practices.

In our modern times, we need children to be able to reduce waste and take healthy choices for consumption, nature care, equality, nutrition; as much as we need teen agers to become capable of organizing their time, developing the ability of focus, concentration for the completion of a process or tasks with self motivation, and engagement into community welfare, care for family and community; as we need younger students to be able utilize their creativity for solving key challenges and problems our modern world has.
We have gladly examples of young innovative people, inspired and motivated by their teachers and instructors, parents and mentors, to innovate and apply their knowledge, which have created solutions for key problems of our time., software and games programming For example waste collection in the ocean, or energy generators, or geolocation, and others for which advanced application of modern science and technology would be necessary.
The pioneers, as i may call them, have invested their own efforts, along a self-motivated learning curve, within a context not so used to those ‘advanced and early achievements”. But those cases are already example of what young people can do if receive support and the context is friendly and respectful towards their creativity and inspiration.

Creativity and smart solutions are not yet enlightenment, “the insight or awakening to the true nature of reality, the final acquisition of knowledge and skills, awakening, understanding” including that of SDG, means a longer learning curve and involvement.
Householders, parents, as well as children, neighborhoods as well as communities, employees associations and schools (teachers), as well as leaders in public and private sectors, need to complete a learning curve, so that that sooner than later become able to decision making and engagement.

Volunteers for SDG Projects at the Matrix-Q Research Institute are requested after training to engage no less than 3 hours per month. well organized 3 hours is not detrimental of any business, or professional, or community or family activity or goal. 9 hours per month would be of greater impact. Between 3 and 27 hours of variable individual engagement, a team of at least 3 team members may complete achievements.

There is enough time if we utilize it wisely

In reality, time is not the challenge, but choice. The answer to the question: What do we do with our time? is more important every day, when we see we have 12 years only to achieve a goal we understand in its dimension of importance beyond our personal gain.

“Before the enlightenment carry water; along the learning process towards enlightenment, carry water; and after the enlightenment, carry water” means in this context that action needs to become a daily life commitment, from an early age.

Action in the field of achieving the 17 goals, SDG2030, will bring to our children, citizens, young professionals, entrepreneurs and leaders, the necessary process of enlightenment: “the insight or awakening to the true nature of reality, the final acquisition of knowledge and skills, awakening, understanding” necessary for the development of a global sustainable culture and advanced civilization.

As in ancient times 1% of the population that individuals made the choice of dedicating their life towards the achievement of knowledge, enlightenment: From them again only 10% achieved a level of knowledge necessary to engage into leadership, 90% will die trying and hoping having a life of merit and good deeds, and 9% will at half of the path return to the world.
99% of world inhabitants stay in the world, along history, among them education becomes accessible to more and more people, science (natural, social science), and technology becomes more available, and leadership opportunities increases.

Within the context of SDG 2030, considering we have only 12 more years for achievements, the idea of an structural change in for example education (The methodology for education, design of a learning process) is not realistic and would be very naive, but the possibility of adjusting the current system and creating space and time for students, employees, families, children to learn by doing and engage into SDG Actions, Initiatives, as a learning by doing school that their local communities and cities provide to them, will enable an space of exploration, knowledge and capacity development, innovation, communication and collaboration at neighborhood level, that will help us achieve earlier the wished “enlightenment”.

Enlightenment in these terms do not refer only to the acquisition of knowledge and skills, but also to the capacity to cope with reality in practical terms, by doing and engaging into the actions that are necessary on time. By ownership of the opportunity window and capacity of decision making.


The window of opportunity is about to close 12 years is a small window of time.

In the most complex and challenging time for humanity as a species, while there isnt enough time for a learning curve towards knowledge and skills, humanity will need to apply one of the most valuable of its resources, its own creativity and capacity of engagement, for the well being of own children, future generations in their own families and communities.
Maybe this new statement “Before the enlightenment carry water; along the learning process towards enlightenment, carry water; and after the enlightenment, carry water” will help them understand the path, adjust their expectations for the final outcome and results and realize that while learning, we still need to act.


Luis Daniel Maldonado Fonken
CEO, R&D Leader
The Matrix-Q Research Institute

USEFUL URLS: How can you collaborate with the Matrix-Q Research Institute ?