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In the first week of April, the Sustainability Research Group: Policy, Practice, Pedagogy at London South Bank University, UK held its third Round Table evening in its series of events to present and debate research on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that is undertaken by its members.

Prof Ros Wade

Prof Ros Wade gave a warm welcome to the audience whilst offering a brief summary of the work of the Sustainability Research Group. The Round Table was  ably chaired by Ms. Lynn Vickery who introduced the topic for the evening’s event. Lynn then presented the panellists who were invited to respond to the research presented by Dr. Alex Mifsud. The rich and diverse backgrounds of the three panellists  augured well for a healthy debate.  These were: Ms. Emily Auckland, Network Director at UK Stakeholders for Sustainable Development (UKSSD); Dr. Jenneth Parker, Research Director at the Schumacher Institute; and Mr. Graham Petersen, secretary of the Greener Jobs Alliance.

Lynn Vickery
Dr Alex Mifsud

By means of her presentation, Is Brexit Side-lining the Sustainable Development Goals, Alex offered the audience a brief backgound to the approach adopted by the European Union in assisting its Member States in their implementation of the SDGs. She gave an overview of the various policies, financial and legal instruments of the EU that support each of the 17 SDGs. This was followed by a summary of the UK’s approach to the implementation of the SDGs, a role that has been assigned to the Department of International Development (DFID) wherby a shift in the political narrative was noted as a result of the ongoing Brexit uncertainty.  Alex listed the preliminary findings of the research which highlight a lack of visibility, awareness and understanding of the SDGs with Brexit obscuring the obligations of the UK to implement the SDGs as well as reducing the ability of all stakeholders and government to address the issues pertaining to the SDGs. Alex also spoke of the findings that show concerns about the loss of the EU legal framework on standards and policies that could serve as a key platform for UK to implement the SDGs. However, Alex mentioned the significant hope pinned to the fact that the SDGs could serve as a replacement to the legal and policy guarantees UK will lose as a result of exiting the EU. Research also uncovered the pressing sense of panic from all sectors across the UK of the risks and damage from a no deal Brexit and hence ended her presentation on a positive by emphasising the need for stakeholders and individuals to use the SDGs as a springboard for positive and constructive action in the midst of the political and economic uncertainy poised by Brexit. Indeed, can the SDG’s be seen as a key framework to be used across UK organisations to help guide the post Brexit decision making?

Lynn invited Emily to offer her views on the topic who expressed her belief that broadly speaking, the UK is not very good at coherence and systems thinking which explains why the country is not putting policies in place for the implementation of the SDGs. Emily also emphasised the need for stakeholders to fill this void by engaging more actively with the SDGs.

Graham informed those present that the international trade unions have made SDGs a priority which is encouraging. He also spoke about the concerns that Brexit could potentially see a reduction in employment laws and workers’ rights since the UK would be free to amend or even water down the rights and standards currently enjoyed by virtue of EU membership.

Jenneth spoke about the importance of systems thinking within the Brexit and SDGs context particularly since in her view, the UK is actively hostile to the SDGs due to its governance. She spoke of how Brexit is part of a wider agenda that aims to undermine the very values we hold so dear and which are reflected in the 17 SDGs by the United Nations.

A healthy and lively debate ensued with members of the audience touching upon how or whether the SDGs are interlinked to wealth management, climate emergency and labour conditions in some parts of Africa and India.

Informal discussions over some light refreshments brought the Round Table event to an end.

This blog was penned by Dr Alex Mifsud

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BIG-SDGs-panel-pre-event-June28

London South Bank University’s Sustainability Research Group of the Centre for Social Justice and Global Responsibility in association with the London Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) will host a panel discussion on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the university (Room DC12/13 in the Clarence Centre) on Thursday 28 June 2018 from 5 to 6.30pm.

 

This event is free to attend but prior booking is required. EventBrite page: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-sustainable-development-goals-from-global-to-local-tickets-46754916213

 

Titled ‘The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): from Global to Local’, this insightful discussion on the role of the SDGS in supporting and promoting a more sustainable world feature three distinguished speakers:

 

Hilary Macleod (Environmental educator and consultant from Queensland, Australia): Has worked with a number of key global agencies including UNESCO.

