“One planet, one future – engaging youths for #SDGs”

On March 26th, the Dewey Centre hosted the event “One planet, one future – engaging youths for #SDGs” from Beijing, China, in partnership with the BKMC. The event was the second session of the new Dewey Global Dialogues series engaging young people in China with renowned international experts to inspire a generation of future leaders acting and leading with passion and compassion to build a better future.

The online dialogue welcomed Ban Ki-moon Centre Co-chair and 11th President of Austria, Heinz Fischer as well as Former United Nations Under-Secretary-General, Kim Won-soo and BKMC CEO Monika Froehler. Selected BKMC Fellows and Scholars also joined the panelists to discuss the importance of inclusive policies and how youth can tackle the SDGs in their own communities.  

“The fight against #climatechange is a fight to change the mind & attitudes of billions of people around the globe. #Young people are taking great strides in this fight. We are on the right path but will we be fast enough?” Co-chair Heinz Fischer

The young delegates had the opportunity to present the work they do addressing the SDGs in their own communities. BKMC Fellows Fay and Daad as well as BKMC Mentee Nesrin talked about how individual action is very important in reaching the 2030 Agenda and creating inclusive policies that leave no one behind. The young women were also able to ask questions directly to BKMC Co-chair Heinz Fischer about his thoughts on the serious lack of representation of women, youth, and marginalized people in policies around the world. Check out the BKMC youth representatives SDG Micro-Projects here. 

The clear message of the event was that the great task of the next generation is to manage this progress and make it fair – leaving no one behind.

The BKMC is looking forward to its future cooperation with the Dewey Centre and to many more challenging dialogues in the coming year. Together we can inspire a future generation of leaders embracing culture, diversity, creativity, compassion, and innovation.

Watch the full event below: 

Stay tuned for more information on this initiative!

ENLIGHT Kickoff Week: University Network Launches with Energy and Ambition!

From March 1-5, 2021, the BKMC took part in ENLIGHT European University Network‘s official virtual kickoff, an alliance of nine European universities, striving for students to become lifelong learners and agents-of-change ready to tackle the challenges of tomorrow. The week was packed with exciting lectures, high-level roundtables, student-led sessions, and more! 

BKMC CEO and External Advisory Board member of ENLIGHT, Monika Froehler, joined two separate public sessions to share the message of the BKMC and to highlight the importance of instilling global citizenship knowledge, skills, and behaviors in students as well as fostering lifelong learning.

On March 2, CEO Froehler joined a high-level round-table​ discussion between ENLIGHT Rectors and the ENLIGHT External Advisors​. The discussion was themed, ‘Shaping communities – How can universities contribute to local and regional challenges?’ and featured three smaller roundtables o‘Learning and Teaching,’ ‘Research,’ ‘International Cooperation’ respectively

Taking part in the third roundtable on ‘International Cooperation, CEO Froehler underlined the incredible potential for sustainable impact through the ENLIGHT network:

“If only 1/3 of ENLIGHT students become gamechangers, this would make Europe a leading champion in multilateralism.”  – Monika Froehler

During the second roundtable on ‘Research, External Advisory Board member and BKMC Board Member, Irina Bokova (former Director-General of UNESCO), underlined academia’s role in contributing to the sustainable development agenda: 

“What is very important is for universities to introduce the concept of interdisciplinarity, lifelong learning & global citizenship education to prepare students for future challenges.”  – Irina Bokova

To conclude the discussion, the roundtable participants were asked to reflect on what attracts talented students to universities and the value proposition of ENLIGHT. The participants, including university Rectors and Presidents in addition to the esteemed External Advisorsremarked that the consortium will help to increase the talent pool at member universities as students will have the unique chance to benefit from the best educational opportunities available at all 9 universities. Each university has its strengths and together, the Enlight university members form a virtuous circle which helps individual universities develop along with the wider regions in which they are located.  

 

On March 4, CEO Froehler joined Flagship Lecture #3 on Global Engagement and Equity’ and presented a keynote themed, ‘Engaging Global Citizens for the Achievement of the SDGs.

During her talk, Monika outlined the key tenants of global citizenship and how the BKMC is working to engage and empower youth and women as actors for the SDGs. She also spoke about the role of ENLIGHT in educating engaged global citizens:

“We hope to fundamentally transform European Higher Education with ENLIGHT by empowering learners as engaged global citizens with state of the art knowledge, skills & innovation potential.” – Monika Froehler

Andrej Findor, Associate Professor and acting Director of European Studies and International Relations at Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia, focused his keynote on the comparative evaluation of equity, inclusion, and diversity (EID) indicators at nine European universities.  

