Tag Archives: Sustainability

Student Sustainability Summit

Do you believe that human security and climate change are connected? Ever heard of exponential technologies? I presume the answer is yes! This presumption stems from the fact that the medium in which you read this article is a perfect example- The Internet!

This post is the concluding part of my amazing weekend in Harnosand. If you missed the first, you can find it hereūüėČ Disruptive technology is becoming a favourite topic in the sustainability space and this led to the topic,¬†¬†Exponential thinking in Sustainability. During the summit, Rebecka Carlsson enlightened us on¬† Singularity University and the different projects that people are/were working on during her time in the programme.

Exponential technologies move from deceptive to disruptive. This is evident in various sectors such as transportation, industrial growth, energy implementation, communication, the internet, processing speed of computers, amongst others. Interestingly, most of these technologies span from humans thinking about ways to improve the ways of working in their everyday lives.

Follow these sentences, do they bring to mind any new technology or brew new ideas in your mind?

  • This technology might stop climate change
  • The solar car I thought I would invent has been invented by my colleague
  • We might live long enough to live forever
  • Virtual reality can make us more emphatic
  • It is possible to make an engine work on asteroid minerals.
  • The coming 100 years will be 20,000 years of technological development

Some people have come to the conclusion that forty percent of fortune 500 companies that exist today will no longer exist. This extrapolation stems from this topic of exponential technologies and the impending revolution, most people expect to take place soon.

Giving my two cents ūüôā Photocredit: Sustainergies and Svanen

CASE SOLVING

The next session was all about goal 12. Have you heard of The Swan or Nordic Ecolabel? Have you seen this sign on some products and wondered why?

Nordic Ecolabel Logo

The Nordic Swan Ecolabel is the official sustainability ecolabel for the Nordic countries. The purpose was to give Nordic Consumers guidance and to help them choose products which had fulfilled strict environmental requirements. In Sweden, there are thousands of products carrying the Nordic Swan Ecolabel.

However, despite the awesome work the Nordic Swan is doing, the younger generation including me is oblivious to their activities. In addition, companies so as to gain market advantage make their own eco-marks. These were some of the challenges we tried to solve during the case solving session

groups presenting their various solutions. (Photo credit: Sustainergies and Svanen)

COMMUNICATIVE STRATEGIES

Photo credit: Sustainergies and Svanen

This was the final session which dealt with how we communicate the SDG goals. In this session, we learnt a lot on effective communication with respect to the dynamics in the room and how to engage your audience optimally. Also, we learnt how to prepare outstanding presentations irrespective of the topic of discussion.

Then we played the privilege game and called it a wrap not long after that:)

Privilege game

 

PERSONAL REFLECTION: I really loved the sustainability summit for students. I would encourage every student to take part at least once in the summit. It was good to listen and share ideas with people from various fields and different universities discuss sustainability and other interesting topics needed to move the world thinking in the right direction.

I also like the efforts Sweden is making with ensuring that companies are taking the necessary steps to ensure sustainability in the life cycle of products and not just, the disposal of products.

Did I mention it was my first vegetarian weekend? All meals were vegetarian options only and it was soooo goood!! So if you’re reading this and planning an event for just vegetarian options but want everyone to enjoy it, ask SIDA for advice on the best caterers!

Finally, do not forget this…

Everyone has a part to play in achieving the seventeen sustainable goals. What are you doing in your little world?

 

 

What a weekend!

If not now, when

If not you, then who?

These were the words that introduced me to the second most amazing weekend in the month of April. This is one of the many posts I have looked forward to sharing in recent times. I had a beautiful weekend in the city of Harnosand with students from different universities in Sweden; all with a singular interest РSUSTAINABILITY. So, join me on this exciting ride as I give you the details to some of the things we discussed and who knows, you might just become interested in acheiving the SDGs like me:)

I got to Harnosand on Friday (five hours train ride from Stockholm), It was a very nice trip but on a wrong day; In Stockholm, it was 20degrees, looking a whole lot like summer (first time ever since I got here!), and in Harnosand, the lake was still half-frozen! Good thing I had a nice dinner and a very comfortable bed waiting for me upon my arrival¬†(In other words, I had no worries…lool).

 

Let’s get the ball rolling….*insert drumroll*

Before the whole world caught the “SDG bug”, there were MDGs.MDGs refer to Millenium Development Goals. What’s the super big difference between the two set of goals? For me, the major difference is that SDGs involve everyone. The MDGs literally sounded like problems of the developing countries and then one goal was set aside for the developed countries to assist the developing countries in acheiving the targets (forgive my ‘astute’ description, lol). Another interesting thing is that the MDGs can be referred to as average goals. You would agree with me that if you read the targets of the SDGs, they are pretty¬†ambitious and heck, who would not loooove to reach for the stars:)

During the summit, before we dived into the SDGs, we talked about development cooperation and mentioned various actors involved in that.  It was a general consensus to conclude that all the actors involved in development cooperation signify the main groups needed to take action to achieve the SDGs by 2030. Take a look at our list below:

As an energy engineer, goal 7 is what my master’s degree AT KTH¬†aims at achieving with other like-minded individuals in my field of study. However, all the goals are inter-connected and in this summit, we extensively discussed goals 1,5,12 and 17.

