Building a better sustainable society together

OIST joins SDG-Universities Platform by United Nations University

In October 2021, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) joined the SDG–Universities Platform (SDG-UP), established by the United Nations University’s Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS).

With the goal of building a more sustainable, resilient, and inclusive society, SDG-UP aims to mobilize Japanese universities and promote behavioral change amongst the different stakeholders involved in higher education to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN 2030 Agenda.

The platform was launched in August 2020 under the leadership of Dr. Shinobu Yamaguchi, Director of UNU-IAS and Chairperson of SDG-UP. It is expected to strengthen strategic partnerships and enhance cooperation between universities by providing opportunities for active discussion on the SDGs.

Universities play an important role in shaping our society by influencing the mindset and behavior of individuals. By producing responsible citizens, who will become the policymakers, business leaders, educators, and researchers of tomorrow, universities are at the forefront of the global effort for sustainability.

OIST joins SDG-UP with 30 other Japanese universities that range widely in their size, location, public or private status, and their area of expertise. Amongst the participating universities are The University of Tokyo, Osaka University, and Keio University, which have all agreed to undertake actions that ensure a sustainable future for all.

OIST is committed to moving our society forward in a sustainable manner by raising awareness, engaging in idea exchange, and through knowledge transfer. Scientific excellence has always been in the OIST ethos along with cultural inclusivity in all the endeavors. With the support of SDG-UP, OIST aims to build educational modules on sustainable development, chart best practices for a sustainable campus, and review tools for university assessment and accountability. Also aligned with the goal of SDG-UP, OIST maintains high academic and research cooperation with national and international partners and will continue to build on this through the platform.

The official representatives for SDG-UP from OIST are Dr. Masayuki Shibata, Secretary-General and Dr. Cecilia Lu, Senior Analyst for Institutional Research and Planning.

Dr. Shibata commented, “The SDG initiative at OIST in its first year has helped bring people together and substantiate the embodiment of our core university values. I have great expectation of our proactive endeavors toward the realization of the Global Goals (of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development) and the synergy with SDG-UP for the sustainable future of Okinawa and Japan. I want to further strengthen the SDG Working Team to drive university-wide awareness and engagement of concerted efforts”.

Joining the four working groups of the SDG-UP platform are Vice Dean of the Graduate School, Dr. Misaki Takabayashi as member of the Working Group on SDGs Curriculum, Dr. Masayuki Shibata as member of the Working Group on Management, and Dr. Cecilia Lu as member of the Working Group on University Evaluation and Accountability.

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