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Adopting the right philosophy

The University of Brescia has a comprehensive programme supporting Agenda 2030 and the SDGs

19th March 2018

University of Brescia Rector, Professor Maurizio Tira, (right) with Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs

Supporter

Adopting the right philosophy

The University of Brescia has a comprehensive programme supporting Agenda 2030 and the SDGs

By University of Brescia

The generation and dissemination of knowledge aimed at the wellbeing of mankind is one, among many, of the goals of any university.  Research and teaching in all disciplinary fields integrate an implicit yearning for a long-lasting positive impact on society in its broader sense.

That is why the philosophy underlying the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations, drafted in 2015 as an evolution of the Millennium Development Goals (SDGs), is that of facilitating “Prosperity and Peace for the People and the Planet through a global Partnership” (the five “Ps”). This philosophy has naturally been adopted with enthusiasm by universities all over the world.

Brescia is a middle-sized industrialised town located in the north of Italy that seeks an eco-friendly way to implement industrial development while facing a high immigration rate due to its relatively good living standards.

“The University of Brescia,” says Professor Maurizio Tira, Rector, “is a young and dynamic university that immediately understood the inclusive and cohesive value of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for both the academic community and the civil society”.

A comprehensive programme to ensure energy, waste management and structural sustainability is underway in the university campus. Moreover, the university is acting as a key partner of local cutting-edge research and teaching institutions, as well as NGOs, in several development projects in economical resource-limited countries to identify sustainable solutions to nutritional, environmental, energetic, educational and health needs.

The presence of the UNESCO ‘Training and empowering human resources for health development in resource-limited countries’ Chair and of the WHO Collaborating Centre for TB/HIV co-infection at the University of Brescia has provided additional technical expertise for such activities.

“The participation of the citizens of Brescia in the ongoing cycle of interactive workshops dedicated to each of the 17 SDGs,” says Professor Tira, “has been more enthusiastic than expected and we are planning to move into a new meeting hall in the city centre to accommodate all potential users. That means that the positive message concerning the need to act immediately to save our planet has been well received and agreed upon.”

It will be of the utmost importance that the goals become implicit in didactic programmes at the University of Brescia, as a tangible sign of the adoption of the philosophy of Agenda 2030 by the university as a whole.

As a sign of commitment, the University Senate has decided to award the Honorary Masters degree (Laurea honoris causae) to Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs of Columbia University (New York), as one of the inspiring advisors to the UN Secretary General for sustainable development. The solemn award ceremony took place on 12 February 2018, in the Teatro Grande in Brescia historical centre.

The University of Brescia is also part of the Italian Alliance for Sustainable Development (ASviS) and is planning to create a specific University Research and Documentation Centre for Agenda 2030. The centre will facilitate a wide range of training and research activities, with the aim of achieving the 17 SDGs.

UNA-UK thanks University of Brescia for sponsoring this publication