A new organization at the University of Waterloo will focus on bringing together Canadian post-secondary institutions, civil society members and others to mobilize around the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement. Officially launched Monday, May 7, Sustainable Development Solutions Network Canada joins 24 other SDSN networks world-wide who are harnessing the capacity of the people and organizations determined to solve global problems like poverty, climate change, gender equality and clean water.

Feridun Hamdullahpur, Jean Andrey, Jeffrey Sachs and Charmaine Dean

Left to right: President and Vice-Chancellor Feridun Hamdullahpur, Dean for Faculty of Environment Jean Andrey, Director of SDSN Jeffrey Sachs, Vice-President of Research Charmaine Dean.

As part of the launch, Waterloo hosted a free public lecture on Monday, May 7 and Tuesday, May 8, with a keynote address by acclaimed development economist Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the global SDSN.

Director of SDSN Jeffrey Sachs shakes the hand of an attendee.The University of Waterloo is a natural host for the network, as it is home to the country’s largest Faculty of Environment. A key component of Waterloo’s involvement in the SDSN comes from cross-Canada collaboration. The SDSN invites all institutions interested in helping realize the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals to reach out and join the network.

“We all have a role to play in tackling the toughest challenges facing the planet,” said Jon Beale, manager of SDSN Canada. “It’s the duty of the SDSN to harness the amazing potential we have in this country, connect talent and resources, and foster collaboration that can actually make a difference to policy and action. If you have passion for change, we want to hear from you.”