The pandemic has intensified the exclusion of different types of people.For example, some students at Comenius are going through difficult socio-economical situations as their parents or even themselves are now unemployed.” – Andrej Findor

Nata DuvvurySenior Lecturer and Director, Centre for Global Women’s Studies and Co-Leader of Gender and Public Policy Cluster in the Whitaker Institute at National University of Ireland, Galway, focused her keynote on ‘Approaches to Equality: Mainstreaming or Intersectionality?’ Noting the mainstreaming equality isn’t enough, Duvvury described two clear ways forward to promote intersectionality within universities: 

1. Acknowledging and valuing diverse feminist, anti-racist, decolonial, and disability scholarship in the university.  

2. Taking actions to decrease class, gender, and racial inequality within the institutions. 

The BKMC is excited to be an Associated Partner of the ENLIGHT European University network and to have CEO Monika Froehler represented on the External Advisory Board! 

Stay tuned for news on exciting collaborations between the BKMC and ENLIGHT in the year ahead! 

 

To watch what ENLIGHT is all about: 

 

To watch the recordings of the launch:  

Launch of Cooperation with UNODC to foster ASEAN Youth Leadership for the SDGs

On Monday, 22 February, the BKMC signed a Project Cooperation Agreement with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), marking the launch of a partnership to foster ASEAN Youth Leadership for the SDGs, supported by the government of Japan.

Japan, as the host of this year’s Crime Congress, has put a strong emphasis on the inclusion of youth in criminal justice and crime prevention issues. The Southeast Asian region currently counts a population of 213 million youth constituting the largest ever cohort of ASEAN youth. Responding to this, the Education for Justice (E4J) Initiative of UNODC offered a platform for 33 young leaders of the region to respond to local challenges related to youth empowerment, education, and UNODC mandated-areas.

 

As part of UNODC’s Dialogue Series, the BKMC was asked to host a webinar series for 33 ASEAN youth leaders, focusing on the SDGs and Global Citizenship. The “ASEAN Youth for SDGs Webinar Series” takes between March and April of 2021 and will elevate the knowledge and skills of 33 ASEAN youth representatives to effectively contribute to the SDGs, take action, and become local SDG leaders. The BKMC will support the young leaders in planning individual SDG Micro-Projects in their communities, which respond to local challenges in the ASEAN, particularly challenges related to justice and the rule of law.

The Shadow Pandemic Action Brief

The 25th of every month has been designated “Orange Day” by the United Nations Secretary-General’s Campaign UNiTE to End Violence Against Women, to raise awareness and take action to end violence against women and girls.

On February 25th, the Ban Ki-moon Centre launched its Action Brief about the Shadow Pandemic at a roundtable hosted by UN Women. BKMC CEO Fröhler and Program Officer Viola Christian gave insights into this Brief by pointing out some of the effects of COVID-19 on VAWG and necessary action steps to eliminate this Shadow Pandemic.

The action brief is based on the findings of a roundtable organized by the BKMC, in November 2020. The virtual High-Level Roundtable addressed the Shadow Pandemic from the perspective of a variety of different stakeholders: Helen Clark, Former Prime Minister of New ZealandAngela Cretu, CEO of AvonMohammad Naciri, Regional Director of UN Women Asia and Pacific & Trisha Shetty, women’s rights activist and founder of SheSays. 

The present Action Brief compiles facts and statistics, as well as key findings and recommendations on the Shadow Pandemic during COVID-19. Learn about what you can do to end Violence Against Women and how all sectors can act below:

 

Climate Adaptation with Global Citizen

 

The COVID19 pandemic and its far-reaching impacts on the economy, climate, health, hunger, and education have halted and reversed the progress made for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Inequality among people, nations, and continents is getting worse. To call for global action, our partner organization Global Citizen has launched a new campaign that will feature their unique pop and policy approach.

The BKMC is very excited to be partnering with Global Citizen for the Recover Better Together Campaign. Building upon our Co-chair Ban Ki-moon’s twin legacies of the Paris Agreement and the SDGs, we are dedicated to being a part of this collective effort and amplifying the voices for the needs of smallholder farmers as well as building the capacity of youth and women to take action on climate adaptation – who are on the front lines of climate change as well as the COVID crisis.

