Negotiating Sustained Action for Sustainable Development – Application to Students in South Sudan
The global agenda on sustainable development will require a process to inspire individual and organization SDG-related actions and commit to report progress on until 2030. It will be powerful for example to know how actions of university students will change as they become leaders, and how universities will align their actions to the challenges of communities and governments. This commentary characterizes a 5-stage process to inspire individual, collective and institutional actions for sustainable development. In 2016, over 500 students in seven universities in South Sudan underwent the first four stages. They reviewed milestones and took the journey into the future to 2030 and 2063. They articulated the future South Sudan they want as ‘one that is peaceful, inclusive and prosperous, with strong institutions that prioritize the interest of her citizens’. They then prioritized the SDGs that resonate to that future as Goals 16, 4 and 1 in that order. Finally they pledged to ‘undertake inter-university dialogue, research and innovation for Sustainable Development’. In 2017, the leadership of universities and students will commit to SDG-actions and to report on progress as a basis for sharing and learning each year until the year 2030 when the agenda is concluded.