UNSSC: “Bringing the 2030 Agenda to Life” – 7th UN Summer Academy in Bonn

The 7th UN Summer Academy organised by the United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC) Knowledge Centre for Sustainable Development will be held in Bonn, Germany from 27 to 31 August 2018.

This year’s theme “Bringing the 2030 Agenda to Life” will focus on integrated approaches to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs). Past editions of the Summer Academy were held at UNSSC Headquarters in Turin and at the UN Headquarters in New York.

Since 2016, the UN Summer Academy has been hosted by the City of Bonn, a sustainability hub and home to more than 20 different UN entities and programmes, as well as more than 150 international organisations working on various thematic areas related to sustainable development.

More than 100 selected participants and speakers from over 30 countries will join the UN Summer Academy this year at the UN Campus’ historic Haus Carstanjen, where the UNSSC Knowledge Centre for Sustainable Development is located. During the 5-day interactive programme, participants of the UN Summer Academy will deepen their knowledge of the core substance and processes related to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Participants will also gain a better understanding of the specific roles of different development partners and explore partnership opportunities for their institutions. In fact, participants represent organisations and institutions ranging from governments and the UN system to civil society, academia and the private sector.

A full-day field trip to Eschweiler and the neighbouring open cast mine will provide first-hand exposure to a real-life case of eco-social transformation in the context of sustainable development. Eschweiler has recently won the German Sustainability Award for being Germany’s most sustainable mid-sized city. Sessions on engaging different stakeholders and creating coherent policies across various areas and levels of governance, will also be enjoyed by the UN Summer Academy participants.

This year, Patricia Espinosa, Under-Secretary General and Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will open the UN Summer Academy and provide  keynote remarks on climate action in the context of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.

High-level representatives from Bonn-based UN entities such as Shyamal Majumdar, Head of the UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training, and Pradeep Monga, Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) will also speak during the UN Summer Academy to provide insights regarding various ways of engaging diverse stakeholders to achieve a universal agenda on sustainable development.

Panel discussions on topics such as understanding the dimensions of sustainable development, addressing the humanitarian-development nexus and localizing the 2030 Agenda will be provided by Imme Scholz, Deputy Director of the German Development Institute, Ernesto Soria Morales, Senior Policy Analyst at the OECD’s Policy Coherence for Development Unit, Simone Pflaum, Head of the City of Freiburg’s Sustainability Management, and Nina Schroeder, Project Manager at the World Food Programme’s Innovation Accelerator.

Participants will also have the opportunity to join more than 20 interactive and action–oriented workshops, so-called AppLabs, during the week. AppLab topics include,  attaining SDGs through non-binding stakeholders’ resolutions, participatory project development in slum areas, innovative approaches to address food security and sustainable development learning, developing climate action plans, digital storytelling as voice for people left behind, and the different types of reporting on the SDGs.

The UN Summer Academy prides itself in bringing together participants from diverse backgrounds and locations. This year, the UN Summer Academy will have UN staff from UNODC, WHO, UN DESA, UN Women, and UN Resident Coordinator Offices from Sudan, Somalia and Cameroon, as well as from the World Bank to name a few. Local government representatives from cities such as Bethlehem, Alta Foresta, Heidelberg and Klixbuell will provide sustainable development examples at the local level. Insights into policy experiences at national and sub-national level will be provided by our participants from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, South Africa’s National Department for Environmental Affairs, Bangladesh’s National Parliament, California’s Environmental Protection Agency and the Embassy of Bulgaria in Germany.  Insights on the links between sustainable development and finance will be discussed by participants from the Council of Europe Development Bank, European Investment Bank and Saudi Arabian National Commercial Bank.

Participants from foundations and educational institutions such as Chile’s Overcoming Poverty Foundation, Saudi Arabia’s King Khalid Foundation and Qatar’s Education Above All Foundation, as well as the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences from India will contribute their experience and technical expertise to the various discussions. Academic insights and research results will be provided by participants coming from universities such as the University of the Philippines, Universidade de Lisboa, Denison University, El Colegio de Mexico, University of Jeddah and the University of Nottingham, among others. Lastly, representatives from the private sector are also joining this year’s UN Summer Academy to provide business perspectives on sustainable development.

All participants are united by the ambition and promise of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development and their hope to contribute to its achievement as well as learn from peers through an open dialogue. The UN Summer Academy prides itself in providing engaging learning formats and a safe space where learning is fostered through a combination of discussions underpinned by academic rigour, solution-oriented workshops, and informal gatherings that facilitate knowledge exchange.

The UN Summer Academy will hold a Story Fair on 30 August 2018 from 10:00 am to 12:30 p.m. in Haus Carstanjen, which is open to a limited public. The Story Fair is a networking event that brings together various organisations in one space to tell their sustainable development stories. It is a platform for participants to engage and build partnerships and collaborations with the different organisations across the world as well as organisations in Bonn.

The UN Summer Academy would like to thank Engagement Global,  the City of Bonn, the German Diplomatic Academy, as well as the State of North Rhine-Westphalia for their generous support in helping the UN Summer Academy bring diverse participants from across the world each year.

Source: Notification UNSSC, 20.08.2018