Outreach activities


Partnerships for the Goals

On Tuesday, September 29th, as part of the Act For Global Goals Days 2020 Maastricht, SITE4Society took part in an online inspiration session on ‘Partnerships for the Goals’! Together with a panel of international speakers, we look at initiatives and partnerships that enabled cooperation and knowledge mobilisation on a global scale, to contribute to sustainable development.

The session was moderated by Prof Shyama V. Ramani.

Watch the full session here.


SITE4Society at the Dresden Nexus Conference (virtual)

The Dresden Nexus Conference (DNC) series is dedicated to advancing a Nexus Approach to natural resource management. SITE4Society joined the online conference, delivering two presentations on circular economy and a solution design approach to littering.

Watch here the statement given by Prof Shyama Ramani on Circular Economy in India.


What does the future hold for our universities? From talent engines to tech literacy (Helsinki, Finland)

Universities are increasingly entrepreneurial, working with partners across borders while navigating ever-more-complex international, national and regional policies. In an ideal world, universities would lead the “ecosystem of knowledge” in which researchers, business leaders and policymakers come together to tackle an array of complex issues – issues like the circular economy and green technology, equal opportunity for decent work and quality education, and city resilience and sustainable urban development. The question is, how far from the reins of power are universities – and why?

Find the answers given at University Industry Interaction Conference in Helsiniki here


Make Sustainability Yours! (Maastricht, the Netherlands)

SDR Lab @UNU-MERIT and SITE4Society @UNU-MERIT held an interactive workshop, as part of the Precious Plastic Maastricht’s sustainability festival, on Saturday 15/06. Participants exchanged ideas on how they make responsible choices, in accordance with sustainability principles, in all possible aspects of their life, like housing, transportation, clothing, eating, travelling, entertainment, studying, consuming, etc.  In the end, participants came up with ideas on how to make sustainability an ongoing, every day, local and global reality.

Read more about this day here and find out a brief summary of the sustainable choices we can make all day long in Maastricht!


SDG Global Festival of Action (Bonn, Germany)

More than 1,700 participants from over 100 countries came together to the third edition of the Global Festival, to make new connections, build partnerships and exchange solutions, ideas, tools and approaches to make the impossible possible, together, creating a step-change in behaviour to catalyze collective action around the Goals. The overarching theme of the Festival was to move from information and awareness to commitment and action on the Sustainable Development Goals, with citizen engagement as an essential driver. SITE4Society was also present, delivering it’s 6th event, on Circular Economy.

Watch this 1′ video to get an idea of the 3 days of the Festival and read our blog for some more insights on our event and interaction with the participants.


Where will the Circular Economy drive Europe and the world? (Brussels, Belgium)

Our researchers regularly meet and interact with policymakers, not only in New York and Geneva at UN level but also in Brussels for EU events. In March 2019, Maria Tomai joined an event on the Circular Economy, where she was able to brief EU policymakers on the work done at UNU-MERIT, particularly the SITE4Society initiative.

The Circular Economy Stakeholder Conference, led by the European Commission and European Economic and Social Committee, gathers researchers and policymakers every year to discuss the state of play of the eponymous Action Plan, including major trends and transitional policy options for achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

Read more about the main points raised in the conference and in the talks with policymakers here


Re:thinking / Re:working higher education: SDG Conference (Bergen, Norway)

During the first week of February, the University of Bergen in Norway hosted the 2nd National SDG Conference. Over two days, national and international speakers from academia, government, civil society, activism and the United Nations system, explored the roles of research and education in creating new approaches for shared commitments towards a sustainable global future. The conference aimed to mobilise participants to re:think the development path SDGs are calling us to follow and re:work  the tools and knowledge we need to achieve them.

Read more about the highlights and key outcomes of the conference here


Steering the course of innovation – towards sustainable development (Brussels, Belgium)

From entertainment to healthcare, innovation is everywhere. Yet, what is the end goal of all these new products and processes — and what should be the EU’s policy priorities? Should ‘we’ improve sustainability among rich consumers or better apply innovation for the poor, both at home and abroad? The basic answer is both, according to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), agreed by world leaders back in September 2015.

Read more here.


SITE4Society@FIN Trust in Tema! – What we did in Ghana this time (Tema, Ghana)

On Monday, 22th of October, we (i.e. Dr. Sanae Okamoto, Prof. Ramani and myself, Maria) had the honour and pleasure to visit St. Nicholas Charity Foundation School in Tema, about 28km away from Accra, the capital of Ghana. We were out there to make friends and see how the work being done in Kameshwaram and in India – could further be strengthened through knowledge sharing!

Read more about what we did in Tema here



A global nudge for sustainable development: Globelics 2018 (Accra, Ghana)

Yes, technology and innovation can speed up economic growth and inclusive development, but they are clearly NOT enough. What’s missing, say Prof. Shyama V. Ramani and Dr. Sanae Okamoto of UNU-MERIT and SITE4Society, are conscious efforts to gain real stakeholder engagement – in other words, getting local populations on board. To explore how this could be done, they organised a special session at this year’s ‘Global Network for Economics of Learning, Innovation, and Competence Building Systems’ (aka Globelics) in Accra, Ghana. Their session looked at ‘solution designs’ based on behavioural science, also known as ‘nudge strategies’, for attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Read more here


A day with Trashy Bags (Accra, Ghana)

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 in one year.

As part of our research in Ghana, we met with Trashy Bags, a social enterprise that makes recycled eco-friendly bags and gifts from plastic trash. Interested to learn more about their mission and impact? Then watch the interview they gave to our researcher, Maria Tomai, here.