An SDG Forum in Brussels on October 23rd brought together almost seven hundred participants from various sectors of society (research, local policy, business, etc). One of the workshops was dedicated to ‘Creating sustainable mindsets: incorporating the SDG’s in higher education’. Various speakers testified that ‘greening the campus’ (more sustainable mobility, food, energy or recycling on campuses) is the ‘low hanging fruit’ of sustainable higher education, whereas integrating sustainability (or ‘responsibility’) into research and education is a much harder nut to crack. As most scientists are not trained in complexity thinking, integrating sustainability in their teaching and researching practices requires a learning process in itself. How to tackle the SDGs without reducing them to a choice menu of separate themes? How to develop a relevant project without being paralysed by the complexity and interdependence of this global agenda?
One of the contributions to the workshop came from by Hogent, a university college in Ghent that is working hard to make all their R&I ‘responsible’ by contributing to the SDGs. They mentioned FoTRRIS as one of their sources of inspiration. Hopefully this will also inspire other institutions for higher education.
By: Anne Snick
AB member of H2020 project FoTRRIS – Fostering the Transition towards Responsible R&I Systems
SAPIRR – Systems Approach of Public Innovation and Responsible Research
Board member Club of Rome – EU Chapter
Fonds Arne Loosveldt
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