2021 is the year we recover back better and call for increased political commitments. Partnering with Global Citizen on adaptation, the Ban Ki-moon Centre will join the collective effort to address climate change, focusing on building the climate resilience of smallholder farmers around the world.” – Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens Co-chair, Ban Ki-moon

As an environment partner to the Protect the Planet pillar of Global Citizen’s Recovery Plan, we have come together with Global Citizen for a two-year collaboration that will strive for a climate-change-resilient world – free of hunger by Elevating Agriculture Adaptation.

Anchored in the findings of the Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA), the partnership will help to increase political commitment and public support to build the resilience of 300 million small-scale farming households around the world. Global Citizen and the BKMC will work collaboratively to address agricultural adaptation and strive to secure new governmental commitments for climate-smart agriculture. Learn more about the program here.

Watch the launch of Global Citizen’s Recovery Plan above.

Joining forces with the Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy

Starting the new year with a new partnership, the BKMC and the Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy (CFFP) signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The collaboration aims to strengthen cooperation in the fields of gender equality, climate change, sustainable development, and global citizenship through the lens of intersectional feminism.

The two organizations have already worked together on multiple occasions throughout 2020. CFFP Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director Kristina Lunz shared her inspirational journey with BKMC CEO Monika Froehler as a guest of our #superwomen interview series. She also appeared as an expert speaker focusing on the importance of breaking down patriarchal power structures for a world free of violence against women at the “Education, Empowerment and Effective Policies: Preventing Gender-Based Violence” event hosted by the BKMC during Orange the World.

Stay tuned to learn about our joint project on climate justice, aiming to train young climate activists on advocacy and implementation strategies for effective and impactful climate action.

ABOUT CFFP

The Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy is a research, advocacy, and consulting organization based in Berlin, dedicated to promoting feminist foreign policy across the globe.

The 3rd Global Engagement and Empowerment Forum on Sustainable Development (GEEF2021)

Co-hosted by the BKMCthe 3rd Global Engagement and Empowerment Forum on Sustainable Development (GEEF2021) aimed to diagnose the global crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, showcase solutions and best practices for the post-COVID-19 era, examine opportunities and problems of the international cooperation network, and discuss partnerships and paths forward to accelerate the achievement of United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

On February 4-5, 2021, the Forum was held online under the theme “3Ps Beyond Security: Peace, Prosperity, and Partnership” together with the  Yonsei University, its Institute for Global Engagement & Empowerment (IGEE) and the Ban Ki-moon Foundation for a Better Future in Seoul, South Korea. 

GEEF 2021 highlighted digitalization, global health, and education crises as well as the SDGs and sustainable development in seven featured sessions:   

1. Artificial Intelligence 

2. Creative Solutions for a Sustainable Society  

3. Safe and Affordable Surgery,  

4. Future of Higher Education, Higher Education of the Future, and 

5. Global Partnership & Higher Education “Postgraduate Medical Education in Africa: the status quo and challenges” 

6. Global Partnership during and post COVID-19

7. Redesign our Future: The UN SDGs, 5 years and the next 10 years.

The opening ceremony on February 5th, led by BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon, Co-Chair Heinz Fischer, and President of Yonsei University Seoung Hwan Suhgave us a clear call for action: We need to reimagine the global community and partnership to overcome COVID-19, and accelerate the achievement of the SDGs.

“Leaving No One Behind in a Post-Pandemic World” 

As the wealthiest countries prioritize their own COVID-19 vaccine needs, “Vaccine Nationalism” threatens the world’s recovery from the pandemic.  A special discussion between BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon and UN High Commissioner Special Envoy Angelina Jolie stressed that countries purchasing a majority of the vaccines have left other countries and people, especially women, youth, and refugees vulnerable.  

   

“We have to make sure that we create the future we all want. One driven by inclusion, compassion, empowerment, and sustainability for all people  and our planet.” – Ban Ki-moon 

“…realizing how interconnected we are, our being so aware of each other, will bring us to a new understanding of how much we have got to link arms and work together…” – Angelina Jolie

Watch the conversation below:

  

As the BKMC has joined the efforts to call on global leaders for green recoverythe plenary session “Towards Carbon Neutrality for Planetary Sustainability” strengthened the urgency of multilateral efforts to commit to green finance, climate mitigation, and adaption programs to avert the disastrous effects of climate change and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. 

