Dr Alex Ryan, Director of Sustainability joined the opening panel at the international Sustainable Development Summit at the University of Hamburg (on September 26th), in conjunction with the Copernicus Alliance. The event drew participants from universities across the globe to focus on rethinking higher education in the context of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Amidst increasing debate around how universities can prepare their graduates for rapidly changing global landscapes, technological shifts and employment scenarios, Alex spoke about the University’s Education for Sustainability work which is rethinking education to empower graduates to respond to global change. Developing citizens who can respond effectively to complex issues as wide ranging as migration, conflict, poverty, climate change and resource scarcity, requires a radical rethink of how we educate, not just the content of our curriculum. Meeting the training needs and capacity gap for academics that these challenges bring is the focus of the UE4SD project led by the University, which Alex also presented at the conference. UE4SD, (University Educators for Sustainable Development) brokered collaboration through its pan-European steering group of leading universities, and created a platform for all academics and professionals to develop as ‘beacons for change’ to lead a radically new approach to education across Europe and beyond. The project created new training tools, methods and resources, developed an expert network across 33 countries, and has been shortlisted as a Finalist for the 2017 Green Gown Awards.
Changing Communities – Changing Perceptions