Our UofMosaic Fellowship activities this year started off by hosting a workshop on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the 2017 UBC Student Leadership Conference. With the theme of Disrupt Ordinary, our goal was to reflect on how the SDGs were disrupting the ordinary narrative of development.

Our presentation began with a history of international development and the impetus for the creation of the first set of global goals, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). We analyzed some of the successes as well as the shortcomings of these goals, and discussed how the SDGs are attempting to continually address current issues.

Some of the key points discussed pertained to how the SDGs are disrupting the ordinary through their universality, their ambition, and their focus on civil society. Firstly, their characteristic universality means that they apply equally to both developed and developing nations. This places the burden of working for a better world on all nations. Secondly, their ambition makes them an inspirational standard to work towards. As Ban Ki Moon says, “there is no plan B because we do not have a planet B”. Hence, the SDGs seek to embrace the difficult challenges ahead. Finally, the focus on civil society makes the SDGs not only the work of government, but the work of schools, communities, non-profits, and individuals across society. By empowering individuals to take action on what matters to them, we are able to mobilize large numbers and achieve these ambitious goals.

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To conclude the presentation, we engaged in an activity that allowed us to practice what it would look like to take action on the SDGs. Groups were divided in small teams to brainstorm ideas for implementing the SDGs in their respective communities. To watch the video presentation of this session, please click here.

Overall, the UBC Student Leadership Conference provided an excellent opportunity for us to bring the Sustainable Development Goals and the work of The Mosaic Institute to our campus community. We are looking forward to hosting our UN SDG Youth Training on March 6th as our final event for the 2016/2017 academic year!

Left to right: Nika, Morrell and Nelly

Blog written by: UofMosaic Fellows at UBC (Nika Moeini, Morrell Andrews, Nelly Ky and Himani Bhatnagar)