Exploring the role of research in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and the paths that will lead us to 2030.

Researchers can be VERY focussed – it’s in their nature and this focus is a strength. At the same time, particularly for younger researchers, understanding the broader context for their work and their contribution to greater goals is essential. (More experienced colleagues often benefit from a refreshed, broader world view too). This is where the UN Sustainable Development Goals (or SDGs) and our 2030 SDGs Game workshops can help. In our 3 hour workshop researchers run a series of experiments, as part of an interactive simulation, to explore the pathways we will take, and choices we will all make, from now to 2030, and beyond.  

Perhaps the ‘Game’ part of the name is misleading.  It is much more than the word makes it sound.

  • The centre of the workshop is a powerful simulation using cards to make complex concepts accessible to a wide range of audiences. We sometime also work in teams to create the world we want to see.  Viewed from this angle the workshop does indeed feel like it includes a game. 
  • The workshop is also a complex mathematical simulation with the heavy lifting hidden away either behind a set of cards, or (depending on which option you choose) within an interactive online software platform.  It’s also a fun, engaging experience, whereas the term ‘simulation’ can sometimes sound daunting.

Research work is judged on outcomes and impact so we all need to understand where that impact contributes to the world. The SDGs are the world’s ‘to do’ list and the targets that underpin the Sustainable Development Goals are the work plan for governments and organisations worldwide.  Researchers have to understand where their work contributes to that plan. The 2030SDGs Game workshop is one of the ways the Global Academy helps researchers to truly understand their impact and their contribution to the SDGs.

“Impact is the good that researchers can do in the world.”

Prof Mark Reed

Whether in person or online, approached as a game or as part of a research project, participants in this workshop come away with a LOT to think about. From feedback we know that the experience helps people frame their choices for many weeks and months after they take part.  No need to take our word for this, you can read reactions from earlier workshops here.

If you would like to introduce your research team or Postgraduate students to the SDGs through the interactive workshop do get in touch.  We can provide the workshop session in person, online, or even outdoors.  Wherever and however you take part you can expect very new conversations between participants and new shared understanding of the choices that shape our work and our world as we approach 2030.

*This is the title of Christiana Figueres’ latest book.   Our workshop explores the choices we are all making to achieve the SDGs, so we use Christiana’s title here in a spirit of great admiration.