SDG Conference in Bergen

Day Zero 2024 programme

Welcome to Day Zero of the SDG Conference Bergen, 7 February 2024! This year there are more than thirty events. The day starts with a panel on private-public partnerships with focus on Deep-Sea Mining.

Day Zero 2022
Thor Brødreskift/UiB

Main content

Day Zero is your opportunity to meet hundreds of enthusiastic researchers and practitioners working for a sustainable future. Engage yourself in creative spaces, or just listen. As before, Day Zero starts with an Opening Plenary Session, followed by three waves of 90-minute workshop sessions. 

Opening Session 09:00 - 10:30

Join us in person at Storsalen, Nygårdsgaten 5, or for digital participants, register here

The Role of Public-Private Partnerships in the Sustainability Transformation:
Deep-Sea Mining as a case


As we navigate societal transformation towards sustainability the use of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) becomes imperative, demanding oversight to ensure their alignment with long-term environmental and social goals.

How can Public-Private Partnerships be used to support the SDGs? What are the pitfalls and where are the leverage points for sustainable transformations? How are PPPs supporting deep sea exploration and mining? What is the role of the Precautionary Principle and high risk-high gain venture capital in the Blue-Green Transition?

The backdrop for this panel discussion is the Norwegian parliament’s recent vote in favour of opening up for the exploration of deep-sea mining, pitting politicians against scientists in a polarized debate.

Critically analysing the roles of academia, industry, and philanthropy in propelling societal sustainability aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) involves assessing their contributions, motivations, and impacts.

Aiste Klimasauskaite, Postdoctoral Fellow, Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities, UiB
Tina Kutti, Researcher, Institute of Marine Research 
Andrea Magugliani, University of Bergen
Johan Odvar Odfjell, Director, Farvatn 
Pedro Ribero, Deputy Director, Centre for Deep-Sea Research, UiB 
María José Romero, Policy and Advocacy Manager, Eurodad 
Lars-Kristian Trellevik, Cheif Sustainabillity and Operations Officer, Adepth Minerals 

Moderator: Dorothy Dankel, SINTEF/UiB

FILM SCREENING: The new documentry Deep Rising will be available for streaming throughout the conference.

Late morning 11:00 - 12:30

The researcher as an activist

Researcher as an activist

Judith Dalsgård
Centre for Climate and Energy Transformation, UiB 

This session will be a hybrid event. A limited number will be able to attend in person at the new CET offices on the 4th floor; Christies gt 18, Bergen.

Can you be a sustainability researcher and an activist? Yes! At the Centre for Climate and Energy Transformation (CET), our strategy is to produce actionable knowledge on how to achieve a rapid, just and deep transformation of society. Some of our researchers participate in climate demonstrations and voice their opinions in other ways, for instance in opinion pieces, debates and social media.

We do not do this blindfolded: The topic of research and activism (R&A) is discussed a lot at CET, and in this seminar, we invite you to join us in exploring research and activism in theory and practice: 

Part 1: Theory (presentations + discussion)

  • The principles that separate research and activism, and their relevance
  • Alternative ways to understand the relationship between research and activism
  • Moral consequences of being a researcher and NOT being an activist

Moderator: Janne Bjørgan, PhD Candidate, CET
Presentation by Kjetil Rommetveit, Professor, Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities, UiB

Part 2: Practice (panel discussion)

  • Practical issues when engaging in activism as a researcher
  • Experiences and best practices of combining research and activism
  • How academia can allow for professional integration of research and activism 

Moderator: Christine van der Horst, PhD Candidate at CET

Kerim H Nisancioglu, Professor, Bjerknes Climate Centre for Climate Research
Anand Bhopal, PhD Candidate, Bergen Centre for Ethics and Priority Settings (BCEPS)
Mikkel Berg-Nordlie, Senior Researcher, OsloMet, and Elsa Laula Renbergs Institute

Relevant for:  
SDG 5: Gender Equality
SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities 
SDG 13: Climate Action 
SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions 

Learning Context-Specific Transformative Change

Zane Šime 
Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)

Priya Vijaykumar Poojary
Manipal Centre for European Studies, Manipal Academy of Higher Education

This event addresses the context-specific learning of transformative futures through research mobility, sustainable transitions, and science diplomacy. A panel of engaged and internationally mobile researchers from Europe and India will present their latest research. They will put specific emphasis on how international research cooperation, academic and training mobility supported by the European Union improve the overall understanding of place-specific sustainable transition dynamics.

Through financing the adoption of EU-promoted concepts in diverse contexts, the Union has succeeded in generating a wealth of empirical insights and in-depth understanding concerning the strengths and limitations of the World’s Largest Lesson. The findings presented during the online event highlight various challenges and achievements tied to reaching the milestones associated with the Sustainable Development Goals.  

