Generation SDG Summit to spark pan-Canadian approach to the UN Sustainable Development Goals
Waterloo - Just over two years since the 193 Member States of the UN adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a robust and uniquely Canadian approach to implementation at home has yet to emerge. As Canada prepares to make its first report on SDG progress at the UN’s High Level Political Forum this July, the time for pan-Canadian alignment on what it will take to achieve the Global Goals is now.
This is the driving force behind Waterloo Global Science Initiative (WGSI) fourth Summit, Generation SDG, which will be held in Waterloo, Ontario from April 22-25, 2018.
“Many people view the SDGs as an environment or international development agenda,” says Margaret Biggs, Summit Advisor and Matthew’s Fellow in Global Policy at Queen’s University. “But what they really do is provide a framework for all of us to rethink prosperity, social inclusion and sustainability from the ground up. They connect our day-to-day activities here in Canada with our global footprint and they force us to question business as usual approaches in our communities, businesses and public policies.”
WGSI's Summits are not traditional conferences. For each Summit WGSI brings together contributors that include leaders, ideators and emerging minds to tackle a particular challenge. Of this group of approximately 40 people, half the room is under the age of 30. Their conversations are anchored by the Generation SDG Brief which provides an overview of the current SDG landscape in Canada that identifies challenges, knowledge gaps and opportunities.
“Aligning sustainability strategies with the SDGs is already beginning within individual organizations, businesses and governments,” says Amelia Clarke, Associate Professor in the School of Environment, Enterprise and Development at the University of Waterloo. “There’s an urgency to move beyond our traditional siloed approaches to build new cross-sector partnerships and collaborations to ensure real progress towards the goals. The format of the Summit allows time and space for a unique group of people to begin that process.”
Generation SDG Participants
Summit participants hail from coast to coast to coast. They represent a range of organizations including the British Columbia Council for International Co-operation, City of Iqaluit, Community Foundations of Canada, Employment and Social Development Canada, International Institute for Sustainable Development, Manitoba Métis Federation, Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, UN Association in Canada, Youth Climate Lab, and more.