Team MCN attended the “Higher Education Institutions - Key Drivers of the Sustainable Development Goals” event at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on Wednesday, July 19th, 2017. The forum, which lasted from 3-5pm, was a part of the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) and platform for “higher education institutions to showcase how the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the SDGs, is being integrated into sustainability strategies, research, pedagogy, [and] campus practices."
Participants of the HESI event included government officials, academics, administrators, UN representatives, sustainability professionals, and other relevant stakeholders. This dynamic group of participants rallied together in solidarity to discuss, and listen to, how universities across the globe are supporting the SDGs and aiming to "position higher education institutions as key drivers for achieving the SDGs.”
The event’s moderated dialogue “Integrating SDGs into Sustainability Strategies of Higher Education Institutions” was moderated by MCN’s very own Partnerships Director Raina Fox. Seven diverse panelists -all of whom are passionate about the intersection between higher education, young people, and the SDGs- joined in on the conversation. The institutions represented via the panelists included the Monash Business School, Australia; Stanford University, California; ESPAE-ESPOL, Ecuador; Business School Lausanne (BSL), Switzerland; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Massachusetts; Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden; and AIESEC, Global. Each representative gave a brief synopsis on the work he or she is involved in.
A few highlights from the panel include recent Stanford undergraduate Derek Ouyang and his work on urban sustainability with his alma mater, and Tatiana Landysheva’s work with AIESAC on mobilizing student engagement towards the SDGs. The recording of the entire panel is on the UN website as well as right below.
The HESI event delivered plenty of encouraging words to young people to go out into "the world" and make real, positive social impact. Team MCN was proud to attend the event and hopes to work alongside more universities in the future on sustainability and social impact.