This event might be of interest to early-career researchers who are keen to explore the diversity of topics covered by the EU-India strategic partnership and wish to discuss the latest findings of four individual research tracks presented by the speakers.


Relevant for:
SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals

Klarer skolen å fostre elevene til bevisste og handlende medborgere?


Monica Bjermeland 

Seksjon for forskning og kommunikasjon, Universitetet i Oslo 

Et viktig mandat for skolen er å forberede elevene på en verden som snart er vesentlig annerledes enn i dag – på grunn av klima- og naturkrisene og deres inngripen i den enkeltes liv og samfunn, og anstrengelser for å skape bærekraftige samfunn.

det nye læreplanverket er dette mandatet uttrykt i de tre tverrfaglige temaene folkehelse og livsmestring, demokrati og medborgerskap, samt bærekraftig utvikling. Temaene er forankret i de store samfunnsutfordringene i vår tid og skal ifølge læreplanen legge til rette for å forstå komplekse sammenhenger og gi et grunnlag for etisk og politisk handling. 

Denne sesjonen vil kritisk belyse de tverrfaglige temaene og peke på mulighetene som ligger i dem så vel som fallgruver og utfordringer. Klarer skolen å fostre elevene til bevisste og handlende medborgere? Hvor langt strekker skolens ansvar seg?

  • De tverrfaglige temaene i et danningsperspektiv (professor Inga Bostad
  • Hva skjer i skolen – Funn fra EVA2020-evalueringen (professor Anniken Furberg
  • Mental health and coping in the climate change era (førsteamanuensis Francis Vergunst
  • Den normative dimensjonen i bærekraftig utvikling – hva betyr den for demokrati og medborgerskap? (førsteamanuensis Ole Andreas Kvamme
  • Panelsamtale

Chair: Berit Karseth

Denne sesjonen bør være spesielt interessant for lærere, lærerstudenter, lærerutdannere, utdanningspolitikere og forskere.

Relevant for: 
SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being 
SDG 4: Quality Education   
SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities 
SDG 12: Responsible Production and Consumption 
SDG 13: Climate Action 
SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions 

SDG 14.4 is four years late – is anything being done?

Hanne Hjelle Hatlebrekke

SDG 14.4 states that we should end overfishing and illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing by 2020. We have not yet managed this. Is anything being done–doesanyone care? The fish care, and so do we!

EVERYFISH is an EU project working on creating technologies to reach SDG 14.4, using for example AI to monitor and register the catches to benefit the fishers, the fish, and the control agencies. Challenges include the maturity of the technologies, different national regulations and international agreements, and not least the diverseneeds of the stakeholders.

It is crucial that the technologies are adapted to different fisheries and areeasy and safe to usewhile collecting the data required by institutions and consumers. That’s why we need your help! If you are a part of the fishing industry, work with or study using ocean data, or are just interested in fisheries, join our workshop to learn more about what we doand let us know your thoughts, needs, and ideas! How can we reach SDG 14.4 with automatic catch registration? What types of technologies are needed, what data do we need to collect? In a dream world, how do you imagine this is done? All input will be anonymous, and will help us with our reports, best practice guidelines, and policy briefs.

The workshop will start with presentations about the project, the current management systemin Norway, the different challenges faced in the Netherlands and Scotland, and what fishers think about new technologies. Throughout we will use Mentimeter to ask questions and learn from the participants.

At the end there will be a session for the participants to ask questions to the panel about the challenges and opportunities that the fisheries management of the future will have to offer.

Together we can reach SDG 14.4!

Hanne Hjelle Hatlebrekke, SINTEF Ocean, Norway 

Rachel Tiller, SINTEF Ocean, Norway
Ole Høstmark, Norwegian Fisheries Directorate, Norway
Edwin van Helmond, Wageningen University and Research, The Netherlands
Mark James and Tania Mendo, University of St Andrews, Scotland

Relevant for: 
SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure 
SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities 
SDG 12: Responsible Production and Consumption 
SDG 14: Life Below Water


Toril Finbråten
Green Office, University of Oslo

The Sustainathon will take place at the University of Oslo (Blindern) from 10.00-16.00

Venue: Physical location TBA — it is ALSO possible to participate digitally.

Link to our event page

Do you want to learn more about sustainability work at UiO? Maybe you have a great idea for how to make UiO greener? Or possibly you have THE idea that will save us from the climate crisis? Then sign up for the Green Office’s Sustainathon!  

What is a Sustainathon? It’s a practical exercise where you will spend one day working in a group to develop ideas for solving one of the university’s sustainability challenge. At the end of the day, the groups gets 2 minutes to pitch their ideas. A jury chooses and the best idea and group that wins the Sustainathon 2024 and a Universal gift card (1000 NOK to each member)! 

