Sustainable development to create lasting change in communities can be achieved when communities invest in their people, particularly the youth.
On 10 January 2018, Dr Marek Wosinski, President of the Global Network for Sustainable Development (GNSD), and Senior Sustainability Scientist at Arizona State University, discussed the multicultural approach to global sustainable development and youth education.
Dr Wosinski began by underlining the importance of education and building strong communities. As the future of all societies, it is crucial to invest in the youth and in their education. Facing an increasingly unpredictable future, the goal of education must change from just providing information now easily found online to teaching young minds to find, evaluate and adopt information themselves.
A strong community built on partnerships among different sectors will also provide young people great opportunities to contribute to the development of their society. A global approach to partnerships can give young people access to even more knowledge and resources. Revitalising global partnerships for sustainable development is in fact listed as one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In such a scenario, it is ideal to have everybody work with each other, for example the government, non-government organisations, schools and citizens. However, as building partnerships is not easy, it is also important to teach young leaders how to form and cherish relationships and networks.
Dr Wosinski introduced the work of Global Network for Sustainable Development (GNSD) which was launched in Nepal. To carry out the organisation’s mission of educating young future community leaders about the importance of global and local partnerships, they have two types of clubs: Sustainability Clubs for Peace and Peace Clubs for Sustainability.
Speaking more in detail about GSND’s activities was Mr Bibesh Manandhar, who Dr Wosinki introduced as a youth leader from Nepal. Mr Manandhar shared the challenges he faced in his effort to protect the environment in Nepal and the programmes GSND has been involved with to address such issues. These include cleaning campaigns and engaging other youths through international internships in Arizona State University.
The talk ended with Dr Wosinski addressing the audience’s questions which included GSND’s expanding presence in Asia, getting more young people involved and how older generations can connect with the youth to share their knowledge and experience with them.