Nebraska highlights action towards global goals during awareness week

The 17 U.N. Sustainable Development Goals
Friday, March 3, 2023

Nebraska highlights action towards global goals during awareness week

Our world is more interconnected than ever. Crises like disease outbreaks, feeding a growing world using limited resources, climate change, race and gender-based violence, economic inequality, access to education, and water insecurity are shining light on the fact that these issues affect many, if not all people, throughout the world.

Collaboration also means speaking the same language when it comes to naming and framing these wicked issues.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries - developed and developing - in a global partnership,” says the U.N. “They recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.”

While many across the campus community have heard of or are actively incorporating this framework into the grand challenges of which they address, some may not see how these goals are relevant to the work done for local communities and Nebraska. To aid in this effort, the university is participating in the Sustainable Development Goals Action and Awareness Week 2023, alongside numerous universities across the nation and world, during the week of March 6-10, 2023

"Generally, we hope to bring awareness to the SDGs more broadly and to shine a light on the many ways Nebraska faculty, staff, students and others are already doing incredible work to advance these goals, many of which align with UNL’s Grand Challenges,'" said Brianne Wolf, global learning and engagement strategies coordinator for the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.

The practice also aligns with the university-wide global strategy, as laid out by former Associate Vice Chancellor of Global Affairs and Senior International Officer, Josh Davis (current Chief of Staff and Associate to the Chancellor), and the broader Global Nebraska network of university teams. The strategy was developed in concert with a committee of faculty and staff from across the university.

"Ultimately, it can be both energizing and effective to frame our work within the larger challenges of the SDGs and galvanize everyone in the community, no matter their position, to take action towards these goals, too," said Wolf. 

All are invited to join several original events organized by the CASNR Global Learning Hub to take part in UNL’s participation of the awareness week, as well as attend many events across campus. 

Starting Monday, March 6, the East Campus Union will showcase the “Beyond the Box: CASNR Edition” exhibit on the third floor near the Loft Gallery. The exhibit of resources in an interactive audio exhibit highlighting Nebraska faculty and staff contributions towards the Sustainable Development Goals was was created to utilize digital storytelling to support students in various grades as they explore their future. Through focusing on important human values, these collections of stories highlight how individuals have found their way into the sciences and how their chosen career has allowed them to do amazing and impactful work related to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Passing through the Nebraska Student Union on City Campus or the East Campus Union early that week? Stop to chat with Global Learning Hub graduate assistant Shabani Muller about the SDGs Scholars Program and digital badge. Find him at the booths on city campus from 8-10 a.m. Monday, or in the East union from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Tuesday.

The Wednesday, March 7 event, “Advancing careers & the SDGs: how a co-curricular program prepares students to make a difference in their professional paths,” shares about the professional development focus of the SDG Scholars Program. The discussion will take place at 12:00 p.m. CST on Zoom. The event is open to all, but registration is required. Learn more about how students at Nebraska are diving into four of the seventeen sustainable development goals, learning from diverse perspectives (including local and global experts and their peers), growing their professional networks, and creating original content to help others get involved, too. More information on the program and the digital credential can be found here.

On Thursday, March 9, the community is invited to dig deeper into the making of the aforementioned “Beyond the Box” exhibit, and its “maker,” Peyton Bishop. Bishop is a UNL CASNR alumna with background in fisheries and wildlife, a former team member on with CASNR’s science literacy initiatives, and currently serves as an AVID Tutor with Lincoln Public Schools. She has a passion for bringing valuable, educational, and diverse STEM learning experiences to youth. She’ll share about the project in a virtual chat starting at 3:00 p.m., then anyone who is interested is invited to join her at the exhibit on the third floor of the East Campus Union for a hands-on exploration, and ask more questions!

There are innumerable examples of the ways the University of Nebraska is advancing the SDGs in the day-to-day work of students, faculty, staff, and alumni. The campus community is encouraged to explore and participate in the following events taking place that week showcase some of this work:

(More events being added daily—reach out to the Global Learning Hub to have yours listed here). 

Interested in the work of our peer universities and other organizations across the U.S. and world? Check out dozens of events related to the SDGs as part of the University Global Coalition’s observance. 

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln is also a member of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN). The network mobilizes global scientific and technological expertise to promote practical solutions for sustainable development. To learn more about the university's involvement with that network, visit or contact Dave Gosselin at