The goal with Sustainathon is to include students in the sustainable transition of the University through practical and theoretical means. Students get to apply their theoretical knowledge whilst gaining practical experience. Apart from this, it will invest students in the sustainable transformation of UiO and give legitimacy through student involvement. Lastly, and most importantly, it will give the University of Oslo a range of sustainable solutions. 

Practical info:  

  • You will get an introduction to UiO’s sustainability work before your are presented by the sustainability challenges that the university faces.   
  • You will get a space at Blindern where you and your group will work to finding potential solutions to the challenge, and research how they would work in action.  
  • The Green Office team will come by the groups to offer our guidance and try to answer potential questions.  

Sign up for the Sustainathon 2024 (deadline 5th of February)   

Relevant for:
SDG 12: Responsible Production and Consumption 
SDG 13: Climate Action 

A systems view of climate action

Hugo Herrera
System Dynamics Group, UiB 

Climate action is paramount to avoid the imminent catastrophe resulting from climate change and to keep our planet within habitable boundaries. However, designing and implementing strategies is an easy problem with complex system and political interactions. 

In this workshop we want to create awareness of these complexity using C-ROADS to visualise the long-term impacts of climate strategies across distinct regional groups. C-ROADS is an online System Dynamics simulator that has helped many stakeholders around the world to understand the impact of the emission reduction pledges countries have proposed to the United Nations. These proposals take different forms with different reduction rates and target years, however, using C-ROADS we can rapidly test policies to determine whether collectively they are enough to stabilise temperature below 2°C. 

During the workshop, participants will be able to visualise the impact of different climate solutions in real-time, using this friendly climate model. We'll use C-ROADS to:

  • a) explore the impacts of cross-sector solutions—from carbon pricing to energy efficiency, to innovations in new technology,
  • b) learn about how to create equitable transformation, and 
  • c) discuss potential actions and impact of compromises.

Relevant for: 
SDG 13: Climate Action

Hvilken effekt har universitetet på studenters holdning til bærekraft?  

Marita Rendedal 
Om i Morgen

Om i Morgen er en studentdrevet stiftelse som jobber mot et bærekraftig samfunn på tvers av akademia, næringslivet og politikken. Vi arrangerer blant annet Norges største studentdrevne klimakonferanse “Vi må snakke om i morgen”. 

Bærekraft er et tema som blir mer og mer relevant og får et stadig større fokus. Dette gjelder også innenfor utdanningssektoren. Det er særlig unge som har et økende engasjement for bærekraft og da også studenter. Hvordan integrerer de forskjellige studiene bærekraft i undervisningen sin og i hvor stor grad er det integrert? Hvor stor forskjell er det i fokus på bærekraft mellom forskjellige studier? Har studiet gjort studentene mer bevisste bærekraft og klima?   

Det skal være en panelsamtale med 3-4 studenter fra ulike studier hvor det skal reflekteres rundt dette temaet. Det ønskes å kommes fram til i hvilken grad universitetene tilrettelegger for en økt bevissthet rundt bærekraft og bærekraftige tiltak. I tillegg ønskes det å utforske om et større fokus på bærekraft i undervisningen påvirker studentenes holdning til bærekraft. Dette skal være fra studenters perspektiv og studentene er fra ulike studieretninger.  

Relevant for: 
SDG 4: God utdanning 
SDG 11: Bærekraftige byer og lokalsamfunn  
SDG 13: Stoppe klimaendringene 

Reconsidering SDG nr 8: Do we need economic growth for decent work?

Marie Storli

SDG #8 aims at «decent work and economic growth». Historically, periods of economic growth have typically been accompanied by decent working conditions and low unemployment. And vice versa, decent work has typically been hard to find in the absence of economic growth. But do we really need economic growth to ensure access to decent work?

Economic growth is also linked to the undermining of both ecological and social sustainability. Perspectives from the Degrowth and post-growth literature tells us that we can ensure people a decent job and income in new and innovative ways. What would SDG 8 mean, if the goal was to create decent jobs without relying on economic growth?

In this session you will meet important voices from different parts of the alternative economics movement. You will learn more about ideas like universal basic income, wellbeing economy, job guarantee, and universal basic services.

Introduction (10 min) on economic growth and the SDGs by Arild Vatn, Professor Emeritus at the University of Life Sciences (NMBU). He is a prominent scholar within the fields of institutional and ecological economics.

