SDG Action

Universities, knowledge institutions, academia and the tertiary sector have have a critical role to play in achieving the SDGs by:

  • Equipping the next generation of leaders, innovators and decision makers with the knowledge and skills to address the SDGs
  • Providing research and technical expertise for developing practical solutions to meet the SDG.
  • Demonstrating leadership by promoting the SDGs through their own operations, governance and community engagement.

Here are inspiring examples of how institutions and organisations in our region are using the SDGs framework to advance action on sustainable development.

Do you have an example you would like to tell us about? Here is how.

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Education and student activities

Sustainable Development Goals online unit
Curtin University
An online credit unit exploring the development and implementation of the SDGs from a range of theoretical, policy and practical perspectives.

Take One Step
Monash University
An online platform – currently being piloted with first and second year Business students (but open to anyone) – to engage and encourage participants to make an SDG-inspired change in their life and document their progress.

The SDGs Study Tour (Vietnam)
Laika Academy
An immersive educational program to provide students with first-hand knowledge of the SDGs in an emerging economy context.

Event: Change x Unzipped
Deakin University, University of Melbourne, Monash University, August 2016
A joint conference by medical student global health groups to explore intersection of the SDGs and global health and empower individuals to take action.

Operation Global Goals
University of Otago
A platform and funding for students to imagine and implement social action projects linked to one of the goals, coordinated by the University’s sustainability office, student association, and volunteer centre.

Event: CHANGE: A Sustainable Development Conference.
Monash University, August 2015
An event by students for students to reflect on the MDGs and SDGs, and think about what can be achieved and how students can contribute.

KnowYourGoals campaign
SDSN Youth
A campaign to encourge individuals and organisations around the world to host an event to raise awareness about the SDGs in their local communities.


Mapping research against the SDGs
Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology, Sydney
To gain a clearer picture of their strengths and prioritise actions, ISF has developed a tool to map their work in detail against the SDGs.

Achieving the SDGs for water and beyond
University of Queensland
This series of discussion papers considers Australia’s performance and efforts to achieve the water-related SDGs in Australia and within the Asia-Pacific region.

Mapping SDG research capabitlities for Research Strategy
Univesrity of Auckland
The university’s Sustainability and Environment Manager is working with the Research Office to map the university’s research capabilities in terms of their relevance to the SDGs. This work complements work in progress on the university’s draft Research Strategy. (For further information contact Lesley Stone)

Event: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: Critical development studies perspective
University of New South Wales, October 2016
Panel discussion to look at the agenda from a critical development studies perspective and ask if these new 17 goals can indeed end poverty once and for all and leave no one behind.

Event: The SDGs in the Asia-Pacific: A shared agenda for action
RDI Network, University of Technology Sydney, UNSW, University of Sydney, SDSN Australia/Pacific, June 2016
A forum to build linkages and between Sydney-based international development practitioners and researchers seeking to influence the uptake of the SDGs in the Asia-Pacific region.

Event: Integrating environment and development in the SDGs
SDSN Australia/Pacific, Curtin University, University of Technolog Sydney, Monash University, June 2015
A workshop bringing together sustainability/environment and international development communities to discuss how integration in the SDGs on energy, food and water can be achieved.

Pacific SDGs survey
Pacific Institute of Public Policy and RMIT University
People across the Pacific are invited to say what they about the SDGs.


University Commitment to the SDGs
SDSN Australia/Pacific with universities in our region
A commitment showcasing university leadership on the SDGs and highlighting the important ways the academic sector can contribute to their implementation. In signing the Commitment, university heads agree to contribute to the SDGs through education, research and governance.

Reporting progress on the SDGs
RMIT University
In its first Sustainability Annual Report, RMIT has mapped its Strategic Plan against the SDGs and is reporting its progress against them. It will continue to report progress annually.

Mapping the SDGs against university sustainability goals
Auckland University of Technology
AUT’s Taskforce for Sustainability has begun mapping the university’s Sustainability Goals 2012-2022 to the SDGs. The next steps will be to do this at a more detailed level, bringing together staff and students with an interest in SDG areas and building collaborative learning and research networks.


Event: Australian SDGs Summit
SDSN Australia/Pacific, ACFID, ACOSS and GCNA, September 2016
In the first such event in Australia since the SDGs came into effect, leaders and decision-makers from government, business, civil society, academia and youth organisations came together to advance Australian action on the SDGs.

Event: Sustainably yours, Community Development and a sustainable just future
Unitec Institute of Technology, IACD, ACDA, February 2017
A conference to bring together community development leaders, teachers and researchers from around the world to discuss, debate and plan Community Development initiatives around the SDGs.

Event: The role of knowledge institutions in implementing the SDGs in the Pacific.
SDSN Australia/Pacific, Monash University, Pacific Community, March 2016
A workshop to discuss the opportunities, challenges and priorities of the SDGs for the Pacific, and how knowledge institutions in the region can contribute towards their implementation.

Event: 17 Sustainable Development Goals for one world.
Curtin University, December 2015
A cross-sectoral, multi-partner workshp to discuss how West Australians communities, organisations and individuals connect with each other and the world in a spirit of collaboration inspiration and hope.

Event: People, planet and prosperity: Why the UN Sustainable Development Goals matter for Australia.
SDSN Australia/Pacific, Monash University, ACFID, SDSN Youth, October 2015
An evening of conversation with leading thinkers from a diverse range of perspectives to hear the many reasons why the SDGs are relevant to Australia.