SDGs and an evironment for change

Dr Tammi Sinha, Head of Centre for Climate Change Education and Communication at the University of Winchester, talks about creating an environment for the SDGs and change.
 
The United Nations SDGs – to many they are an unknown TLA (three letter acronym)!  As educators, scholars, and change agents we need to think about how best to get the sustainable development goals (SDGs) into our daily conversations.  I love my job, and am privileged to be working with many people who are committed to getting the message out there regarding Climate Action, SDG13 and Quality Education SDG4.  From December 2015 I have been using the SDGs in my teaching with our MSc Project Management students when looking at governance and crafting transformation programmes, talking about design and logistics in Operations Management, and most recently with the launch of our Multi Disciplinary Climate Change Education and Communication Centre, working across disciplines with academics and students to set our agenda for climate action and education. 
 
We are hosting Mark Edwards ‘Whole Earth’ exhibition (aligning human systems and natural systems) in 2018 at the University of Winchester.  The aim of the exhibition is to inspire, educate, challenge and get students (and colleagues) to think about how their discipline and work can impact on climate change, and the other UN Sustainable Development Goals.  The University of Winchester Business School is a champion school for PRME the UN Principles for Responsible Management Education, and we are very lucky to have Prof Carole Parkes on our faculty. 

One of the key challenges for us is how do we enable transformative, positive change? How do we change behaviour when in our developed economies we are not feeling the impact of climate change as much as our colleagues in the ‘rest of the world’ economies? How do we create the environment for change to happen based on the vision for a better environment and on positive motivation….
 
A lot of the narrative is doom and gloom, we are seeing the results of climate change with a greater frequency of extreme weather events, (even in a low impact El Nino year). What we need is disruptive innovation, the will of policy makers, corporations and governments to meet their obligations, and exceed them! We also need ourselves as global citizens and stewards for future generations to think about incremental / small improvements we can make to our own carbon footprints. We need a grass roots movement of climate action as well as transformative positive action from our leaders. We all need to lead! We need to think of all our relations and what we are leaving for the next 7 generations. Here's to doing good stuff! 



 

 
Car dump, Montana, USA © David Woodfall/Hard Rain Picture Library
Car dump, Montana, USA © David Woodfall/Hard Rain Picture Library