The case for:

  • an Universal Basic Income (10 min)
    Leah Barrett Werner, research assistant in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Concordia University in Montreal. Her dissertation explores an Ethnography on Basic Income.  
  • a job guarantee (10 minutes)
    Lukas Lehner, PhD Candidate at the University of Oxford and research fellow at Bocconi Univeristy. His research focuses on labour economics at the intersection of public economics. 
  • Universal Basic Services (10 min)
    Anna Coote, Principal Fellow at the New Economics Foundation. She is a leading analyst, writer and advocate in the field of social policy. 

Discussion with Q&A (45 min)

Read more about: 

Job guarantee:

Social guarantee:

Relevant for: 
SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

Resonant Practices: Beyond Control to Fluidity


Joost van Wijchen
Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Norway, Head of Bachelor Physiotherapy / HAN University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands, Principal Lecturer II Health

This workshop is particularly relevant for mid-career professionals, educators, postgraduate students, and academics who are keen on integrating sustainable and resonant practices into their future careers. The workshop is ideal for those who are looking to reflect critically and innovate within their professional practices considering global challenges.

In an era of environmental crises and social inequalities, 'Resonant Practices: Beyond Control to Fluidity' offers a transformative workshop for professionals across disciplines. Grounded in the philosophies of Albert Camus, Hartmut Rosa, and Rosi Braidotti, this workshop transcends ecological boundaries, advocating for resonance, fluidity, and inclusivity in professional practices. 

Central to the workshop is the integration of social practice theory, an essential framework for reconfiguring materials, meanings, and competencies in professional settings. This approach is vital for universities preparing future professionals, emphasising their role in facilitating transformative change. Participants will engage in an interactive session, confronting professional absurdities and utilizing liminality and uncertainty for personal growth.

The workshop challenges anthropocentric and control-dominated paradigms, promoting inclusive, diverse, and adaptive practices. Our concept of ‘Resonant Practices' aims to equip participants to navigate professional unpredictability and complexity, culminating in action plans aligned with perspectives such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It underscores the critical role universities can play and should have in preparing professionals for an evolving world, highlighting their responsibility to foster sustainable, equitable, and resonant practices for future development

Joost van Wijchen, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Norway, Head of Bachelor Physiotherapy HAN University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands, Principal Lecturer II Health 
Erik Jansen, HAN University of Applied Sciences, Norway, Professor / Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands Professor II
Koen Dortmans, HAN University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands, Senior Researcher

This workshop is particularly relevant for mid-career professionals, educators, postgraduate students, and academics keen on integrating sustainable and resonant practices into their evolving careers. The workshop is ideally aimed at those who are looking to critically reflect on and innovate within their professional practices in light of the serious global challenges developing today.

Relevant for: 
SDG 4: Quality Education 
SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth 
SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure 
SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities 
SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities 
SDG 12: Responsible Production and Consumption 
SDG 13: Climate Action 
SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions 
SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals

Reforming Business Education for Sustainability

Ann Kristin Calisch
BI Norwegian Business School

BI Norwegian Business School will share insight and experiences from the ongoing revision of the fulltime bachelor programmes, launched for students starting at BI Fall 2023. 

BI has revised candidate profiles for graduates to include sustainability and all BI bachelor students will from 2023 have sustainability & ESG topics as part of mandatory business courses, eg. in economics, marketing, strategy, HR/leadership, finance and accounting. BI faculty with course responsibilities are innovating their courses. The new Economics course was taught for around 3000 new bachelor students Fall 2023 and some first experiences will be shared. 

All students will also have a new capstone course for senior bachelor students, "Doing sustainable business", with applied/experiential learning where students will work on real life sustainability cases from business partners. The course is currently under development, to be taught annually for until 3000 students on four campuses, by dozens of lecturers/facilitators and with multiple company cases. BI will share some reflections on such a scaling challenge, with balancing learning outcomes and resource efficiency. 

BI will share some early experiences and challenges in this ongoing systemic transformation of curriculum and hope to inspire other universities and business schools to make the move from the "easy-way" of adding sustainability electives to the "hard-way" of integrating sustainability into core curriculum.

The session will present how BI through the last years has revised it’s business administration bachelor programmes with more sustainability curriculum integrated into core business courses, with two course examples; ‘Economics 1’ and ‘Doing Sustainable Business’.

The session should be of interest to academic staff with responsibilities for teaching programmes/courses, within various academic disciplines. The session is also relevant for professional higher education staff, students, politicians, and companies with interest in sustainability teaching and how to scale learning to large student volumes.

BI Dosent Siv Staubo & Dean for BI bachelor programmes
BI Professor Dag Morten Dalen
BI Associate Professor Ellen Altenborg  
BI Special Advisor Ann Kristin H. Calisch

Chair: BI Professor Caroline Dale Ditlev-Simonsen

Relevant for: 
SDG 4: Quality Education 
SDG 5: Gender Equality 
SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth 
SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure 
SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities 
SDG 12: Responsible Production and Consumption 
SDG 13: Climate Action 
SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions 
SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals

Families’ perinatal experiences & forced migration


Dr Emma Crawford
The University of Queensland, Australia

This interactive online workshop will be of interest to those with interest or experience with families with infants and young children in the context of forced migration. Participants who have lived experience as a parent or caregiver of an infant while seeking asylum or experiencing displacement are also invited to participate.  

