Media Highlights


A big welcome to our new interns and future sustainability champions!

SITE4Society works with a variety of local stakeholders to promote sustainability, and one of the most important communities is students. Using the principles of “service learning”, SITE4Society offers out-of-classroom training in the form of internships. This year, we extended our scope to school students in Maastricht.
Laura and Loïs-Julien are pursuing their International Baccalaureate diploma at United World College. With a particular interest in Biology and Aerospace Engineering, respectively, they both see this internship as an opportunity to connect their passion for these fields with sustainability issues. Over the next six months, Laura and Loïs-Julien will be trained on science communication and scientific writing while they will support the organisation of our upcoming outreach events and the management of our social media channels.
Read here their short blogs about why they chose to join SITE4Society, and how they aim to use this experience to contribute back to their school and home countries:


Knowledge sharing for Sustainable Development! May be an image of text that says "Organic Waste Composting through Nexus Thinking Practices, Policies, and andTrends"

Organic waste composting is greatly promoted as an efficient way to reduce the massive amounts of #food_waste and other organic materials that end up in landfills.
However, this is not an error-free technology: there are inherent health and environmental risks associated with composting, when not properly performed.
In their recently published book, Hiroshan Hettiarachchi, Serena Caucci and Kai Schwärzel, tackle this issue, presenting various case studies and strategies from around the world.

Freely available to read and download here:


SITE4Society training meetings in action!

Being part of SITE4Society, interns have the opportunity to deepen and expand their skills set and capabilities needed to succeed in the global job market, and to connect with driven peers as well as global scientists, academics and researchers.
As part of our training programmes, Diego Salama delivered a wonderful presentation on social media and science communication for our SITE4Society and Friend In Need India interns. Diego made us aware that as a boundary organisation we must always have a communication plan for all our activities from the start.

Thank you, Diego – we will put the essence of your teaching into practice in 2021!

Image may contain: 1 person, glasses, text that says "Today join the #Igiveashit community and be part of the change" FIN Friend Need India UNITED UNITEDNATIONS UNIVERSIT UNU-MERIT fusion"

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 673 million still defecate in the open, while inadequate sanitation is estimated to cause 432.000 diarrhoeal deaths annually!
Poor sanitation is a global and growing challenge, that requires collective and drastic solutions.
Join us on November 19th, on the #World_Toilet_Day, for two special events, to learn more about how this issue could be addressed:
– 10:30 CET – Researchers pitch their solutions to efficient sanitation coverage
– 13:30 CET – A panel discussion with sanito-preneurs, a waste-preneurs and policymakers
Find more information and register to attend our events here:…/


What better way to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the creation of the United Nations, than by engaging in an open dialogue with youth! 🌈

United Nations University-MERIT is co-hosting an online dialogue between the President of the International Court of Justice, the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Mayor of The Hague and a group of passionate students and young professionals, on the importance of multilateralism in addressing SDG16.

Extremely proud of our SITE4Society intern Rita Bakunda, for being one of the speakers in that special event!

Please see here.


”Alright everybody, it’s a beautiful day to start making our schools greener 🌿…Let’s have some fun”

We are extremely proud of the first 23 Primary Education teachers in the Greater Accra Region, who today completed a 2-days training programme on the Green Schools Academy! They have been trained on the book and educational material, written with our Friend In Need India and SITE4Society interns, and they experienced the games, quizzes, exercises and songs designed for the students.
It is a great honour to partner with Ghana Education Service, Environment360 and UNDP Ghana in the Green Schools Academy and we are thrilled to see its applications in schools in Ghana!
Go, teachers! – to make schools the motor of change towards a greener and cleaner world!

Circular Economy: Turning waste challenge into a resource opportunity!
Interested to know why our world is just 9% circular today? What are some global innovative examples that make a difference in waste reduction and better resource management? Can science fiction really give us some hope for circular economy practices in action?
Prof. Dr. Hiroshan Hettiarachchi (formerly Professor and Head of Unit – Waste Management at UNU-FLORES) gives answers to all these questions and more!
Watch his full presentation in the following video.

