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Global Goals Conference

On 28 April 2016 the London International Development Centre and the UCL Institute for Global Prosperity hosted:

Global Goals: Take Action

Download the programme

Academics from six London university colleges have been exploring the interactions between post-2015 development target setting areas as part of Thinking Beyond Sectors for Sustainable Development.

Coordinated by the London International Development Centre (LIDC), the project has brought together social and political scientists, natural scientists, geographers, urban planners, agronomists, human and animal health experts and natural resource experts with a shared interest in the ongoing post-2015, sustainable development goal setting agenda.

The project involves almost forty academics from University College London (UCL), School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS), the UCL-Institute of Education (UCL-IOE), Birkbeck, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and Royal Veterinary College (RVC).

One of the main messages from the book Thinking Beyond Sectors, produced as part of the research, is that governance of development goals is important to the design and future implementation of the SDGs. It also shows the 17 SDGs represented in three concentric layers, reflecting their main intended outcomes. This framework reveals potential conflicts and synergies between goals, and how their interactions might be governed.

Download the book for free

The conference addressed the challenges presented by the the post-2015 development agenda. The Global Goals for Sustainable Development (also known as the SDGs) build on the Millennium Development Goals, which were aimed at meeting the needs of the world's poorest in low and middle income countries.

The new Global Goals are universal and also applicable to developed, as well as developing, countries.

The conference aimed to challenge students to think about the impact of the goals and how that might be relevant to them in the future, and guide them towards training and careers.

The Global Goals are set to run from 2015 to 2030, a time scale which will coincide with a sizable proportion of current students’ careers. The conference was targeted at students from across all subject areas – to include medicine, public health, engineering, politics, law, pharmacy, veterinary science, anthropology, geography, environmental sciences and development studies, among others.

Conference report:

We have hit ‘peak youth’ – there never has been, and never will be, as many young people proportionally in any generation as this.

This was the striking message given by Nik Hartley, CEO of Restless Development, a youth-led NGO.

Although populations in Europe are getting older, many developing countries have burgeoning young societies and it is with them that the power of ‘development’ lies.

The time is now for this generation to make a difference in the world – leading on the front line, delivering the sustainable development goals and being celebrated for it. Nik said 2,300 young people were at the forefront of community based action to fight Ebola in Sierra Leone, who’s efforts and stories are not extolled enough in western development and crisis narratives.

Nik’s keynote address was a fitting end to a fantastic day of discussion and reflection on the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs). 6 workshops took place, looking at cross-cutting issues and ultimately what students, young people and international cooperation can achieve.

Organised by LIDC, in collaboration with the UCL institute of global prosperity, the conference took place as part of a larger body of research into ‘thinking beyond sectors’ for the SDGs – the book of which can be downloaded for free.

As Dame Herrietta Moore, director of the institute, put it: international partnership will be crucial to delivering the SDGs – but with such a broad range of goals covering everything from energy to traffic accidents, prioritisation is going to be key. So who is going to choose? It will be the young millennial citizens of this generation to decide what matters most for them.

 The UCL Institute of Global Prosperity is part of a community of thinkers who believe that prosperity, in reality, includes wellbeing, happiness, equal access to resources, and the capacity to aspire for change in one’s personal life as well as for the world one lives in. Importantly, prosperity in all its forms is impossible without environmental sustainability. Read the report from the conference over at IGP