Through facilitated knowledge-building activities, you will contribute to the co-construction of shared knowledge regarding the perinatal experiences of women, infants and their families in the context of forced migration. Early life, in an infant’s first days, weeks and months lay the foundations of future life outcomes. This period is simultaneously marked with enormous possibility and extreme fragility.

Current research that considers families experiencing forced migration predominantly focuses on birthing and infant feeding.

In this participatory workshop, we will come together to focus on broader consideration of parent-child interactions, infant and maternal mental health, and engagement in meaningful activities including play, sleep and community/cultural life — essential components of this critical window of life. Ultimately, we will explore these experiences, knowledge gaps, and service and support needs to consider how inter-institutional collaborations may benefit families with infants in forced migration settings.

In-session collaboration across attendees is integral to this session. Online (e.g. zoom and padlet) and offline (e.g. pen and paper info-visualization) will be blended within the session to ensure you are highly engaged, able to share your own knowledge, and able to learn from others. 

Relevant for: 
SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being 

The role of higher education in forming entrepreneurs for economics development

Rakotoarisoa Maminirina Fenitra
ASTA Research Center, Madagascar

This event aims to spark a discourse on the pivotal role of universities in fostering future youth entrepreneurs.

Organised jointly by the ASTA Research Center and ISCAM Business School in Madagascar, this seminar seeks to gather students, universities, and government bodies to exchange and explore ideas related to this critical topic.

The seminar will delve into the intersection of entrepreneurship and its profound connection to sustainable development. Our aim with this event is to highlight universities' significant impact on nurturing the next generation of entrepreneurial minds.

Rakotoarisoa Maminirina Fenitra, Chair of ASTA Research Center, Madagascar
Manovosoa Finaritra Rakotovao, Professor, ISCAM Business School, Madagascar
R Maminiaina Heritiana Sedera, Lecturer and researcher, ISCAM Business School, Madagascar

Moderator: Joseph Richie Eklou, Ph.D. Scholar, National Central University, Taiwan

Relevant for:
SDG 1: No Poverty
SDG 4: Quality Education
SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals

Community Upcycling in Bandung City, Indonesia


Ratna Lindawati Lubis
Telkom University, Indonesia 

Join us for an inspiring panel discussion on community upcycling in Bandung City where sustainability seamlessly intertwines with creativity. You will hear from experts sharing best practices in the dynamic realm of upcycling and learn how our community initiatives contribute to repurposing materials, transforming discarded items into valuable and aesthetically pleasing products.

This session delves into the application of SDG Target 8.3 and its associated indicators within Bandung City, West Java Province. Our panel will discuss current developments and showcase future innovative initiatives in the realm of sustainable practices. Discover how collaborative efforts in upcycling can not only create beautiful products but also strengthen community bonds, fostering a profound sense of shared responsibility.

  • Presentation of best practices from Cemara Paper, Bandung, West Java, with the upcycling artisans Toto Sumarna and Asti Gustiasih.
  • Presentation of innovative initiatives from Gemricik (Gerakan Masyarakat Cinta Cikapundung), Bandung.
    • Ratna Lindawati Lubis (she/her), Head of Gemricik and Senior Faculty Master in Management Program, Faculty of Economics and Business, Telkom University
  • Presentation of project-based learning from students of the Master in Management Program.
    • Eko Sanjaya Nurhakim

    • Jimmy Julio Ratu Edo

    • Kanserhino Dijunito Batara Putera

    • Muhammad Aderaka Fasha

    • Muhammad Rafli Putra Prasetiadi

This session aims to foster collaboration and knowledge-sharing among students, faculty, community leaders, environmental enthusiasts and entrepreneurs.

Relevant for: 
SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

Early afternoon 13:30 - 15:00

Improvisation on the Sustainable Development Goals

Siri Veland (NORCE), Viggo Krüger (UiB), Irmelin Gram-Hanssen (Western Norway Research Foundation), Kai Grieg (United Nations Association in Norway), Dorothy Dankel (SINTEF)

Join researchers, musicians, and practitioners improvising over the SDGs on Day Zero of the SDG Conference!

The SDGs intend for a transformational shift but are also perfectly suited for the prevailing bureaucratic delegation of siloed targets and goals, and for the selective use of individual goals to boosts the image of companies and campaigns. Sustainability transformations require a break with engrained patterns, and resistance and hesitation are understandable.