A letter from a UNU-MERIT GPAC doctoral student from self-imposed quarantine!
In Europe, as elsewhere, the coronavirus has entered via those coming into a country from abroad. If only, these travellers and the host countries had ensured adequate quarantine – we would have less Covid-19 cases in the world today, as Alejandro Álvarez-Vanegas makes us realise.

SITE4Society has a positive post to share, even under the Corona siege! 😀
Meet our new interns, Rita Bakunda from Rwanda and Jairaj Gopalakrishnan from India, and read their first blog on their journey to the training programme of SITE4Society! This episode of their narrative is dedicated to Kaj, Tania, and Ibrahima S. Kaba of SBE and Diego Salama of UNU-MERIT.

8 March 2020 🎉
SITE4Society celebrates International Women’s Day by bringing to life an SDG brief on women by women, entitled:
“Investment in agriculture and gender equality in developing countries”, by Axele Giroud, Professor of International Business at Manchester Business School and visiting professor with the University of Gothenburg and Jacqueline Salguero Huaman, Associate Economic Affairs Office at International Trade Centre and PhD Fellow at UNU-MERIT! Read the brief here.

Elvis Aboluah, the project director of Trashy Bags, unfolds the story behind this social enterprise creating value out of plastic waste, in an exclusive discussion with SITE4Society and Prof Shyama V. Ramani!
How did it all start? What are the biggest challenges Trashy Bags is facing and what are the most important lessons he has learned? Elvis welcomed us to their factory and showroom in Accra, Ghana and answered all these questions and many more…

Watch the video of their discussion here:


Earlier this month, the 2020 Circularity Gap Report was published in Davos, showing that currently, only 8.6% of the world is circular. This means that of all the minerals, fossil fuels, metals and biomass that are extracted from each year, only 8.6% is recycled back.♻
Trashy Bags, a social enterprise based in Accra, Ghana, is working towards increasing this percentage. How? Through Sustainopreneurship of course!
If you want to know exactly how a trash-based sustainopreneurship can even exist – watch this short clip taken during our visit in their factory and showroom! Stay tuned for the interview with Trashy Bags and see how Elvis and his team started this initiative to give value to waste, and sustain their business model!


SITE4Society wishes you a wonderful 2020!
In 2020 we hope to build upon everything we have created in 2018 and 2019 to go further and beyond. In 2018 we started our publication briefs and in 2019 this dipped a little bit as we strengthened our internship programme and held more events outside of Maastricht.
In 2020, we hope to do more and have a better balance between publication briefs, training of interns and events (inside and outside of Maastricht). We also hope to start an additional new activity in 2020 for SITE4Society, namely to build networks with social sector actors around the world. We count upon the students of the new Masters Programme on “Social Entrepreneurship and Public Policy”, in which the SITE4Society is deeply engaged – to help us in this endeavour!
We already have strong ties with FIN (Friend In Need Trust) and in this connection, we are happy to announce that United Nations University-MERIT and Friend In Need India will be collaborating with Environment360 an NGO in a UNDP Ghana project concerning education material for a circular economy transition in schools. Indeed, Sustainability Education will be the focus of 2020. If you want to know what this means please see this video in which Alejandro Álvarez-Vanegas (doctoral student at UNU-MERIT) is explaining what Education for Sustainable Development is. Credits to Anurag Kanaujia (doctoral student at NISTADS) for his creative inputs to the video!
Best wishes again for 2020!


The Worldwide University Network’s journalist Ms. Elenor Davey recently interviewed the SITE4Society team members who had coordinated a project on urban sustainability…..








Waste management is a massive problem for many of the world’s fastest growing economies — and #Ghana is no different.

For its 8th event, SITE4Society lead a newly established, international academic team in Accra, to explore, feel and understand the substance of the problem, before proposing some truly innovative and sustainable solutions.

United Nations University-MERIT 🇳🇱
United Nations University-FLORES 🇩🇪
University of Ghana 🇬🇭
University of York 🇬🇧
University College Dublin 🇮🇪

See our post and multimedia from the event 👉🏾

The 9th #SITE4Society event at United Nations University-MERIT

Our 9th #SITE4Society event at United Nations University-MERIT was a #Sanitation awareness educational quiz to commemorate #WorldToiletDay (November 19th). Participants were quizzed about the interlinkages between health and sanitation. Then, they were challenged to identify the technological, behavioural, organizational and regulatory challenges thwarting the elimination of open defecation in the world, which is the main objective of SDG6 with respect to sanitation. Finally, in good cheer, students and academics at UNU-MERIT learnt to wash their hands following this wonderful dance by Indonesian nurses!

The unique feature of this program was that SITE4Society was one of the many teams around the world (Ghana, Nigeria, Sudan and India) which had implemented this program developed by Prof. Shyama Ramani of UNU-MERIT and her FIN Trust NGO team. In all, participants around the world must have amounted to nearly 500. More details to come soon.

So why are toilets figuring in SITE4Society?

Why is Prof Ramani wanting to organize a quiz on sanitation in Netherlands – where few would even imagine there are places without toilets? Well, she explains the motivation in this video.

We will be in the company of the following institutes/organisations from Ghana, Nigeria, Sudan and India, which will be holding this same event in their country on November 19th.

1. Noojade Services (Ghana)
2. AnC Waste Management Services (Ghana)
3. National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies (NISTADS, India)
4. Kerala State Institute of Design (KSID, India)
5. AnC Waste Management Services (Ghana)
6. Waste Segregation & Composting Movement (Ghana)
7. Aguata LGA WASHCOM Federation (Nigeria)
8. Obuofor Washcom (Nigeria)
10. Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike (Nigeria)
11. The University of Medical Sciences and Technology (UMST, Sudan)


Some key highlights of the Multi-stakeholder Forum organised by SITE4Society, published by the Ghana News Agency! 📣🇬🇭

See here.

SITE4Society United Nations University-MERIT United Nations University-FLORES #WUNGhana2019


The Multi-stakeholder Forum on ‘‘Transitions towards a Circular Economy: A Cross-National Study of Urban Solid Waste Management’’ organised by SITE4Society on the 17th of October 2019 was a great success!

United Nations University-MERIT was the coordinator of a Worldwide Universities Network Project in partnership with the University of Ghana, University College Dublin, University of York and United Nations University-FLORES

Our multi-stakeholder forum sought to bring insights on co-designed innovative solutions for inclusive and sustainable urban environments through efficient Municipal Solid Waste Management (MSWM) and value creation from waste.

We would like to especially thank Prof. Dr Dzidzo Yirenya-Tawiah, Dr Ted Nii Yemoh, Dr. Dan Nukpezah Annang , their students and all staff of the Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies IESS LEGON of the University of Ghana for hosting the WUN conference as part of their Annual CReWAS conference. We also thank all our speakers, panellists and volunteers for making it such a memorable event! We miss you all already!

#WUNGhana2019 #SITE4Society

Friction or Possitive Interaction- Are the SDGs compatible?

SITE4Society@UNU-MERIT event in the Act For Global Goals – Conference was a success!

First, to set the tone, we started by listening to Greta Thunberg’s passionate speech (

Then, Maria explained the challenges posed by the SDGs – (i) there are a lot of them; (ii) to achieve them you need to use up our planetary resources; and (iii) this will make our global job of capping global warming at 1.5oC even tougher.

Then Shyama explained the gamification of the workshop, which had been designed with Maria and Sanae.

Four teams would each propose possible solutions for climate change and trace their interactions on climate change and the other SDGs so that the synergies and the frictions could be clearly mapped out. They would also create a manifesto of suggestions for: (i) the Maastricht Municipality and (ii) for all of us – to contribute in our own way to tackling climate change.

Finally, we ended with a presentation of slides by Laura Nieboer on the Dutch and Maastricht Vision for transitioning to a circular economy to understand the confidence of the audience in this vision.

So what did our participants come up with? Well, that’s for next week!

Have a great weekend,

P.S. Greta – we’re with you!

SITE4Society on the ACT4SDGs Platform!

The Global Week to #Act4SDGs, 20-30 September, rallies public support for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) connecting actions taking place in thousands of cities and communities across the globe while world-leaders gather in New York for five milestone UN Summits.

25,5601 people from 570 cities are joining events and actions organised by 878 action partners in 111 countries!

SITE4Society is part of this SDG action network! Check out our page on the #ACT4SDGs here!