 

“Just transition programs are integral to the success of climate mitigation. Combined mitigation and adaptation solutions are some of the most cost-effective ways to solve the world’s climate challenges.” – Patrick V. Verooijen 

The panelists were: 

  • Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg, Jean Asselborn 

  • CEO of the Global Center of Adaptation Patrick V. Verooijen 

  • Chairman at SDSN Korea Soogil Young 

  • Chairman of Board at Clean Air Asia Bindu N. Lohani 

The BKMC congratulates all partners involved for making GEEF 2021 successful and their tireless efforts to achieve Agenda 2030 and create a better sustainable future for all.

Watch Day 1 of GEEF 2021

Watch Day 2 of GEEF 2021

“New Generations, New Visions – Rebooting Dialogues on Civilizations between East & West” – Dewey Centre x BKMC

On February 3rd, the Dewey Centre hosted the event “New Generations, New Visions – Rebooting Dialogues on Civilizations between East & West” from Beijing, China, in partnership with the BKMC. It was the launch of the Dewey Global Dialogues with young people in China and renowned international experts to inspire a generation of future leaders acting and leading with passion and compassion to build a better future. The new partnership between the two Centers was sealed with an MoU in 2020 and will especially focus on young students in China who are active in the field of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) plus Sports.

The high-level international speakers that were welcomed by Prof. Yao Yao from the Dewey Centre were: 

– BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon,

– Former Vice Minister of Education in China, & President of China Foreign Languages Publishing Administration Du Zhanyuan,

– Head of STEM Education Research Center in China Wang Su,

– BKMC Board Member and former UNESCO DG Irina Bokova,

– BKMC Board Member and former USG on Disarmament Kim Won-soo, and

– BKMC CEO Monika Froehler.

 

The speakers discussed the role of education to promote international collaboration, multilateralism, and diversity among youth to enhance sustainable development and the need for increased dialogue between the East and the West.

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon encouraged youth in his opening speech to take on more responsibility for a sustainable future.

 

“The history is in your hands. What you see, what you learn, what you create today will change tomorrow’s world. Dear young friends, a better world is waiting for you to create a better future. You can create a world safer, more secure and better for all to live in peace and prosperity. As a former Secretary-General of the UN, I am committed to work with you to realize a sustainable world.” – Ban Ki-moon

 

The China Foreign Languages Publishing Administration offered support for this joint initiative through Former Vice Minister of Education in China Du Zahnyuan, who shared three priorities to inspire young leaders to value diversity, culture, and sustainability:

“First, young people should have the chance to obtain knowledge and education.Second, young people should take responsibility for global challenges and should understand the importance of responsibility to build a better world.  Third, young people should take concrete actions and address common challenges building a better future.” – Du Zahn Yuan

Former UN Under-Secretary General and BKMC Board Member Kim Won-soo referenced Agenda 2030 and emphasized that youth play an integral part to defining the future of the world:

“Global challenges need global solutions but that means global leadership and requires participation of every stakeholder of the private and public sectors. We cannot design any solutions without the right leadership.” – Kim Won-soo

During the session, BKMC Board Member Irina Bokova offered her insights as former Director-General of UNESCO: 

“This debate echoes deeply with my experience as the former DG UNESCO.. My advice would be to embrace sustainability and a humanistic agenda. To embrace diversity of culture, more knowledge of others through education and respect for human dignity and respect.” – Irina Bokova

BKMC CEO Monika Froehler gave examples of individual stories of global citizens to visualize the crucial importance to reboot dialogue between East and West to solve global challenges: 

“John Dewey and Ban Ki-moon are visionaries, convinced about the importance of education and service to the community.” -Monika Froehler

As the last speaker, Head of STEM Education Research Center Wang Su discussed how to facilitate inclusive learning:

“We need to rethink the ultimate purpose of education, which is to inspire students. – Wang Su

At the end of the online discussion, the speakers engaged with young leaders in an insightful Q&A, on the topics of the digital divide, the US-China bilateral relationship under the new US-presidency and opportunities for sustainable development by resetting multilateralism. 

 

The BKMC is looking forward to its future cooperation with the Dewey Centre and to many more challenging dialogues in the coming year! Together we can inspire a future generation of leaders embracing culture, diversity, creativity, compassion, and innovation.

Watch Co-chair Ban Ki-moon’s Remarks: 

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon & Mario Ho on e-sports: 

Stay tuned for more information on this initiative!

Climate Adaptation Summit 2021

The Climate Adaptation Summit 2021 led by Co-chair Ban Ki-moon, hosted by the Netherlands and the Global Center on Adaptation convened over 18,000 registrations, 300 speakers, 160 side events, 32 countries, world leaders, and local stakeholders.

It launched a comprehensive Adaptation Action Agenda and heard of new financial pledges to initiatives to make the world more resilient to the effects of climate change.

BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon led several discussions before and during the summit. On January 22nd, five Nobel Laureates and more than 3,000 scientists from over 100 countries signed up to the Groningen Science Declaration calling on world leaders, decision-makers and investors, to change the way we understand, plan and invest for a changing climate to ensure we limit future damage. On January 25th, a Ministerial Dialogue saw over forty countries committing to adaptation.

Watch the summary video of all the events right here:

©GCA

The opening session on January 25th, led by the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, under the patronage of Ban Ki-Moon, demonstrated the world’s leading countries and the international development communities’ commitments to climate adaptation and showcased some of their prominent programs and initiatives. The event gave us a clear message: we need to treat climate adaptation as urgently as we have mitigation within the development agenda towards achieving the SDGs and the Paris Agreement.

 

Food security is an increasing threat in Africa in face of climate change. The anchoring event on Africa stressed the need for predictable long-term public financing for climate change, which should then allocate 50% to adaptation. Donor countries are urged to provide bridging finance to prepare projects into bankable projects. 

 

The anchoring event on finance and investment highlighted the important fact that the world needs 300 billion USD for adaptation efforts while there is currently only 30 billion USD reserved for it. In order to raise that number and attract more investment, climate risk visibility and evaluation should be integrated into every decision-making, from national planning to financial decisions. In addition, green bond has proven to be a viable and attractive option to raise finance.

   

 

BKMC CEO Monika Froehler moderated a panel session on the need for increased commitment to agricultural adaptation focusing on building the resilience of small-holder farmers. The panel hosted sector doyens such as: 

●Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development ● Yannick Glemarec , Executive Director of the Green Climate Fund ● Dr. Sinead Walsh , Deputy Director General & Climate Envoy, Development Cooperation and Africa Division Department of Foreign Affairs, Government of Ireland ● Michael Sheldrick, Chief Government Affairs Officer, Global Citizen

IFAD announced its ASAP+ Program which is the world’s largest fund dedicated to small-scale food producers, aimed at raising 500 million USD to benefit more than 10 million people. Read the summary of the event right here. 

There is an opportunity right now to utilize the available liquidity for COVID19 recovery to invest in adaptation. The need to start investing in large-scale agriculture resilience in lieu of small pilot projects is crucial.

   

The BKMC is also excited about its upcoming cooperation with GCA to foster the role of young women in climate adaptation under GCA’s Young Leadership Programme. The Anchoring Event on Youth Leadership on January 25th marked the launch of the program and served to handover the Global Youth Call to Action on Adaptation prepared by young people from 120 countries to Co-chair Ban Ki-moon and other world leaders. The call aims to help bridge the adaptation action gap, especially amongst youth. The BKMC is keen on strengthening the role of young women in this field. 

Conclusion of First Research Cycle with Students of University of Economics, Vienna

On January 26th, the BKMC successfully concluded the first research cycle in partnership with the institute for Public Management and Governance at the University of Economics, Vienna (WU). During the winter semester 2020/2021 the BKMC cooperated with a group of six Bachelor students of the Public and Non-Profit Management program to conduct research on the BKMC’s SDG Micro-Projects.

SDG Micro-Projects lie at the heart of the BKMC’s objective to equip young and dedicated individuals with the skills they need to be agents of change for the achievement of the SDGs. So far nearly 100 small-scale activities were implemented under the guidance of the BKMC, contributing to one or more SDGs in 23 different countries. The SDG Micro-Projects are concluded with an SDG Micro-Project report, summarizing the activities, achievements, and impact of the projects and their implementers.

The WU students were tasked to conduct research on impact reporting and develop an optimized prototype of an SDG Micro-Project report form and impact measurement scheme, to be used by the BKMC for all future SDG Micro-Projects.

After four moths of empirical research based on interviews and literature research, the students presented their results to the BKMC and submitted a final report as well as sophisticated prototypes. Their findings will guide the BKMC in our efforts to optimize the process of evaluating and presenting the SDG Micro-Projects as concrete examples of acting as global citizens.

The students, in turn, gained a thorough understanding of the SDGs and were inspired to act for the SDGs themselves. The research project did not only advance them in their studies, but also allowed them to peek behind the scenes of a non-profit organization in an international environment.

We congratulate the students on their insightful research and look forward to a renewed cooperation with the next group of young researchers in the summer semester of 2021. Together with the students we will investigate the impacts of COVID-19 on the digitalization of youth activism and youth organizations and related lessons learned.