Transformative collaborations across competing and unaligned sectors and departments need to happen within the tight budgets and timelines of local councils and organizations. The complexity of integrating 168 targets across 17 goals is overwhelming, and the UN provides no formula for integration, nor could they. How can we foster creativity, trust, and constructive disagreements for transformative change?

This session brings in musicians, researchers and practitioners to discuss and practise the role of improvisation in sustainability transformations. Improvisation as a musical form relies on a good handle on theory and practice, allowing others to join in, taking in signals from others, to see that errors and disharmonies can open new tracks, and allowing that things are created along the way. Similarly, democracy is rooted in friction and disagreement - that's when it grooves!

Improvised music as therapy is also a way of healing anger, anxiety, and worry. We invite a playful, imaginative, and open workshop where the panel and participants will join with their perspectives on how ideas of improvisation might help frame some of the challenges in reaching across disciplinary, sectorial, and regional boundaries for sustainability transformations.

If you can meet in person, bring your instrument!

Relevant for: 
SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals

Tackling the rise of illiberalism


Elina Troscenko
Global Research Programme on Inequality (GRIP)

The global political landscape for the past two decades has been dominated by the rise of illiberalism. Illiberalism, often arriving in disguise of far right-wing populism, to an increasing degree is also interested in the higher-education sector. Universities are often seen as easy targets for illiberalism as they are both subject to heavy regulations and often highly dependent on public funding. 

This session, therefore, explores questions that include the following:

  • What challenges do illiberal practices pose to universities?
  • What kind of reforms the sector is experiencing under illiberalism?
  • What does it mean to be a scholar/student under a rising far-right regime that often implies shrinking freedoms?
  • What are the possible responses and forms of resistance by academia?  


Relevant for: 
SDG 4: Quality Education 
SDG 5: Gender Equality 
SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities 
SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions 

Confronting Eurocentrism in Sustainability Debates: A Critical Development Studies Approach

Haldis Haukanes
Department of Health Promotion and Development, UiB

Hilde Refstie
Department of Geography, NTNU

This session offers a critical examination of the prevailing Eurocentric lens in sustainability debates and studies. It aims to explore how critical development studies can effectively challenge this bias, contributing to a more inclusive global perspective that acknowledges historical power hierarchies and justice concerns.

This recentring is vital to

  1. recognize the rich diversity of perspectives and solutions that may emerge from regions at the forefront of experiencing and addressing sustainability challenges,
  2. understand global justice aspects vital for implementing sustainability transformations, and
  3. better position sustainability initiatives in relation to a changing geopolitical world order.

In the panel we ask: How can critical development studies be utilized to centre the majority world - regions with the largest populations and rapidly emerging economies - in sustainability debates? And how can we create a space for these perspectives in a world that is increasingly leaning towards nationalist and deglobalized perspectives and policies? 

This session will be particularly relevant for students and staff at all kinds of educational programs and research institutions that are concerned with sustainability in a global perspective (development studies, geography, political science, etc.) as well as staff at NORAD, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and similar government institutions.

Panel organisers:
National Expert Body for Global Development Studies (represented by Hilde Refstie, NTNU and Haldis Haukanes, UiB, in cooperation with Norwegian Association for Development Research (represented by Arnhild Leer-Helgesen, UiA)

Welcome: Haldis Haukanes (Professor UiB) 
Introduction: Arnhild Leer-Helgesen (Lead co-chair NFU) 

Panel presentations:

Discussion round among panelists
Chair: Associate professor Hilde Refstie, NTNU)
Questions and comments from audience 

Relevant for: 
SDG 1: No Poverty 
SDG 2: Zero Hunger 
SDG 4: Quality Education 
SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth 
SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities 
SDG 13: Climate Action 
SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions 
SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals

Future visions of nature – and how we can reimagine higher education to get us there

Inger Elisabeth Måren
The UNESCO Chair, University of Bergen 

Join us to envision possible positive futures for nature in this interactive workshop for students and early career-researchers – and how we might reimagine study programs and educational activities at universities to support developments towards those visions.

We will use the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES/Naturpanelet)’s Nature Futures Framework (NFF), a flexible tool to support the development of scenarios and models of desirable futures for people, nature and planet. It forms the foundation for developing scenarios of positive futures for nature, to help inform assessments of policy options across multiple scales.

The NFF places relationships between people and nature at its core. Because people relate to nature in multiple ways, there are a wide variety of desirable nature futures, with different goals and visions which can be synergistic or in conflict with one another. We will discuss how higher education can play a role in bringing us closer to a desired future for nature and people. What are current positive ‘seeds’ with transformative potential? And what are barriers and enabling factors in the existing educational system to get us there?

