Because higher education institutions are drivers of change through teaching, research, transfer and community engagement, it is undeniable that we have a key part to play in improving our societies, our lives and our planet. The 2030 Agenda, together with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals, has given us the chance to rethink the way we work and has inspired many students, professors, researchers and practitioners around the world to want to make a difference.
This is the context in which we held the 2nd GUNi International Conference on the Sustainable Development Goals, entitled “2nd GUNi International Conference on SDGs: Higher Education & Science Take Action. Summany Report", because we wanted to learn from each other, draw inspiration from each other and share our experiences, projects and initiatives to achieve the 2030 Agenda. The Conference was an international meeting place for 230 delegates from nearly 50 countries around the world (South Africa, India, Canada, Colombia, Sweden, Mexico, Italy, the United States, France, Norway, Sudan, Andorra, Chile, Belgium, Argentina, Belarus, Egypt, the United Kingdom, Russia, Portugal, Romania, Venezuela, Taiwan, Slovenia, Cameroon, Austria, Bolivia, Croatia, Ecuador, Denmark, Ireland, Kenya, Hungary, Morocco, the Netherlands, Spain, Poland, Serbia, Oman, Paraguay, France, Finland, Japan, Germany and more), who presented and discussed bold ideas for action, innovative research strategies, and creative projects and programmes being carried out in different regions of the world at both the local and global levels.
GUNi is itself an open space to meet, debate, discuss, cooperate, collaborate and learn, and the wonderful thing about GUNi is the international perspective that our members bring to these encounters. The Conference gave us an opportunity to discuss current issues and engage in lively debates in which we exchanged our views. It was especially interesting to learn about initiatives and developments from local, regional and international perspectives. During the Conference, we talked about the importance of networks, institutional strategies and initiatives. We looked at the role that our youth are playing in order to learn from them because they are our future. We discussed teacher training, key competences, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and service learning. And most importantly, we talked about all of these issues with an eye toward gender and human rights.