GC Scholars Discuss Sustainable African Cities at Bordeaux Summer School

Our 2022 Global Citizen Scholars attended the Bordeaux Summer School on “Sustainable African cities: multidisciplinary research to meet health, demographic, economic and political challenges” as their academic training for the scholarship program. 

Guest Blog: Shalom Abebaw, GC Scholar 2022

My personal experience with the Bordeaux Summer School program can be summarized as intense, insightful, and collaborative. I’ve had the honor and privilege of learning about the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the sustainability of African Cities from experts from the Ban Ki-moon Centre and Bordeaux University. I’ve gained an interdisciplinary understanding of what it takes to create a sustainable African community. My favorite lecture would be one on air pollution, which is more related to my field of work and my chosen SDG-Micro Project. I’ve also participated in a workshop with other scholars on the SDGs, and I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with peers from various countries and backgrounds. I’ve also learned how businesses and individuals who incorporate SDG concepts into their work can benefit from increased productivity, new market opportunities, and improved stakeholder engagement.

Rania, Khaoula, Greta, and Sharon presented about Green Infrastructure investment in Lusaka, Zambia.
 

The BKMC Global Citizen Scholars of 2022 participated in a Bordeaux University intense summer school program on “Sustainable African cities: multidisciplinary research to solve health, demographic, economic, and political concerns” from 2 to 6 May.

The program featured an interdisciplinary approach, with professors, researchers, and representatives from Cote d’Ivoire’s Ministry of Health participating to provide deeper insights into sustainable African cities.

The program covered the following topics: African population dynamics, migration, pollution, and transportation, the political economy of food crises and food riots in the MENA region, and diet quality enhancement.

During the summer school week, 8 scholars participated in the tutored group work session with Bordeaux. 7 scholars attended a special workshop on the 17 sustainable development goals with the BKMC.

Food systems and stakeholder interactions in Côte d’Ivoire were presented by Joseph, Anna, and Emmanuel Hanyabui.
 
Aurian and Esmael gave a presentation on African air pollution.
 
Moussa and Dula discussed the issue of informal settlements and transportation issues in Addis Ababa.

Dorcas and Shalom presented recent trends on each SDG, providing a great overview of the current state of the global goals.

 

The scholars underwent the one-week intense summer school program and now have a basic understanding of what is required to build a sustainable city and community, which they will use when implementing their SDG Micro-Project. Stay tuned as our scholars start working on their SDG Micro-Projects! 

 

Launch Global Citizen Scholarship Program 2022

On 29 April 2022, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens launched its 5th Global Citizen Scholarship Program in partnership with RELX and Université de Bordeaux. 17 young changemakers from Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, and the Philippines will turn their passion for sustainable development into SDG Micro-Projects and empower their communities. CEO Monika Fröhler and Program Officer Jessica Besch held an introduction call to welcome the cohort and guide them in the different steps of their 8-months journey.

 

This week, from 2 to 6 May, the scholars are joining the online Summer School hosted by the University of Bordeaux to learn more about sustainable African cities. The program will continue virtually with expert workshops, mentoring sessions, and the SDG Micro-Project implementation phase.

 

Learn more about the Global Citizen Scholarship program and this year’s cohort here.

BAN KI-MOON STAGE at the RELX INSPIRATION DAY

On June 22nd, RELX hosted the seventh SDG Inspiration Day in collaboration with several organizations including the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, Global Citizen, UN Global Compact India, UN Global Compact UK. The virtual event explored the topic Mobilising Business for a Better World: Accelerating Business Action on the #SDGs. Watch all the sessions right here. 

This year the event hosted a Ban Ki-moon stage with opening remarks from the former United Nations Secretary-General himself. “We need everyone’s engagement. If we want this global roadmap to succeed by 2030, the contribution of businesses is essential. I am proud to have expanded and mainstreamed the UN Global Compact, which ensures that business is done both sustainably and responsibly.”…watch his full message below:

The same stage also hosted an interactive session moderated by BKMC CEO Monika Froehler joined by Youth Council Member of the World Humanitarian Forum and SDG Ambition Leader of UN Global Compact, Kenneth Kwok, Operations Consultant and Global Citizen Scholar Akosua Pepra, and Executive Director, UNGC India, Shabnam Siddiqui.

