University embracing UN Goals

10 March 2017
FMHS’ Marleena Holmberg, Executive Assistant and Karen Hoare, Senior Lecturer Nursing, are joined by Karen Dorrian, International Manager, International Office in preparation for SDG Awareness Week.

As students and staff settle in to the second week of the academic year, the week also sees a number of events and activities taking place at the University to mark United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Awareness Week.

The SDGs, otherwise known as the Global Goals, are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity, via 17 aspirational goals and accompanying sets of targets to 2030.

To mark this global focus, a number of awareness activities are taking place on campus this week, while the Sustainability and Environment Office is due to report on mapping of research capabilities across the University which relate to the goals.

The Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences is running a series of lunchtime presentations from academics and students on the SDGs this week. The talks are at 12-2pm daily and are open to all.

Senior Lecturer Dr Karen Hoare, from the schools of Nursing and Population Health and a member of the organising committee, says: “As the country’s number one research-led University, the University of Auckland has a responsibility to disseminate the Sustainable Development Goals to all of our students and staff. As educators we are illustrating how attainment of the SDGs can be addressed at a local, national and global level.”

The University of Auckland is an institutional member of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), which brings organisations together to develop and promote solutions, policies and public education for sustainable development.

Dr Lesley Stone, a member of the SDSN’s Australia/Pacific regional executive, has been working with Research Office staff to gain insights on the extent to which capabilities of research active staff coincide with the SDGs and the SDSN’s twelve inter-disciplinary thematic networks.

“The SDG research capability ‘maps’ will help us to determine where there are  strong nodes of relevant research, as well as gaps that would be strategically useful to fill,” says Lesley. “The overall goal is to find effective ways to enhance the profile and contribution of research, teaching, learning and service, as well as leadership and collaboration in pursuit of sustainability in its broadest sense.”

The database searches have identified around a thousand relevant research active staff. It is expected that the next phase will enlist their help in validating and further refining the maps. Ultimately, the project will also include the contributions that our service divisions do and can make as role models for a broad range of sustainable practices.

For more details on the lunchtime seminars, contact Marleena Holmberg:

For more information on SDG capability mapping, contact Lesley Stone: