On 13 June 2017, UNRISD welcomed a group of 33 students from the University of Kassel as part of a course on business and human rights. Hailing from 17 nations—from Argentina, to Austria, to Azerbaijan—and pursuing degrees at all levels, the group’s great diversity in background, interest and experience made for a fascinating discussion. Senior Research Coordinator Katja Hujo gave a presentation on the work of UNRISD, highlighting its independent research structure and its commitment to transformative change (see our 2016 Flagship Report
), which was followed by a group discussion.
With their wide range of expertise, including sustainable development, urban planning, labour, migration, diplomacy and public health (to name just a few), these young researchers asked challenging and thought-provoking questions about the role of business actors in politics and obstacles to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Katja left the students with the key message that "the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will fail if it is just an agenda of governments," calling on the visitors to take it upon themselves to spread awareness of the SDGs and put them into practice in their own spheres of influence, be they academia, the private sector or civil society.