Friday, July 16, 2021

We are pleased to have reconvened the network membership on June 16th, 2021 for the annual SDSN Canada Members Meeting.

This year's meeting featured conversations on the current state of the SDGs in Canada, emerging opportunities for post-secondary institutions, networking breakout sessions, and a featured joint presentation by the Brookings Institution and Rockefeller Foundation on mobilizing campuses and communities for the SDGs using the 17 Rooms initiative. A lightning round of member initiatives was also included to highlight a portion of the SDG work happening across the network.

Recap the discussion by reading the meeting notes or listening to the audio recordings for each session.

Meeting Highlights:

  • The SDSN Global annual Sustainable Development Report 2021 was released June 2021, tracking progress on the SDGs by country (Canada ranked 21st in the world). The report outlines the short-term impacts of COVID-19 on the SDGs and describes how the SDGs can frame the recovery.
  • The Government of Canada has released Canada’s National Strategy for the SDGs, Moving Forward Together. The strategy outlines a set of 30 actions towards the SDGs, including localizing the SDGs, supporting partnerships with Indigenous initiatives, and advancing research into the gaps in Canada's efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda.
  • The 17 Rooms initiative is a tool for advancing SDG collaboration, community-centric conversations, and bottom-up action. There are three key principles of consideration:
    • Every SDG gets a seat at the table (a dedicated room).
    • Identify what the next step is, and not the perfect step. What are things you can do together over the next 12 to 18 months that you can implement action on the SDGs?
    • It is about conversations, not presentations. The goal is to learn from each other and create a community of practice.
    • Join the 17 Rooms-X Community of Practice to access the beta toolkit.
  • A ‘lightning round’ of presentations by members spotlighting SDG work from Colleges and Institutes Canada, the Interdisciplinary Research Center in the Operationalization of Sustainable Development (CIRODD), Vancouver Island University, the University of Saskatchewan, and the University of Waterloo.

The meeting was also a chance to invite the membership into initiatives designed to be more intentional about the network’s collective presence and impact. In this vein, we think that the 17 Rooms process can be a critical resource for campus conversations on the SDGs. We also relaunched the Member Challenge, are starting the ‘SDG Teaching Community’ for faculty across the network, and are convening a small working group of interested members to talk about an enhanced governance structure for the network.

It is always inspiring to hear about the ambition and action for the SDGs happening across the country and we look forward to continuing to play our role in mobilizing Canada’s post-secondary institutions for impact on the SDGs.

As a reminder, if your institution or organization is already a member of SDSN, all faculty and staff have access to the SDSN community. Encourage them to use SDSN Mobilize to stay informed about what SDSN Global and SDSN Canada are doing to advance the SDGs. 

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