 

The session titled Mobilising future business leaders on the SDGs focused on the role of youth entrepreneurship and activism when it comes to achieving the 2030 Agenda. A key takeaway is to make the process of SDG implementation much general conclusion was that youth are seen as agents of implementation, but not seen as strategic partners who can join the decision table. Akosua demanded, “I think it is time to see youth as really important stakeholders in strategy and planning.”

Get more information about Relx Inspiration Day here. 

Ban Ki-moon Global Citizen Scholars 2020 – Closing Ceremony

On December 15, 2020, the Ban Ki-moon Global Citizen Scholarship Program 2020’s Closing Ceremony took place. The BKMC, together with RELX & University of Bordeaux awarded, six extraordinary African Global Citizen Scholars – Akosua PepraOduor Kevin, Hikmat Baba Dua, Tafadzwa Sachikonye, Barbara Nakijoba, and Ruvimbo Samangafor successfully completing the scholarship program and implementing outstanding SDG Micro-Projects in their communities 

The Ceremony was opened by Co-chair Ban Ki-moon, who greeted participants in a video statement and welcomed the scholars to the alumni family of the BKMC, expressing support and gratitude for the scholars’ contributions to the Agenda 2030: More than ever the world needs young leaders like yourselves. It makes me proud that you have chosen to be ambassadors of global citizenship and that we can consider you as a valued member of the BKMC family. 

Márcia Balisciano, Global Head of Corporate Responsibility at RELX Group and a valued member of the BKMC Board, also addressed the audience.  Márcia Balisciano expressed RELX’s enthusiasm for funding the Ban Ki-moon Global Citizen Scholarship Program 2020 while sharing exciting news, We are thrilled to have participated in this program and we would like to announce that we would like to fund this program again next year.”  

BKMC CEO Monika Froehler also congratulated the scholars and emphasized the impact they have created with their projects: This is exactly what a global citizen mindset is about: global citizen values and 21st-century skills. We are honored that we had the chance to have worked with you.  

The University of Bordeaux, represented by Vice President for External Relations Stéphanie Debette, shared her words of congratulations and also positive feedback from professors at the university who mentored the scholars during their SDG Micro-project implementation.

The highlight of the ceremony was the presentations by our GC scholars where they shared the impact they have created in their communities. 

To improve the livelihoods of widows and orphans involved in farming, GC Scholar Akosua Pepra developed the SDG Micro-Project “Climate Resilient Agriculture for Widows and Orphans in Rural Communities in Ghana” (SDGs 1, 2, 5 and 13).  


Barbara Nakijoba, deeply passionate about youth empowerment, conceptualized the “Youth take the lead”  in the Rugaba Division in Uganda to create a more peaceful society by reducing crime by 2021 (SDG 16). 


Action4Periods by Hikmat Baba Dua, created a safe space for 60 women and girls in rural communities in Mbanaailiy (Ghana) by engaging elders, women and girls to discuss the stigma of menstrual hygiene and produced 60-70 reusable pads, improving access to menstrual products (SDG 3, 4, 5 and 13).  


 

GC scholar Oduor Kevin founded INFO4FOOD, as he realized that food waste was dumped on the roads by vendors contributing to environmental degradation. With his project he prevented post-harvest losses, reaching 87 households in Kenya.


 

Ruvimbo Samanga’s project Agrispace, helps farmers in Zimbabwe gather missing agricultural data by using satellite technology to monitor agricultural productivity, leading to more sustainable and climate-resilient practices. The program can map different agricultural zones providing soil data, weather soil analysis, and monitoring crop health and irrigation, allowing farmers to have better time and yield tools for crops. Agrispace contributes to many SDGs, particularly SDG 2 for “zero hunger” and target 2.1.2 for “food insecurity”.


Tafadzwa Sachikonye raised public and private awareness for improved urban wastewater system in Zimbabwe with her project Waterclix for sustainable urban water systems in Zimbabwe (SDG 6 and also 3, 5, 13).  

   

In the last part of the evening, Program Officer Julia Zimmerman awarded the scholars with their certificate of achievement, and Co-chair Heinz Fischer offered closing remarks, commending all GC scholars 2020 on their efforts, You showed resilience, passion and transformed challenges into opportunities. 

