The Yale Office of Sustainability contributed to a new publication on advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Global Priorities, Educated Solutions: the role of academia in advancing the Sustainable Development Goalswas published by the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU) Sustainable Campus Initiative and co-authored by member institutions. It was released during the 2019 UN High-Level Political Forum, which meets annually under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council to review sustainable development and progress on the SDGs.
This online publication highlights the capacity of higher education institutions to support progress on the SDGs. It stemmed from an interest in identifying pathways for universities to engage in fostering dialogue, innovating, measuring, reporting, and developing solutions for the 17 global goals.
The publication is framed around four complementary tracks:
- Scholarship for solutions: innovation and experiential teaching and research in the context of the SDGs
- Walking the talk: how campuses can lead by example through operational excellence and by using the campus as a test bed for innovation
- Next generation innovation: the role of students in advancing world-changing ideas
- Service for society: universities as thought-leaders and collaborative partners in addressing global challenges
Each publication chapter contains an introduction, opportunities for action, hurdles and solutions, case studies, and quick tips. The website also includes a repository of resources for further reading and links to find more information.
The report follows the launch of The Green Guide for Universities: IARU pathways towards sustainability in 2014, and a half-day IARU program in 2018 on the role of academia in advancing the SDGs during the annual conference of the International Sustainable Campus Network (ISCN). The Global Priorities, Educated Solutions publication builds on this work and offers a dynamic and engaging platform for collaboration and dialogue on how universities, as the knowledge sector, can advance progress on developing solutions to pressing global challenges. It will be maintained online to support ongoing updates and spontaneous translation to other languages.
Yale is committed to building a more sustainable world. By doing what we do best—integrating science, the humanities, and our community—Yale creates, tests, and adopts innovative solutions to the environmental and social challenges we all face.