Leveraging innovative partnerships with higher education institutions towards sustainable and resilient societies

Partnerships are increasingly being valued when it comes to realizing SDGs across the globe. By leveraging partnerships networks, not only can it capture the benefits resulted from synergy effects, but it can also provide more opportunities for different parties to interact with each other. Thus, this meeting focused on case studies on partnerships, especially programs with higher education institutions.

Ms Carpentier first introduced the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) as a recent program jointly launched by various UN agencies to synergize with higher education institutions for advocating SDGs from an educational perspective with students as key players. The representative of Harvard University shared the Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure that offers indicators and tools for sustainable infrastructure. An envision rating system, including measurement for leadership, resource allocation and quality of life, is incorporated to reflect the effectiveness of infrastructures as enablers to achieve SDGs.

Ms Thoresen presented an overview on projects of the organization, Partnership for Education and Research about Responsible Living. She highlighted the importance of addressing pedagogical learning process, government education policies as well as interdisciplinary research when it comes to connecting teaching and learning with SDGs. Mr Howard, representing the University of Oxford, illustrated a lifelong learning programme offered by the University, the Sustainable Urban Development Programme, as an example of partnerships with NGOs, professionals and the academia to empower more individuals on understanding SDGs.

The meeting was concluded by a discussion on the current extent of students’ engagement in formal education setting, such as schools, regarding SDGs implementation at local level. Ms Thoresen pointed out that a revamp of school curriculum is possibly needed to better equip students to face upcoming challenges as future generations. Professor Iglecias suggested that a bottom-up approach should be promoted to facilitate students to initiate ideas for realizing SDGs more effectively.

Meeting: HLPF 2018 – Leveraging innovative partnerships with higher education institutions towards sustainable and resilient societies

Date/Location: Conference Room 5, UNHQ NYC; 10:00-11:45; July 11th 2018

Speakers: Ms. Chantal line Carpentier (Chief of UNCTAD New York Office), Ms. Cristina Contreras, (Representative of Harvard University), Ms. Victoria W. Thoresen (Representative of Partnership for Education and Research about Responsible Living [PERL]), Mr. Jakob Grandin (Representative of University of Bergen, Centre for Climate and Energy Transformation), Mr. David Howard (Representative of University of Oxford), Professor Patrícia Iglecias (Head of Environmental Affairs, University of Sao Paulo)

Written By: WIT representative, Rosalind Cheung

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