Engaging students online during COVID-19 crisis: Teaching and learning with the SDG Academy

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, we would like to remind the business school community that SDG Academy content is available for free as a resource for online teaching and learning.

The SDG Academy is the flagship education initiative of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), a global initiative for the United Nations. SDSN was set up in 2012 under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General and with the direction of Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, to mobilize global scientific and technological expertise to promote practical solutions for sustainable development, including the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement.

The SDG Academy aims to be the premier source of high-quality educational content on the SDGs, with the mandate to enrich the field of sustainable development and advance the UN’s Agenda 2030. The SDG Academy engages a community of education institutions —including business schools and higher education institutions— as well as individual learners, offering educational content and peer exchange and learning to advance sustainable development. In its first years of operation, the initiative has garnered roughly 300,000 enrollments across its platforms, from more than 180 countries. The SDG Academy aims to reach millions of learners around the world.

With so many schools and universities moving their classes online in response to the COVID-19 crisis, we want to remind the business school community that SDG Academy content is available for free as a resource for online teaching and learning:

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)

In collaboration with leading experts around the world and relevant partners, the SDG Academy has produced over 30 MOOCs on the SDGs and related topics, hosted on edX, the world’s largest nonprofit online learning platform. Teachers can encourage their students to enroll in a free SDG Academy MOOC on edX to supplement other online pedagogies. Our most recent course, “Conversations with Global Leaders: Leading on Sustainable Development,” featured engaging and personal conversations with former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Paul Polman, former President of Colombia Jose Manuel Santos, and former Prime Minister of Norway, Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, among other global leaders. Soon to be available our course “Work and Employment for Sustainable Development”, developed with renowned experts on the field and in partnership with the International Labor Organization (ILO).

SDG Academy Library

In our SDG Academy Library, you can search for engaging video lectures and case studies on a range of sustainable development issues such as education, health, economics, human rights, public policy, business and sustainable development, and more. Over 1000 video lectures and case studies can be searched by MOOC, SDG, faculty, academic subject, or keyword. This resource is a key asset for any educator who needs online content for a class, presentation, workshop, or training; or any learner who would like to learn specific topics related to the SDGs.

Webinars and online conferences

In partnership with experts and relevant actors in the space, the SDG Academy organizes webinars and online conferences covering sustainable development topics, online pedagogy, and current issues such as our recent webinar on “The Epidemiology and Economics of Coronavirus”. In that sense, lately and in response to the COVID-19 crisis, we hosted a webinar to introduce people to these resources and support many of whom were previously unfamiliar with our work or who were struggling to adapt to remote teaching. A summary of the webinar and recording is available here.

It is our hope that these resources ease the transition to online teaching that many educators are facing, and continue to be useful to you and your colleagues. We also hope to engage as many business schools as possible to ensure that together we empower the current and future generation of leaders to create a sustainable, inclusive and just world for all!

Please spread the word, stay safe and teach on!

Florencia Librizzi is the Head of Program and Partnerships, SDG Academy, UN SDSN. Previously, she served as Senior Manager for the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) initiative. She is a sustainability and education professional, and international attorney licensed to practice law in Argentina and New York.

1 Comment

  1. Sam on May 9, 2020 at 21:45

    been wasting a lot of time lately, think i will try this out.