UN Sustainable Development Goals and Education

It is important that all students graduate from KTH with the knowledge and tools they need to be able to contribute the sustainable development of society. KTH's programmes support knowledge development connected to several of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

What is sustainable development?

The concept of sustainable development was defined in the Bruntland Commission's report "Our common future" published in 1987 on behalf of the UN:

"Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It contains within it two key concepts: the concept of 'needs', in particular the essential needs of the world's poor, to which overriding priority should be given; and the idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organization on the environment's ability to meet present and future needs."

One way to make the concept more concrete is to define it in terms of different dimensions, for example by talking about ecological, social and economic sustainability.

The UN's Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, the UN member states adopted Agenda 2030, a universal agenda that includes the global Sustainable Development Goals. The 17 global goals in turn have 169 sub-goals and 230 indicators. The Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2030 are the most ambitious agreement on sustainable development that world leaders have ever adopted and exist to achieve four things:

  • Abolish extreme poverty
  • Reduce inequalities and injustices in the world
  • Promote peace and justice
  • Solve the climate crisis

The Sustainble Development Goals