And let the games start! 💥

Maastricht is organizing the Act for Global Goals Day, to celebrate the Sustainable Development Goals! No photo description available.On Wednesday 25 September, multiple activities, workshops, lectures (and more) will take place in and around the city hall, the market square and in local elementary schools of Maastricht. And, SITE4Society will be there, delivering its 7th event, during a morning session in the City Hall of Maastricht!

What’s our workshop going to be on? Well, a number of scholars and policy makers are concerned that the SDGs seem inconsistent with one another. Therefore, there is a need for prioritization according to context. Some SDG targets are clearly complementary, e.g. sustainable food production and ending deforestation but others are not. How are we going to achieve ‘harmony with nature’ while pursuing continued global economic growth?

That’s what our gamers will brain-storm about! 🧩Working in teams, we invite you to develop your own indicators to map and measure (if possible) your routes to parts of the different goals. So come, discuss, learn, make new friends – and become an SDG ambassador! 🏅

Find more information about the Act for Global Goals Day here:, and don’t forget to register to secure your spot!

Maastricht University United Nations University-MERIT Gemeente Maastricht Mondiaal Maastricht

#maastricht #limburg #sustainabledevelopmentgoals #sdg #sustainability #sustainabledevelopments #maastricht4globalgoals #act4sdgs #SDGsMaastricht

Are you game?

Hi! SITE4Society is back after a good summer vacation!
No photo description available.
In terms of events, this academic year it’s going to be seriously games, games and games! Why?

Because, to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), often gaining engagement from a variety of economic actors is the most difficult part. The science, technology and innovation necessary to solve a problem might be available – but the engagement might be missing – somewhere or the other.

Gamification is emerging as an interesting process for learning, building motivation and even nudging behavioural change. And to satisfy our curiosity, we are going to test out how academics and students understand the SDGs, and how we can trigger behavioural change in firms, citizens and even public agencies through gamification this year! And of course, resume our publication briefs.

So the question is – are you game?

Challenges of E-waste Management Strategies: A Report from South-East Nigeria 🇳🇬

The fast-growing surplus of waste electrical and electronic equipment (e-waste) around the globe has become a concern as several countries seek ways to discard obsolete electrical and electronic equipment. Because of its functionality, certain categories of e-waste tagged as near end-of-life are stockpiled, when they are not disposed of with regular household wastes. These hazardous leftovers end up getting mixed with regular solid wastes, which are afterwards disposed of in a poorly controlled manner.

Image may contain: 1 person, outdoor

Dr Okorhi, from the National Centre for Technology Management, identifies the trends in generation, usage and disposal of e-waste with respect to the Nigerian context and ends up with recommendations on how can e-waste be better managed. Read his publication brief here.

Why do we need to take care of our land?

On the occasion of the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought on 17 June, we can ask ourselves, why is taking care of our land so important? Although many answers may seem obvious, this day serves as a good reminder of our responsibility to preserve our lands! 🌳🌎

Watch the short video of our answer to this question here.

Make Sustainability Yours! 🌍

What is your perception of sustainability and how do you interpret it in actions in your daily life? How can we make sustainability an ongoing, every day, local and global reality?

Let’s find the answers together, this Saturday 15/06, from 13:30-15:00, during an interactive workshop at the Mass Maas Clean-Up Festival organised by Precious Plastic Maastricht.

SITE4Society asks: Is there life after ”death”?

It is estimated that in Ghana 🇬🇭, waste produced from plastic packaging amounts to 270 tonnes per day; most of it non-biodegradable. That adds up to over 22,000 tons of plastic every year! What happens to this dead plastic?

Trashy Bags is a social enterprise that makes recycled eco-friendly bags and gifts from plastic trash, giving such dead plastic a new life!
We saw how they actually did it, when they welcomed us to their factory and showroom in Accra, and explained their conception of sustainability.
Watch the video here.

Greening universities to serve society! 🌳

This month, the second version of the “Green Universities Forum” took place in Medellín, Colombia. The event, organized by Universidad EAFIT and the NGO Low Carbon City, with the support of SITE4Society and Eafit Social, showed the potential that lies in academic institutions to facilitate the flourishing of a sustainable society.

Read more about it here.