Inger Elisabeth Måren (UiB), Katja Malmborg (UiB) and Alicia May Donnellan Barraclough will lead the workshop with facilitators Sonya GeangeSilje Östman and Dagmar Dorothea Egelkraut. They are all part of Centre for Sustainable Area Management (CeSAM) is a UiB initiative to support sustainable management of our landscapes and oceans, biodiversity, and nature's benefits to people.

The workshop is open to all BSc, MSc and PhD students and postdocs from all disciplines.

Relevant for: 
SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being 
SDG 4: Quality Education 
SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities 
SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities 
SDG 12: Responsible Production and Consumption 
SDG 13: Climate Action 
SDG 14: Life Below Water 
SDG 15: Life on Land 
SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals 

What does the sea mean to you?

Mimi E. Lam
Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities, University of Bergen

This session is organized by the Managing Ethical Norwegian Seascape Activities (MENSA) project at the University of Bergen. We invite participants to share, via an interactive survey, what the sea means to them, what activities they engage in, on, and by the sea, and what values and identities they associate with the sea. The collective results will be discussed.

Next, our Onewater panellist will introduce and show a short video from her Somos OceanoS (SOS) – We are Oceans project, where coastal residents in Argentina and Mexico describe what the sea means to them, elevating local voices in the global conversation for equitable management and conservation of marine resources.

The audience then will be invited to participate in and discuss an interactive seascapes-sorting exercise to reveal the diverse criteria that people use to value the sea.

We will conclude by presenting results of a national seascapes survey in Norway which probed the “sense of sea” of respondents, that is, how attached respondents were to the sea, what factors contribute to this attachment, as well as their perceptions of marine industrial and ecological threats.

We invite entries to our online Norwegian seascapes photo and prose contest to ignite a conversation of what the sea means to Norwegians! Our aim, by the end of this interactive session, is for participants to reflect upon and engage in conversation on the diverse values, identities, and meanings that individuals or communities may attach to the coasts and oceans and to brainstorm possible strategies to resolve ensuing management and policy conflicts.

Chair: Mimi E. Lam, University of Bergen, Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities

Panelist: Veronica Relano, Onewater

Relevant for: 
SDG 14: Life Below Water 
SDG 15: Life on Land 
SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

UNIs UNITE: Collaborating for transformative change

Linn Dybdahl
Norwegian University of Life Sciences 

Higher education must play a vital role in accelerating sustainable development. But to advance sustainable living and to solve the world’s wicked problems in time, universities and higher education institutions also need to transform themselves. 

This process is a learning journey that needs to engage the whole institution. Unfortunately, change agents in universities often find themselves stuck in small niches and meet resistance from well-established structures and systems. How can we connect exciting innovations such as Living Labs, Citizen Assemblies, Citizen Science, Sustainability Arenas from the margins of higher education to the mainstream? How can they become a force that are transformative, transdisciplinary and action-oriented? 

If you are interested in driving changes in higher education, this is the session for you. In this digital World Café, we will explore how to create synergies between universities seeking to develop new forms of teaching, learning, research and community engagement for building a more sustainable world. 

The workshop is hosted by Norwegian University of Life Sciences’ Senior adviser of sustainability, Linn M. Dybdahl, and Professor of Transformative Learning for Socio-Ecological Sustainability, Arjen Wals, Wageningen University & Research.

To attend the workshop, please register here. As we will be using Miro as a workshop tool, all participants will both be sent a Miro-link and Zoom-link by email prior to the session.  

Relevant for: 
SDG 4: Quality Education 
SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals

Exercises on creative thinking about the UN SDGs in education

Irene-C. Fjell Kjønnerød
Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL)

Imagine you are going to use your professional skills and tools in other ways and arenas than you are used to. Then imagine your regular professional arenas and partners are not available to you. Instead, you must collaborate with other professions, the surroundings, and the public, and use your professional and personal skills in other ways than what you are used to. These thoughts and ideas map this exercise, that I welcome and invite you all to join in on. Be inspired, try, slip, and try again. 

Thinking creatively about sustainability in an educational setting might inspire lecturers and students to broaden their perspectives about practice and give new ideas to how and where we might increase our actions. We all live in a changing world, where today’s reality might be invalid tomorrow. Professional life is changing as well, giving new opportunities for learning from others than the usual “tribe”, aka our own profession and colleagues. The UN SDGs are incorporated in the HVL strategies and as lecturers, we try our best to understand and find our roles when teaching.

I have given similar lectures about creativity and the sustainability goals in Bachelor of Physiotherapy and Bachelor of Nursing at Western Norway University of Applies Sciences, in Bergen, as well as in interprofessional courses and in a digital festival hosted by The Environmental Physiotherapy Association.

