Universities Discuss Efforts to Nurture Change-Makers for the SDGs

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  • 2021•04•12

    On 18 February 2021, UNU-IAS organised the fifth workshop of the SDG–University Platform (SDG-UP) through videoconferencing. There were 49 participants from 24 universities across Japan. Melissa Goodall (Deputy Director, Yale Office of Sustainability, Yale University) discussed their efforts, which has a long history of developing sustainability activities in the United States of America.

    Dr Goodall shared some of the reasons behind the success of their sustainability efforts, stressing that factors such as the existence of experts, trial and error, neutrality, and passionate students boosted their endeavours. She shared sentiments about the joys of seeing students eventually becoming change-makers and demonstrating their abilities in society.

    Shinobu Yume Yamaguchi (Director, UNU-IAS) summarised these ideas, and an open discussion session centred around ways for universities to implement course content related to the SDGs, how to include all staff in the implementation process, raising specific funding for SDGs implementation, and the need for evaluation mechanisms.

    Shunichi Murata (SDG-UP Advisor; Professor, School of Policy Studies, Kwansei Gakuin University) acknowledged the challenges faced by Dr. Goodall and commended her efforts. He reiterated the points raised by Prof. Yamaguchi, adding that it is important to involve administrative staff from the early planning stages of any project and that higher education must seek to integrate expertise and interdisciplinary values to meet the needs of society.

    A detailed report is available (Japanese).

    24 participating universities (in alphabetical order)

    Ehime University
    Hiroshima University
    Hokkaido University
    International Christian University
    International University of Japan
    Kwanseigakuin University
    Keio Gijuku University
    Kitakyushu City University
    Kyushu Sangyo University
    Notre Dame Seishin University
    Nara University of Education
    Osaka University
    Osaka Medical and Pharmaceutical University
    Ryukoku University
    Soka University
    Sophia University
    Tokai University
    Tokyo City University
    Tokyo Institute of Technology
    Tokyo University of Foreign Studies
    Tokyo University of Science
    Toyo University
    Tsukuba University
    University of Tokyo