 

Dr Katherine Eames (Senior Sustainability Project Officer at the Greater London Authority): Currently co-ordinates the pan-London Mayor’s Entrepreneur competition, which supports London’s students to come up with innovative solutions for London to reduce carbon emissions.

 

Dr Paul Vare (Senior Lecturer, Research Development, School of Education, University of Gloucestershire): Has extensive international experience in the field of sustainability and his research and teaching specialism is the area of education and sustainable development.

 

The discussion will be followed by a reception for networking.

 

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

 

The 17 SDGs that the 193 member states of the UN signed up to in 2015 are ambitious in scope and, when taken together, they represent a real opportunity to develop a global strategy for localities to fight poverty and global inequality, and to tackle climate change and protect the environment.

 

LSBU Sustainability Research Group

 

Launched in November 2017 and hosted by LSBU School of Law and Social Sciences, the Sustainability Research Group on Policy, Practice and Pedagogy aims to achieve sustainability through research, education and action.

 

The group will develop and promote research and action on sustainability as a new and emerging interdisciplinary area, drawing from the social sciences as well as other disciplinary landscapes in order to address the complex, real-world wicked problems of today, such as climate change,  global inequality, forced migration, biodiversity loss, social and environmental justice.

 

Framed within the context of UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and UNESCO’s Global Action Plan (GAP), the group’s work will be linked to the Centre for Social Justice and Global Responsibility at LSBU’s School of Law and Social Sciences.

 

Building on the work of the London Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), which is hosted at LSBU, the group will also link with the wider global RCE network of the UN University and UNESCO networks.

 

London Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)

 

In June 2009, London became the first capital city in Europe to become an RCE. Hosted at LSBU, the London Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is a learning community of practice and offers expertise on a range of ESD approaches developed by the London RCE partners and stakeholders for the benefit of Londoners and other places that experience the particular challenges that living in a global city brings. Particular issues include inequality of housing, air quality, employment and green space.

 

Note: Logos in the graphic are from respective websites.

 

More…

 

EventBrite page: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-sustainable-development-goals-from-global-to-local-tickets-46754916213

 

LSBU Centre for Social Justice and Global Responsibility http://www.lsbu.ac.uk/research/centres-groups/social-justice-global-responsibility

 

London RCE (Regional Centre of Expertise) on ESD (Education for Sustainable Development) https://londonrcenews.wordpress.com/

 

UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs

Dr Hugh Atkinson, Senior Lecturer in Politics and Public Policy at LSBU and a Management Group member of the London RCE (Regional Centre of Expertise) on ESD (Education for Sustainable Development), conducted a double event of a seminar and a book launch at London South Bank University (LSBU) on 8 February 2018.

The seminar was on The USA and the Sustainable Development Goals, with a focus on challenges and opportunities. It ended with three questions:

  • Is it possible to do a new kind of economics?
  • Is sustainable economic growth a contradiction in terms?
  • Is population growth the elephant in the room?

Seminar.JPG

The book launch unveiled Dr Atkinson’s latest book, The Politics of Climate Change under President Obama. Professor Patrick Bailey (Deputy Vice Chancellor and Chair of the Sustainability Steering Group LSBU) delivered the welcome speech. Talking about his book, Dr Atkinson placed the evolution of US policy within broader debates on the politics of climate change in the USA. He was optimistic, stating that there still exists a latent potential for America to act as a world leader on this issue.

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The second meeting of the LSBU research group ‘SUSTAINABILITY: Policy, Practice and Pedagogy’ was held before this double event. RCE London is part of this group, which was launched in November 2017.

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA

In January 2018, Lynn Vickery (Co-ordinator of the London RCE) met with Mr Ali Bukar Ahmad from RCE Kano on a London ‘stop-over’.

The outcome of that meeting is a possible collaboration with the African RCE Youth Network, RCE Penang, Malaysia to produce a ‘virtual’ conference to discuss how Education for Sustainable Development ESD can assist in mitigating the problems of and challenges of youth unemployment, climate change, TVET (Technical & Vocational Education & Training), entrepreneurship and other reasons that trigger mass migration to Europe.

 

The ‘virtual’ conference is proposed to be held at the end of April, 2018. Watch this space for more news in due course.

