WUN network: Global Partnerships for Transformational Action on the SDG 2030 Agenda!
The University of Bergen in Norway, a member institute of the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN), hosted the second national SDG conference last week. Over two days, Norway’s research and higher education sector explored the roles of research and education in creating new approaches for shared commitments to a sustainable global future, together with national and international speakers from academia, government, civil society, activism and the United Nations system. Tasmin Rüffert, Strategy Coordinator at the UM Green Office and Maria Tomai Research Assistant at UNU-MERIT represented UM during this conference and gathered intel for UM on this pressing topic.
The two key words of the conference, re:thinking and re:working, guided the discussions, highlighting the importance and urgency of transformational actions to overcome the global challenges. Speakers and panellists emphasized through their statements that the accelerating progress towards achieving the SDGs will not be assured through narrow, sector-specific approaches. Breaking the silos, carving out a new space for research in the area of the SDGs and engaging in global partnerships are only some of the steps universities will need to take. Attention has been also given to climate change and economic growth, two ostensibly contradictory goals within the 2030 Agenda. Universities play a crucial role in this debate and should take the lead by first becoming carbon-neutral environments and then by providing new perspectives for green growth.
From left to right: Maria Tomai a Research Assistant, UNU-MERIT, Bjørn Erik Andersen Senior Adviser Division of Research Administration (WUN Coordinator), University of Bergen and Tasmin Rüffert Strategy Coordinator at the UM Green Office
At the end of the conference, the Rector of the University of Bergen, Dr. Dag Rune Olsen, (who also spoke at the UM’s OAY), announced the creation of a national platform for sharing of best practices in the universities work with the SDGs with a particular focus on education. This platform aims to give answers to the question ‘’What can universities do to engage with Agenda 2030?’’, by forming a national committee and promoting collaboration between different academic and public institutions in Norway.
For more information on this conference and the WUN Network at the UM more generally, please contact Aisling Tiernan aisling.tiernan[at]maastrichtuniversity[dot]nl