On Wednesday this week, our boulevard was lined with colorful boards and posters, eagerly waiting to be looked during the atypically-hot weather. The Virtual Academy for Sustainability invited students to learn about the environmental changes, challenges and chances that the world is currently facing.
A few days ago, the United Nations adopted the pursuit of their 17 so-called „Sustainable Development Goals“ (SDG’s). The partaking nations are not only urged to „end poverty“, „ensure food security“ and „combat climate change“ by the year 2030.
The program is also working towards worldwide gender-equality, access to good education, preserving ecosystems and integrating nature back into highly-civilized spaces. The ways and methods of actually realizing these aspects lay in the hands of each individual nation, their politicians, economic actors and individual citizens. However, the need for the countries working together closely is highlighted in Goal No.17: „Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development“.
While looking at the countless different posters on the boulevard, I was hoping to find a realistic solution to the feeling of powerlessness that always seems to come with this topic. Do I, as an individual, actually have the power to change anything – or am I completely powerless when facing the existing laws, huge co-operations and economical mechanisms?
Of course, everyone can start reducing their waste, eating food with a lower carbon footprint or buying secondhand. But a true solution to climate change, poverty and inequality can not be bought in a store. The real power lays in each and everyone getting educated, starting a self-critical discussion and taking action together. Events like the „Sustainability-Day“ and the students who organized it on our campus, are contributing a lot to the visibility of these topics.
The „Virtual Academy for Sustainability“ („Virtuelle Akademie Nachhaltigkeit“) at the University of Bremen is offering several different courses on the topic of sustainability in ecological, economical and social settings. You can work with the videos and materials on your own time, whenever and wherever you please. Credit Points can then be earned by participating in a computer-supported test at the Test-Center on campus. Just like this article, some of the materials and even a few complete courses are are offered in the English language as well.
What does sustainability mean to you and how do you act on it in your everyday life? Have you taken a course at the Virtual Academy yet?