 

~by Lynn Vickery

A double event of a seminar and a book launch on Politics, Climate Change and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with a focus on the USA will take place at K2 building, Room V202, London South Bank University (LSBU) on Thursday 8 February 2018.

 

The seminar (3.30-4.30pm), titled ‘The USA and the Sustainable Development Goals – Challenges and Opportunities’, will be conducted by Dr Hugh Atkinson, Senior Lecturer in Politics and Public Policy at LSBU. He is also a tutor on the Education for Sustainability (EfS) programme at LSBU, a management group member of the London RCE (Regional Centre of Expertise) on ESD (Education for Sustainable Development) and an associate of LSBU’s Sustainability Research Group.

 

The book launch (5.00-7.00pm) will unveil Dr Atkinson’s latest book, The Politics of Climate Change under President Obama. Professor Patrick Bailey (Deputy Vice Chancellor and Chair of the Sustainability Steering Group LSBU) will deliver the welcome speech. The author’s introduction to the book will then follow. The event will close with a networking session with refreshments, wine and nibbles.

 

This book, published by Routledge, places the evolution of US policy within broader debates on the politics of climate change in the USA. It argues that there still exists a latent potential for America to act as a world leader on this issue.

 

The seminar and the book launch are open to public. If interested in attending one event or both, please email to atkinsh@lsbu.ac.uk for registration.

London South Bank University (LSBU) launched a research group, ‘SUSTAINABILITY: Policy, Practice and Pedagogy’, in London on 2 November 2017.

 

This Sustainability research group aims to achieve sustainability through research, education and action. The RCE London is part this group hosted by School of Law and Social Sciences at LSBU, where the RCE London is based.

 

Sustainability through research, education and action

 

The group will develop and promote research and action on sustainability as a new and emerging interdisciplinary area which draws from the social sciences as well as other disciplinary landscapes in order to address the complex, real-world wicked problems of today, such as climate change,  global inequality, forced migration, biodiversity loss, social and environmental justice.

 

Framed within the context of UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and UNESCO’s Global Action Plan (GAP), the group’s work will be linked to the Centre for Social Justice and Global Responsibility at the School of Law and Social Sciences.

 

Building on the work of the London Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) on Education for Sustainability (EfS), the group will also link with the wider global RCE network of the UN University and UNESCO networks.

 

Inaugural meeting

 

Led by the group’s lead academics – Professor Ros Wade (LSBU Education for Sustainability EfS programme/ London RCE), Dr Glenn Strachan (LSBU EfS programme) and Lynn Vickery (London RCE) – the inaugural meeting was attended by academics from LSBU, the University of East London (UEL) and the University of Gloucestershire.

 

At this meeting, the participants developed a combined vision and sense of purpose in line with the Centre for Social Justice and Global Responsibility, developed a two-year research strategy for the group and a timetable of actions/ events for 2017-2018, and planned a publication of a journal on addressing the themes of the SDGs.

Photo credit: RCE Scotland

 

The RCE Scotland hosted the UK RCE Meeting 2017 at the University of Edinburgh on 20-21 June 2017.

 

Its main aim was to promote key values and actions to drive Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the UK at a time of insecurity and uncertainty.

 

Twenty-six participants from six UK RCEs – including the RCE London – took part in the meeting, which also acted as a follow-up to the European RCE meeting in London in June 2016.

 

More…

 

A full report, including the presentations http://learningforsustainabilityscotland.org/reports-from-the-meeting-of-the-uk-regional-centre-of-expertise-in-esd-june-2017/

 

A report on the Global RCE Network portal http://www.rcenetwork.org/portal/node/2910

 

Photos of the meeting (FaceBook) https://www.facebook.com/890558397679571/photos/a.1479270332141705.1073741865.890558397679571/1479270685475003/?type=3&theater

 

London hosts European RCE Meeting 2016 https://londonrcenews.wordpress.com/2016/09/13/london-hosts-european-rce-meeting-2016/

European RCE Meeting 2016 in London

Contact

Professor Ros Wade wader@lsbu.ac.uk Lynn Vickery vickerl@lsbu.ac.uk

Address

RCE London, London South Bank University (LSBU), 103 Borough Road, London SE1 0AA

London RCE logo

Global RCE Network logo

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