Please Note: The deadline for submitting proposals has expired on May 25. The solutions presented will now be analyzed and eventually presented during the July 3-5 Conference. However, you can keep on proposing your ideas and projects through the survey: these will be considered for future meetings of MED Solutions.
Call for Students’ Proposals
for Solutions Initiatives in the Mediterranean Region
Dear fellow students,
I am the coordinator of Greening USiena, a student environmental network based in University of Siena, Italy, and I am writing to all of you on behalf of University of Siena and the Mediterranean Sustainable Development Solutions Network (MED Solutions).
As you may already know, the United Nations are working to establish a global network (called UN SDSN, or United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network) with the goal of
“mobilizing scientific and technical expertise from academia, civil society, and the private sector
in support of sustainable-development problem solving at local, national, and global scales.”
The system is based on a web of regional networks that are tasked with finding and implementing solutions that have the potential to be effective within their area of operation; some of these regional centers have been already established, as in the case of the Australia/Pacific Region (hosted by Monash University, Melbourne, Australia) and -of course- the Mediterranean Region (hosted by University of Siena, Siena, Italy).
As a community of researchers, students and workers, we were honored and humbled to receive this assignment, and we are now working to get everyone in the Mediterranean area involved in the sustainable development challenge.
This is why University of Siena, with the help of UN SDSN, is planning to host the first MED Solutions conference from July 3 to July 5 in Certosa di Pontignano, Siena. While details for this event are not yet official, there is one important aspect of the whole project which is already operative, and I am writing to you to let you know about it.
Since the UN SDSN is, by its name, focused on ‘solutions’, and the July conference will also be primarily aimed at discussing concrete proposals, University of Siena has implemented an online survey that is going to allow researchers from all over the Mediterranean basin to submit their ideas and projects in a multidisciplinary perspective; a committee will then select the best ones, which will be presented during the meeting and possibly developed in the near future.
Thanks to our work -and to our belief that any sustainable development challenge should take young generations into account- this survey has been made available to students as well. From individuals to student groups, from undegraduates to doctorate students, anyone can submit ideas or concrete projects (you can seek help from your professor too) pertaining to these thematic areas:
- Macroeconomics, Population Dynamics, and Planetary Boundaries
- Poverty Reduction and Peace-Building in Fragile Regions
- Challenges of Social Inclusion: Gender, Inequalities, and Human Rights
- Early Childhood Development, Education, and Transition to Work
- Health for All
- Low-Carbon Energy and Sustainable Industry
- Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems
- Forests, Oceans, Biodiversity, and Ecosystem Services
- Sustainable Cities: Inclusive, Resilient, and Connected
- Good Governance of Extractive and Land Resources
- Global Governance and Norms for Sustainable Development
- Redefning the Role of Business for Sustainable Development
As I noted earlier, contributions can come from a multidisciplinary perspective: from engineering to economics, from science to law, all solutions will be evaluated by an experts’ committee that is going to base its decision on the originality, practicability, and possible impact of each proposal (NB: check out the pdf attached at the end or visit the following link to read some examples of proposals which are being implemented right now by UN SDSN: http://unsdsn.org/solutions- initiatives/).
In addition, while only researchers from the Mediterranean basin will be able to submit their projects, the student part of the survey will be open to everyone in the world who wishes to participate instead. As a consequence, students’ solutions don’t necessarily have to pertain to the Mediterranean area, and can well concern other regions of the planet or even be global answers to global challenges.
The best solutions will be presented during a specifc part of the July conference which will be dedicated to students. If you think you have an idea which deserves to be shared and discussed, and maybe even adopted in the future by the UN or a regional network, all you have to do is read the guidelines for the submittal (that you can find at this link: http://bit.ly/13DFvwO) and then fill the survey in (http://bit.ly/Yvf9Jn).
We hope to receive a strong response from this ‘call for proposals’. Remember: no idea is stupid if it aims at changing the world and achieving a sustainable development! Feel free to share this invitation with all of your friends, colleagues, or other universities or student groups you are in touch with, as we believe the best way to involve young generations in the international debate on the environmental and social issues of our time is through engagement and the use of the new means of communication.
Greening USiena coordinator
USEFUL LINKS AND MATERIALS
- The Call for Proposals’ survey: http://bit.ly/Yvf9Jn
- The Call for Proposals’ guidelines: http://bit.ly/13DFvwO
- Examples of Solutions: http://unsdsn.org/solutions- initiatives/
- Call for Students’ Proposals (PDF)
- Current Solutions Initiatives (PDF)
- MED Solutions’s website: http://medunsdsn.unisi.it
- UN SDSN’s website: http://unsdsn.org
- USiena’s website: http://www.unisi.it