In our day-to-day routine, it’s really easy to forget about the big stuff. We tread the streets, running to catch our preferred public transport. We turn on the tap and rely on water just being there for our showers and drinks. Living mindfully takes…..deliberate intention!
On Saturday 24 September, the UTS BUILD Program ran the Global Goals Week Summit, creating that intentional space for us to explore “The Planet we Live On” through selected UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The speakers were experts in their fields and it was such an opportunity to learn from their experiences. The full list of speakers is at the end of my post.
The opening keynote speaker, Councillor HY William Chan’s session was entitled, “Beyond 2030: Shaping Sustainable Development from the UN General Assembly to Sydney”. Addressing the future of sustainable cities (SDG 11), he not only encouraged the attendees to be visionary and look beyond 2030, but through his own journey from student, to architect, to public servant, encouraged us be active in our local communities to influence policy change.
Next Khunapong Khunaraksa ran a workshop entitled, “Water Innovation and Sustainability: One Size Does Not Fit All” highlighting the factors affecting and influencing clean water and sanitation (SDG 6). We learnt that, different places have different problems and require different solutions, and that water security is also an economic issue. We are all asked to workshop our own water challenge in groups with two presentations addressing clean water during covid times in New York City, and another on ideas to utilise grey water better.
The final event of the day was the “Earth in Crisis – Climate Action Workshop” (SDG 13) with Ailsa Lamont. It was a very informative, eye opening and interactive session. Whilst climate change can seem scary, we can act now at several levels of personal to business and wider social responsibility to lower our negative impact on the world. Some of the ideas covered included being more conscious or our carbon footprint and what we can do as individuals to reduce that footprint, such as swapping things e.g. modes of transport, to make more sustainable choices. She also urged us to adopt conscious living.
The session wrapped with a reminder that whilst there are separate Sustainable Development Goals, they come into their power when we work together in partnership for the goals (SDG 17). Solutions for many SDGs are inter-related and comprehensive sustainability covers environmental, economic and social needs. The SDG Wedding Cake model shared during the workshop sums it up well.
Overall, it was a great event and I loved having the keynote speaker and two workshop structure. It was interesting having a couple of different topics covered but still seeing how they were connected.
- Keynote: Beyond 2030: Shaping Sustainable Development from the UN General Assembly to Sydney with Councillor HY William Chan, City of Sydney, Forbes 30 Under 30, Top 20 on the Qantas Centenary ‘100 Inspiring Australians’ list, and GreenBiz top 30 young global sustainability leaders by the World Business Council for Sustainable Business.
- Session 1: Water Innovation and Sustainability: One Size Does Not Fit All with Khunapong Khunaraksa, 40 Under 40 Most Influential: Asian-Australian Award Winner, and Water Innovator
- Session 2: Earth in Crisis – Climate Action Workshop with Ailsa Lamont, Founder, Pomegranate Global, President and a co-founder of CANIE: Climate Action Network for International Educators, NAFSA Senior Fellow for Sustainability in 2020-2021