We want to congratulate all of our GC scholars 2020! We are immensely proud of the results of your hard work and look forward to seeing what you do next! Additionally, we want to thank our partners RELX Group and the University of Bordeaux again for their wonderful support and collaboration for the program this year! 

BKMC’s partner RELX hosted a discussion event in New York

“If you want to be successful in your sustainable development efforts, you have to get women’s empowerment right.” – Keith Harper
On September 26 in New York, RELX Government Affairs and Corporate Responsibility in association with BKMC and LexisNexis hosted an event to discuss the role of business in supporting human rights, diversity, inclusion and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Daniel Marti, Head of Global Government Affairs at RELX, delivered an opening remark, and the conversation was led by BKMC Board Member Márcia Balisciano, Director of the Corporate Responsibility at RELX, and Ambassador Keith Harper, former US Ambassador to the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, who now serves as Board member of the American Constitution Society.

RELX SDG Inspiration Day Delhi: Inspiring collaborative action on the 17 global goals

On 2 May 2019, BKMC partner RELX held its fourth SDG Inspiration Day in Delhi to catalyze action on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This event took place at the iconic Imperial Hotel in partnership with Global Compact India, Responsible Media Forum and the Ban Ki-Moon Centre for Global Citizens. The theme Sustainable Cities: SDG 11, critical to the rest inspired rich discussion among participants from business, government, civil society and academia who explored the interconnection of SDG 11 with cross-cutting themes, such as health and the rule of law. In the opening plenary, BKMC Board member Marcia Balisciano, Director, Corporate Responsibility at RELX, explained that India is in the top 10 countries for research on SDG 11 and in the last five years India’s research output on sustainable cities has more than doubled. A keynote from Ambassador Kim won-soo, BKMC Board member and former UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, highlighted the need for smaller cities and the role of technology to harmonize this. The day featured an expert café with contributions from Arunava Dasgupta, Head , Department for Urban Design, Centre for Urban Design Innovation; Amit Sharma, BU Head, Energy and Sustainability Services, Schneider Electric India and Aditi Haldar, South-Asia Director, GRI among others, who explored the challenges of health planning for urban populations, the role of data, technology and smart infrastructure, circular and green energy systems and the future of jobs and skills. Youth were well represented during the partnership fair, with a number of student presentations from the School of Urban Planning who shared their proposals for cities that were greener, more resilient and were more caring for older populations. SDG Inspiration Day Delhi was the fourth of a series of inspiration days held across the world: London in 2017, which launched the RELX SDG Resource Centre; Silicon Valley which explored disruptive technology to advance the SDGs and Amsterdam on the importance of partnerships for the Goals, both in 2018. Read more: https://sdgresources.relx.com/news-features/relx-sdg-inspiration-day-delhi-inspiring-collaborative-action-17-global-goals Photo: RELX Group  

BKMC features at the partnership fair of the “SDG Inspiration Day”

“SDG Inspiration Day: The Power of Partnerships to advance the SDGs” was hosted by BKMC partner RELX Group in Zaandam near Amsterdam, the Netherlands on November 6th, 2018. The Centre’s Board Member Márcia Balisciano, who is Director of Corporate Responsibility at RELX, delivered welcome remarks at the opening session. During the event, the Centre’s Associate Minji Kwag participated in the partnership fair, introducing the vision, mission, and work of the Centre to the participants of the event and potential partners. During the Expert Cafe workout session, people went around the round tables to exchange ideas on how to advance the SDGs. Some of the discussion topics included, but were not limited to, dealing with cultural gaps, addressing the importance of education, building an effective partnership, and empowering the young generation in Africa. Since RELX Group launched SDG Resource Center to provide a free, interactive education platform curating content related to sustainability research in June 2017, the group has also organized “SDG Inspiration Day” events to inspire more people with the goals and to help them inspire others. As an early signatory of the UN Global Compact (UNGC), RELX uses the SDGs to chart the participation of businesses in achieving the goals. For more information on the “SDG Inspiration Day” in Amsterdam 2018, visit the event website: https://info.relxgroup.com/nl-sdg-event-2018/index.html The “SDG Inspiration Day” previously held in San Francisco can be watched on RELX Group’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/REEnvChallenge