Ivan Allen College Faculty, Students, Participate in ‘17 Zooms’
By Michael Pearson
Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts faculty members and students participated in a campus-wide discussion on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on Oct. 1. The Georgia Institute of Technology president’s office sponsored the invitation-only “17 Zooms” online event.
The meeting was a follow-up to last year’s in-person “17 Rooms” event organized by the University Global Compact (UGC), a coalition of universities and other higher education organizations committed to working with the United Nations and other organizations in support of the SDGs. Three Ivan Allen College faculty members participated with President Ángel Cabrera in that event.
Participants in the Oct. 1 event had a collaborative discussion on the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals and their importance to the Atlanta region, including ways to make progress toward each target in the next 18 months.
Dean Kaye Husbands Fealing, who took part in the discussion, said the Ivan Allen College is uniquely situated to play a vital role in Georgia Tech’s growing commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals.
Since its founding, the College has had a strong commitment to civic leadership and social justice. It also has extensive research and policy expertise in many of the UN goals, including Good Health and Well-Being (#3); Quality Education (#4); Gender Equality (#5), Decent Work & Economic Growth (#8); Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure (Goal #9); Reduced Inequalities (#10); Sustainable Cities & Communities (#11); Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions (#16); and Partnerships for the Goals (#17).
“The Ivan Allen College is thrilled to participate in Georgia Tech’s sustainable development goals activities, Husbands Fealing said. “This is an important effort, and one in which we can make a real impact.”
Other Ivan Allen College faculty involved included School of Economics Chair Laura Taylor and Associate Professor Shatakshee Dhongde; Associate Professor Margaret E. Kosal and Assistant Professor Neha Kumar; ADVANCE Professor Mary Frank Fox, Assistant Professor Emanuele Massetti, and Professor Valerie Thomas of the School of Public Policy; and Associate Professor Jennifer Singh of the School of History and Sociology.
Anna Westerstahl Stenport, who also is co-director of the Atlanta Global Studies Center (AGSC), and Associate Director Sebnem Ozkan also participated in the event as moderators. Both are members of the Fall 2020 SDG Organizing Committee, which planned the event. The AGSC and the School are key partners in the effort to support collaborative efforts to advance interdisciplinary education, research, and public engagement.
“The SDGs have the potential to serve as great catalysts for positive societal transformation in ways that advance the public good, locally and globally,” said Stenport. “The fall 2020 ‘17 Zooms’ events showcase the breadth and depths of existing SDG strengths at Georgia Tech and in the Ivan Allen College.”
The event occurred days before the second-annual Global Climate Action Symposium sponsored by Georgia Tech and European consulates during European Climate Diplomacy Week.
The Oct. 6-9 virtual symposium brought together a wide range of experts to showcase climate change engagement by local student activists, scientists and engineers, business and policy experts, and artists.