Squaring up for a circular economy

Our Circular Economy butterfly landed in Bonn, flapped its wings and created a small ‘’typhoon’’ of positive change. The 80+ participants of the 6th SITE4Society event, coming from around the globe, became the carriers of our message to the world.🦋🌍
Read more here.


So pleased to welcome a group of Master’s in Sustainable Business and Innovation of the EADA Business School Barcelona today! They learned about the mission and activities of SITE4Society, as well as a framework to manage sustainability transitions, applied by researchers at United Nations University-MERIT!

Ατ the end, they gave us their ideas on SDG11 (sustainable cities), presenting them in the special PechaKucha format!






SITE4Society@SDG Global Festival of Action

SITE4Society crossed the border and travelled to Bonn, joined forces with United Nations University-FLORES and delivered its 6th interactive workshop!
Sanae Okamoto, Maria Tomai and Hiroshan Hettiarachchi shared their expertise on Circular Economy and inspired everyone to be part of the solution.
A big THANK YOU to our enthusiastic participants, as well as to our wonderful volunteers from the #SDGGlobalFest!

♻️ Squaring-up for a circular economy – We made a change happen! 🎉👏

👉More insights from the event to follow soon!

Exploring a novel pathway to help sex offenders change their behaviour: The use of non-invasive brain stimulation

Sexual offenses and child abuse are high in both developed and developing countries, although the prevalence numbers are difficult to estimate due to the fact that sexual offenses are not always reported or registered. From a medical perspective, is there a better way to help individuals seeking help or convicted sexual offenders integrate in society without posing a risk for women and children? This is what Dr. Geraldine Rodríguez Nieto, and her colleagues sought to explore.

To know how and what they found – read on here

Where will the Circular Economy drive Europe and the world?

Recently, Maria Tomai joined an event on the Circular Economy at Brussels to find out. If you want to know her takeaways, read on here.






Prevention is better than cure in the fight against food waste

writes Nicholas M. Holden of University College Dublin, in our latest brief.

Did you know estimates suggest that between 30% and 50% of the food we produce is wasted, or in other words, never eaten? There has been a move towards encouraging innovation to find uses for wasted food, such as nutrient recycling by composting and anaerobic digestion to mitigate the impact of wasting food. Evaluation of the benefit of these actions has tended to focus on managing waste (an ‘end-of-pipe’ solution) rather than helping to create a sustainable food system.

So how is Nick’s research pitching for the latter? Read here to find out…

Squaring-up for a circular economy – Let’s make a change happen!

The 6th SITE4Society event will take place in Bonn, as part of this year’s #SDGglobalFest!

After talking with our Circular Economy champions, in our last event, and getting inspired by their actions, it’s now time to tackle the barriers that prevent us from behaving more sustainably.

Do you know that you are part of the problem – as well as the solution? So how can we make you and everyone else walk the talk to circularity?

To get started, join us in this very interactive workshop, where we will be exchanging ideas on new perspectives, methods and solutions to overcome real challenges being faced in developed and developing countries! Do role-playing as municipalities, firms and citizens to understand the interconnections of the circular economy with all other SDGs!

Learn more about the SDG Global Festival of Action here:
… and don’t forget to register, in order to secure your place in the Festival and in our event!

Meet our SDG ambassador, Nathalie

Nathalie Ummels encourages us to tackle global goals starting from their localisation and Mondiaal Maastricht shows us the way.
Thank you, Nathalie, for sharing your passion with us!

#site4society #value4waste

Meet a circular economy champion – Borut

Borut Vovsek talks about Foodbank Maastricht and explains how this initiative manages to transmit the pulse of community engagement and gradually change peoples’ perception about food waste.

Thank you for inspiring us, Borut!

#site4societyevents #value4waste

International Day of Women and Girls in Science

While saluting all women and girls in Science, we still have some important points to think about and address …..

1. The More the Gender Equality in a country, the Fewer the Women in STEM or in the science, technology, engineering, and math fields.

2. Women in countries with higher gender inequality pursue STEM professions because they are perceived to be among the quickest and surest paths to financial security………..hmmmmmm……could it be also because in developed countries there is actually more gender stereotyping? What do you think? Why are there so few women in STEM? By own choice or by societal shaping? Why is the percentage of women in STEM higher in developing countries? Let’s hear from you…..and read this article to get the global picture