Aligning higher education community engagement with the Sustainable Development Goals

Available times:


Collaboratory Administrators, Community Engagement Professionals, Interested in Collaboratory


Watch this presentation, given by Kristin Medlin, Collaboratory’s Director of Research + Development, and Collaboratory Research Fellow Jessica Givens, at the 2021 Ashoka U Exchange. The presentation highlighted the connections between higher education community engagement and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and offered a crosswalk methodology for working with keyword banks across the two subject areas.

Session Abstract: 

One critique of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is that there is a disconnect between the articulation of global goals and the coordination of localized efforts that can directly contribute to those goals. As a result, higher education and other entities in the United States have been slow to adopt the international framework. This workshop will introduce participants to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and metrics through a community-university partnership lens. We suggest that by understanding community-university partnerships in the context of the SDGs, higher education institutions can respond at the local level with clear evidence of how their existing work already supports the 17 global goals. 

Participants will have the opportunity to explore how the SDGs connect to higher education mission and vision, how they can manifest across campus, and how they can be incorporated into community engagement initiatives at their institutions. In the final portion of this workshop, participants will have the opportunity to align their university’s community engagement and commitments to impact with the UN SDGs using a first-of-its-kind resource guide and toolkit.

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