Sustainable Development Goals at Georgia Tech

UN Sustainable Development Goals logo

To advance the Institute’s new mission and strategic plan, President Ángel Cabrera charged leaders and units throughout campus with spearheading a project to promote, implement, and advance the 17 United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at Georgia Tech.

The new sustainability initiative stems in part from Tech’s affiliation with the University Global Coalition (UGC), which President Cabrera chairs and helped found. Established in 2019, the UGC comprises a group of higher education leaders from across the globe who work together to advance the SDGs through education, research, service, and campus operations.

The long-term initiative will begin with two virtual events and a collaborative online activity during the Fall 2020 semester. Programming will focus on introducing the campus community to the SDGs, discussing their global importance and relevance to Tech, and demonstrating how the Institute can lead the region in implementing and advancing them.

17 Rooms at Georgia Tech: Recommended Actions

Graphic image of 17 Rooms report coverAfter hosting a virtual version of 17 Rooms at Georgia Tech in October 2020, the 17 Rooms Planning Committee — aided by more than 20 student, faculty, and staff volunteers representing all 17 discussions — worked to identify key takeaways from the event. They then synthesized these takeaways into recommendations that link research, teaching, operations, and partnerships while aligning with priorities in the Institute's new strategic plan.

Between October 2020 and January 2021, the Committee reviewed and refined those recommendation into the following six recommended actions to be implemented over the next 18 months:

  • Strengthen External Partnerships and Regional Collaborations
  • Integrate the SDGs into the Curriculum
  • Lead by Example
  • Engage Students in Institute Planning
  • Enhance Student Well-Being
  • Advance SDG Research

Read the full report for detailed descriptions of all six recommended actions, steps proposed to advance them, their connections with the SDGs and the Institute's new strategic plan, and estimates of the resources required to achieve them.


Fall 2020 Programming

Sept. 10, 2020

Advancing the Sustainable Development Goals at Georgia Tech

The first event featured a keynote address from President Cabrera and a panel discussion moderated by Anna Stenport, chair of the School of Modern Languages and co-director of the Atlanta Global Studies Center. Panelists discussed how the SDGs can be a useful framework to catalyze action and positive change that advance the public good.

Read the transcript from the Sept. 10 panel discussion

Oct. 1, 2020

17 Rooms/Zooms

A virtual version of the 17 Rooms event concept developed by The Brookings Institution and The Rockefeller Foundation, 17 Zooms aims to stimulate collective action toward implementing the SDGs. It works by convening 17 distinct groups — one per SDG — to identify, in concert, high-impact objectives that can be met in 18 months.


Sustainability Task Force

Georgia Tech’s newly formed Sustainability Task Force coordinates activities across campus to cultivate a shared vision for sustainability and better integrate the Institute's research, education, operations, and partnerships. 

Participating units (with contacts):
Sustainability Networks and Partnerships
Learn More About Sustainability at Tech

Sustainability Programs and Practices
Georgia Tech aims to “walk the talk” by demonstrating sustainability in action. At any given time, you will find a multitude of sustainability initiatives underway on campus. They unite faculty, staff, and students in our quest to provide solutions to the environmental, social, and economic challenges facing us today.

Research and Education
Hosted by the Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems, Georgia Tech's 2019 Sustainability Showcase invited about 150 faculty to share their work in sustainability research and education. Talks were presented in a fast-paced lightning format covering topics that span the engineering, natural science, social science, business, planning, design, and computing disciplines.

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