(List # 55) University Collaborations

university-university partnerships for the SDGs

(List # 55) University Collaborations
Photo by Chris Montgomery / Unsplash

This week’s list is on university-university partnerships for the SDGs.

I’ve had a few requests (thanks Ruben!) for a List on university collaborations. Here is the first. As always, if you have any initiatives you want to share, or lists you want to request, just let me know at gweybrecht@thesustainablemba.com.


Instructors from the University of Guelph in Canada (Dr. Ruben Burga), University of Navarra in Spain (Dr. Rodriguez Tejedo) and IPMI International Business School in Indonesia (Dr. Amelia Naim) collaborated to create a cross cultural experiential learning activity for their students. Over 120 students from the three institutions were mixed into teams to review 20-40 business innovation case studies written up on aim2flourish.com to analyse their impact on the 17 SDGs. Each team wrote up critical reflections from this experience which were published in an Open Access book available here. The book contains over 350 stories written by the students.


The Centre for Social Impact in Australia is a collaboration of four universities, UNSW, Swinburne University of Technology, The University of Western Australia and Flinders University. In Australia, $510 billion is spent annually on social purpose programmes but often it is unclear whether they are effective or not.  The Centre develops a number of tools to help measure the impact of these projects and track progress. One such tool is the Australian Social Progress Index which ranks states and territories on their social progress. The Centre also offers course and degree programmes for students across the four universities.

3.     THE ARTIC

The University of the Arctic is a network of universities, colleges, research institutes and other organisations concerned with education and research in and about the North. The Circumpolar Studies program gives students the opportunity to learn about the lands, peoples, and issues of the Circumpolar North, preparing them for advanced study or professional employment in fields as diverse as sustainable resource management, self-government or tourism. The core curriculum (available to browse here) was developed as a collaborative effort of UArctic member institutions, and each university offering the degree will recommend additional electives. Several different UArctic member universities offer the degree.


The SDG Impact Assessment Tool is a free, online, learning tool that visualises the results from a self-assessment of how an activity, organisation or innovation affects the SDGs.  It aims to stimulate the user to get a better understanding of the complexity of sustainable development and the different aspects of the SDGs. The tool can be used by researchers, teachers, companies, agencies, civil organisations or anyone who wants to learn more about their impact on the SDGs. The tool was developed by the Gothenburg Centre for Sustainable Development which is a collaboration between Chalmers University of Technology and University of Gothenburg.


Students from Tecnológico de Monterrey, Universidad Católica de Chile, and Uniandes were put into teams for a two day bootcamp. The objective of each team was to tackle the enormous challenges which their cities face, which have been aggravated by the recent pandemic. Solutions were explored in relation to health and wellbeing, environmental mental sustainability, inclusivity, smart cities, culture and governance. Every team was supported by a mentor from one of the entrepreneurship centres of the different universities involved. Students pitched their solutions to a jury to be named a winner in one of the categories: the solution with the potential for greatest impact, the most innovative solution, and the best pitch of the day.


Business with Social Impact in Emerging Markets is an international project realised in partnership with the Institute of Business Studies RANEPA in the Universidad de Colombia School of Management, ISAE – Brazilian Business School, SPJIMR-Bharatiya Vidaya Bhavan (India) and University of Monterrey (Mexico). The project is meant to create unique learning experiences in different contexts and countries (Brazil, Colombia, India, Russia, Mexico), acquaint students with a variety of situations, problems and opportunities to lead them to transform social issues into successful business models. The program is tuition- free. In the past participants would visit each of the countries but it is now virtual.


The Sustainable Enterprise Network (SEKN) is an academic network made of business schools in Ibero-America whose purpose is to generate and disseminate knowledge about inclusive and sustainable corporate and social initiatives. Schools involved include EGADE (Mexico), ESPAE (Ecuador), ESADE (Spain), INCAE (Costa Rica) and Universidad de San Andres (Argentina) to name but a few. Some of their recent research focuses on regenerative companies. The group has also produced a number of case studies including these ones on social franchise, innovations in emerging economies, and one on the National Symphony Orchestra of Colombia.


Five key findings from the 2022 UN Population Prospect

Interesting take on nuclear option for climate change

A primer on Gender Lens Investing

Amazing portraits of South Korean haenyeo, iconic shellfish divers (!)

This latest report on the status of SDG 2 is not good (there is a video too)

India will overtake Chine in 2023

Mo Farah revealed he was illegally trafficked into Britain

Patagonia in Amsterdam has a repair centre that can be shared with other brands to keep more gear going for longer.

How time is contagious

Incredible visuals of extreme heat around the world


I was reading this article over at HBR about what reading fiction can teach students about empathy. Do any of you use fiction books in your curriculum? Which ones would you recommend and why? I’ll share the list here.