More than 100 people participated in the SDG 8 hybrid conference that took place online and at the University of Gothenburg on August 26-27. A great line-up of distinguished keynote speakers as well as constructive workshops generated ideas and inspiration for the project.
Keynote speakers were Pam Fredman, President of IAU, Johannes Siegrist, researcher on work-related health, Steven Stone from UN Environment Program (UNEP), Chantal Line Carpentier, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and Driss Ezzine de Blas representing the Latin American Center for the Sustainable Development Goals hosted by the Andes University.
“They all made very interesting presentations, pointed out topics of critical importance, gave us a lot of encouragement, and contributed to ideas for the future of this project,” says project leader Jenni Strömstad.
“They also stressed the importance of research and global cooperation when it comes to addressing the SDGs.”
The main purpose of the conference was to present research related to SDG 8 targets and to discuss synergies and challenges. The different sub-goals were addressed in separate workshops and the researchers who presented papers got feedback on their work.
What role did this conference have in the SDG 8 project?
“It is important to gather all the researchers involved in this project, show that there is an interest in their work, and get more researchers on board, not least from the Global South. I hope we can have a bigger conference in a year or so, with a lot more researchers. The input we got from the keynote speakers was very encouraging – there is a great potential in this collaboration.”
What happens next?
“We need to pick up the pace. COVID-19 has affected many people badly, especially groups that were already vulnerable so the situation is much worse than when the 2030 Agenda was established six years ago. Add to that the climate crisis and it becomes evident that we must scale up our work and our dialogue with policymakers. The research papers will also be published in a book.”
Facts, University of Gothenburg and SDG 8
The goal of SDG 8 is to achieve sustainable and inclusive economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all.
The International Association of Universities (IAU) has a cluster called Higher Education and Research for Sustainable Development, (HESD). Some universities within this organization have taken on the responsibility of coordinating research related to one SDG each. The University of Gothenburg is coordinating the work on SDG 8 and collaborates with eight satellite universities in the Global South.
By: Petra Hansson