  • Goal 1 – No poverty
  • Goal 5 – Gender equality
  • Goal12-Responsible consumption and production
  • Goal17-partnership for the goals

GOAL 1

Anyone who lives with the possession of less than 1.9USD in a day is living under extreme poverty. Different corporations use different analysis tool to determine the average number of persons in various countries in this category. We discussed some aspects that contribute to poverty and make it difficult for people to escape poverty. They include:

  • opportunities and choice. For example, education
  • resources
  • power and voice: one can categorise gender, modern slavery, human rights in this factor

GOAL 5

To summarise our discussion in a sentence, gender equality is a matter of fact and not fight when it comes to these three aspects:

  • rights
  • responsibilities
  • resources

GOAL 12

We spoke extensively on this goal and came to the conclusion that all other goals were linked to this. Most importantly, this goal cannot be achieved except everyone in the world understands that they have a role to play and start working towards it.

**********

This post is becoming a very long one full of important sustainability details. I do not want you to miss out on any important details by just scrolling through(haha!)  So, watch out for the next post. You know how everyone saves the best for the last? Certainly doing that right now!

However, just not to  leave you in suspense, think about this:

Total Aid spending by the OECD countries is pegged at $135bn and the aid needed for achieving the SDGs is estimated to be $4000bn. This certainly means one thing-

**BUSINESS AS USUAL WILL GET US NOWHERE**

 

 

 

 

 

 

Movie night!

You know the saying that we save the best for the last? Let me allow you be the judge of this…I present to you the¬†LAST¬†session of the Stories and Seeds monthly film forum

EVENT DETAILS

MOVIE: WALL-E
PLACE: KTH Library
DATE AND TIME: 18th April, 18:00

Remember, admission is free and refreshment will be served ūüôā

Hint: It revolves around the idea of the Earth being a spaceship. Find more information here

Let’s solve a challenge…

Recently, I was talking to a friend and we agreed that one of the reasons we love KTH is the closeness to the “real world”; the opportunity of interacting with companies, the vast range of startups you can collaborate with and then, the events to feed your interests in certain innovative projects.

One of such events has to be the Hackathons. During these events, great ideas have been birthed for the host companies and most people who participate, have found it challenging enough to spike some innovative ideas in their minds.

As KTH students, we are lucky enough to have some of these hackathons hosted right in campus! One of such examples is…

SEEDING IMPACT GOES MAD IN UGANDA

In this hackathon,  one is expected to unlock the key challenges to scale access to Clean Water and Sanitation in Uganda. In other words, you are  creating a solution that will affect lives positively and also, contribute to acheiving one of the seventeen sustainable development goals!

More so, the winning team will go directly to the final qualification round to travel with MAD to Uganda this summer!

EVENT DETAILS

I love when these events hold during the weekend. This means no classes, so everyone can participate! However, I recently just found out about this and felt it would be important to share. To this end, if you do not have plans tomorrow, come take a chance on participating in a hackathon that acheives something greater!

When: 8th of April 11am – 7pm
Where: Valhallavägen 79, 5th floor, 114 28 Stockholm

You can find out more information here

 

Pro-sustainability actions

Photo credit: Chidimma Ude

I love this picture so much! Can you guess why? The tote bag! Talk about being a walking advertisement of the SDGs ;). The unconscious act of spreading the message of sustainable development aimed at ensuring that everyone understands that as individuals, organisations and the government we all have our roles to play is why I wear a smile in this picture:)

How did I get this bag?

From Women in Tech to Cybercom

Remember the Women in Tech Conference held in celebration of the International Women’s Day?¬† One of the companies present that day, Cybercom, decided to host a meet-up at their office to introduce everyone to their innovation zone. I wish I could give you full details from the meet-up, but due to unforeseen circumstances, I had less than thirty minutes at this event. However, it was thirty minutes well spent:)

The Meetup…

So what made my short time at the meetup worth it? There were various booths concentrating on the various projects they are involved in as a company. However, guess the booth I spent all that time at? Sustainability booth!

In summary, Cybercom an IT consulting company, seeing that drastic actions have to be taken to ensure that the seventeen goals are acheived by 2030, have stepped up to ensure that other organisations are working towards these goals by providing digital sustainability services. In other words, they support companies by giving advisory services on how they can be sustainable in all stages of their businesses from ideation to service delivery. (Interesting right?)

Let’s take a sneak peak…

Remember:

Everyone has a part to play in achieving the seventeen sustainable goals. What are you doing in your little world?

Let’s keep spreading the word about the sustainable development goals ūüôā

 

For students who might be interested in all that Cybercom is involved in, let this picture juggle your mind…