What an event! One Young World (OYW) Bath 2019 on 6th April brought together over 100 young people, mainly from Bath but also from Bristol. The event facilitated discussions around the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the three pillars of sustainability (social, economic and environmental), and acted as a forum for young people to forge collaborations and take action against global issues. The SDGs and three pillars frameworks underpin the Curriculum Transformation principle of Citizenship and Sustainability. The Centre for Learning & Teaching had a stand at the event to showcase the commitment of the University to embed the Citizenship and Sustainability principle into our curricula, detailing what the principle encompasses and the reasons why we are embedding it.
Three themes, each with its own discussion panel, ran through the OYW Bath event: Health and Development, Sustainability, and Equality and Inclusion. But the fantastic thing about the day and its themes was the focus on citizenship and calling young people to action. Over lunch the delegates worked in groups of around eight to design an initiative that could tackle an issue that fit specifically into one of the event’s themes. They had only 80 minutes to do this, whilst also eating lunch! Their outputs were fantastic, attesting to the great things our next generation of leaders can do when given inspiration, (some) time and the space to work collaboratively. During the networking slot at the end of the day, delegates used the OYW Bath app to vote for their favourite initiative for each of the three themes. This activity could definitely be adapted for our teaching to support the embedding of the Citizenship and Sustainability principle. The task necessitated group work and collaboration, with students working with peers from different backgrounds and disciplines towards a common goal, it tackled real world issues, and it also encouraged students to work effectively under time pressure. Such an approach has many links to the NUS sustainability skills, and importantly to the 17th SDG: Partnerships for the Goals.
The take home message from OYW Bath was that developing collaboration and partnerships focussed around a common aim will help us to address the wide ranging SDGs, reminding us that the SDGs are inextricably interlinked, incorporating all three pillars of sustainability. Everyone must play their part as the SDGs touch upon all of our lives, no matter what our background or discipline. We must provide our students with opportunities to work together in unified, interdisciplinary ways to nurture their capacity to lead us to a better world.
If you want to find out more about the day please visit https://www.bath.ac.uk/announcements/one-young-world-bath-caucus-2019/
Karen Angus-Cole, Curriculum Development Officer
Centre for Learning & Teaching