Science Diplomacy in International Organizations: Fostering Multilateral Resilience and Driving Sustainable Innovations
Convened by the German Center for Research and Innovation, UA Ruhr and UAS7, and supported by the German Consulat General, 40 high level science diplomacy experts and practitioners met on November 30, 2022 to exchange their work and thoughts on the role of science diplomacy and multilateralism for the most pressing global issues.
Introduced by Wolfram von Heynitz Deputy Consul General at the German Consulate General, Mathy V. Stanislaus of our partner Drexel University, Katarina Kuai of UNDCO and Bill Hunter of Lehigh University delivered prompts, which were then discussed over breakfast in smaller groups. Jan Lüdert, Head of Programs at DWIH New York, led through the program.
Bill Hunter, Director, Fellowship Advising and United Nations Programs, and Global Competence Researcher, Lehigh University delivered a Call to Action: to map existing curricula to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and to expand global competence in STEM education. Among the tools he mentioned were: teach SDGs in baseline courses, use technology wisely, simulate multilateralism (Model UN or SDG Model Simulation by Lehigh University), form international collaborations, create challenges for solutions, and develop interpersonal skills.
Katharina Kuai, Innovations Specialist at UNDCO, is sitting at the heart of multilateralism. She shared two important questions: What can we do do re-engage young people to multilateralism, and why do we care about science and diplomacy. She's calling for diversifying science, for developing a citizen science. Here, too, we need to start to educate critical thinking skills early.
Mathy Stanislaus, Vice Provost and Executive Director of the Environmental Collaboratory, Drexel University, asks to reimagine universities as community partners and use indigenous knowledge. We need to take all stakeholders with, locally and globally. How do we build trust in science? How to develop more inclusive decision making processes?
We were glad so many important themes were brought up in the speaker prompts and in subsequent discussions. First results towards a framework of how to effectively implement the Sustainable Development Goals are to start teaching science diplomacy and its foundations early, to teach them as baseline classes at schools and universities, to be inclusive in local and global decision-making processes, to develop trust between all stakeholders - and also strengthen the crucial role of applied sciences in resolving the worlds' most pressing issues. From the Higher Education perspective: we need to carve out and sharpen the role for universities and colleges to work and effect locally AND globally and universities of applied sciences have a special role in that.
We thank the Science Diplomacy Funds, the German Consulate General, and our partners UA Ruhr and the DWIH New York for this joint inspiring and forward thinking exchange.