University of Waterloo to host UN sustainability efforts

Waterloo -The University of Waterloo launched the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Canada. The organization brings together Canadian post-secondary institutions, civil society members and others to mobilize around the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement.

As part of the launch, Waterloo is hosting a free public lecture today, May 7 and Tuesday, May 8, with a keynote address by acclaimed development economist Jeffrey Sachs, Director of SDSN. 

“Our global community faces challenges on an unprecedented scale and for that reason now is the time to address the pressing social and environmental issues that threaten our future prosperity,” said Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Waterloo. “Waterloo’s research strengths and entrepreneurial spirit are what will enable SDSN Canada to develop innovative approaches to meet our sustainable development goals. Now is the time for action and create transformative change and we are honoured that Waterloo can help lead this initiative.”

SDSN Canada joins with 24 other SDSN networks globally, comprised of more than 700 participating institutions. SDSN members work closely with United Nations agencies, multilateral financing institutions, the private sector, and civil society on the implementation and promotion of practical solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.

“SDSN Canada has the power to activate the tremendous potential and unique perspective of our country,” said Jean Andrey, dean of Waterloo’s Faculty of Environment. “But these issues can’t be solved in isolation. Cross-sector partnerships are key for effecting positive change and can be applied to problems like climate change, poverty and social justice, here at home, and around the globe.”

A key component of Waterloo’s involvement in the SDSN comes from its partnership with the Waterloo Global Science Initiative (WGSI), a non-profit partnership between Perimeter Institute of Theoretical Physics and the University of Waterloo.