Quarterly meeting of the UN RCE Youth Network furthers sustainable education

By: Alicia Wun Intern, Office of Sustainability Initiatives

Kennesaw, GA– Undergraduate and graduate students from across five Atlanta universities convened Saturday, November 10, for the quarterly meeting of the Regional Center for Expertise (RCE) Youth Network. The RCE Youth Network both supports the operations of RCE Greater Atlanta and pursues independent projects to further sustainable education and projects, utilizing the framework of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Attendees included students from Kennesaw State University (KSU), Georgia Tech, Georgia State University, Emory, and Mercer University. These students are studying urban planning, public health, industrial engineering, computer science, environmental engineering, and business.

At this meeting, students discussed expansion of membership within their campuses, ongoing projects, solidifying governance structure, and goals for the upcoming Spring semester.

Isabella Stubbs from Georgia Tech began with a quick overview of the Youth Network, past events, broad goals, and upcoming events. Past events have included a sustainability-informed tour of the Beltline, curating displays on the SDGs for the RCE Launch Event at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights (NCCHR), and hosting a United Nations Association “Become a Global Leader” workshop. One student from the RCE Youth Network, Lisa Smith of KSU, even traveled to Argentina for the RCE Americas 7thRegional Meeting.

Building on these past successes, the Youth Network discussed upcoming goals for the rest of the school year, communication strategies, task management, and solidification of governance structure.  As students, members of the Youth Network have understandably busy schedules—going to class, working part-time or full-time jobs, internships, student clubs, and more. As a student-led organization, the Youth Network members discussed how to collaboratively create a sustainable governance structure that takes into account the unique lifestyle of students and the strengths and limitations of that positionality.

Tyler Stahl of KSU shared about the upcoming Equinox week at his campus, a week dedicated to the “socio-economic-ecological impacts of sustainability”, as well a project he is leading with EcoOwls to turn off computer monitors when they are unused.

Students had a stimulating discussion on governance and creating spaces for members to take on leadership positions. RCE Youth Network plans to solidify governance structure by the end of Winter, putting the network in an excellent position to incorporate new members for the Spring 2019 semester.

Upcoming events include attending the RCE Greater Atlanta Quarterly Meeting on November 28th and supporting and attending the Sustainability Networking Night on November 29th.

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