Relevant for: 
All the SDGs

A Whole-Institution Approach for ESD and the SDGs 

Sonya Peres
International Association of Universities (IAU), Students Organising for Sustainability and partner universities 

The International Association of Universities (IAU), Students Organising for Sustainability (SOS-UK), and partner universities propose a workshop around the whole-institution approach to sustainable development in the higher education context. We invite researchers and educators, sustainability officers and all interested to discuss how higher education institutions, staff, students and leadership can work together to incorporate Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) principles and the UN SDGs framework in their strategies and activities across all levels of their institutions. 

Higher education stakeholders are at the heart of many actions for the SDGs. Not only research, but teaching and overall campus activities have a huge potential to initiate and move forward change. Becoming and supporting changemakers is a crucial step needed for the transformation towards a more sustainable future. Key questions for presentations and discussion are:

  • What are higher education institutions doing well to embed sustainability and SDGs?
  • How can these efforts be extended and improved at the institutional level, with all actors involved?

The session will build on short input presentations and open the floor to participants for peer-to-peer exchange on how to encourage students to get engaged with sustainability issues and find innovative solutions through collaborative approaches. The use of an engagement tool (Mentimeter) is envisaged.

Next to Sonya Peres, Senior Project Manager, Education Programmes, SOS UK, two colleagues respectively from the University of the West Indies (Caribbean), and the University of Costa Rica will be joining the conversation.

The workshop will be facilitated by Isabel Toman, Programme Officer for Sustainable Development, IAU.

Relevant for: 
SDG 4: Quality Education  
SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities 
SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions 
SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals

Investing in knowledge for the future

Margunn Indrebø Alshaikh
Norwegian Agency for Exchange Cooperation (NOREC) 

In a world where changes are happening faster than we can say the word, and solutions are required to challenges we may not yet know the names of, how do we build the right competencies in people, partners and systems? In a geo-political world of polarization, fragmentation and regression in human development, how do we create the platforms for tomorrow’s leaders and change agents to come together and create the solutions we need? 

The world is full of knowledge and skills. NOREC believes that by sharing this knowledge and facilitating learning across borders, we can think bigger, live more sustainably, and build accountable local communities. Very few will argue against this vision, but it is easier said than done. With only six years to go, we are lagging further and further behind from reaching the SDGs. In our current global context of geo-political polarization, fragmentation and regression in human development, we discuss the importance of investing in building knowledge, skills, values and attitudes that empower young professionals to be the drivers of creative solutions to advance the SDGs.  

The panel discussion will look at the intersection of geo-politics, foresight, and investment in knowledge sharing as a global public good. Bringing panellists from the multilateral system, government and civil society, each with their own unique perspectives, the debate will raise critical questions on how we forge partnerships, where we invest our resources and offer fresh perspectives on the work towards the SDGs.

This session should be of special interest to students, professionals and institutions curious to explore the competencies we must build in people, partners and systems to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Laurel Patterson - Director of SDG Integration, UNDP
Aaron Maniam - Fellow of Practice & Director, Digital Transformation Education Programme, Blatvanik School of Government, University of Oxford
Øyvind Eggen - Director of the Knowledge Bank, NORAD
Margunn Indrebø Alshaikh - Director of Programmes, NOREC

Moderator: Tehetena Woldemariam - Head of Section, NOREC

Relevant for: 
SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals

Leave no one behind: share your values towards achieving SDG 2030

Jose Frantz
University of the Western Cape 

There is a need for a systemic approach to anchor the SDGs in the university culture and ethos if we are to make a difference towards Agenda 2030. The values associated with our institutions and their commitment to the SDGs are crucial drivers to promote sustainability across our institutions. 

The University of the Western Cape has adopted a strategy that includes students, support staff, academics and communities to raise the awareness of their contributions to drive the SDGs. This was done by unpacking the value we place in the 5 Ps of the SDGs, namely People, Prosperity, Peace, Partnerships and Planet. 

This awareness creation has opened the minds and the approach of key stakeholders and we would like to share the activities to activate your thinking in these areas.

This workshop should be of special interest to research administrators and researchers focusing on values of higher education and its alignment to the SDGs.

Relevant for: 
SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals

Education for Sustainable Development

Dr Barbara Chinyani-Herring
Royal Holloway University of London 

Universities and educational institutions should have an ethical, transformational approach to the design and delivery of education for sustainable development. At Royal Holloway University of London our strategy is to generate positive and inclusive change that supports significant progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals on campus and beyond.

Education for Sustainable Development will be an interactive session that will focus on practical ways to implement the SDG's in the design of a degree or course using the BSc Health Studies degree as a case study.

At this session we will discuss:

  • The relevance of SDGs from an interdisciplinary lens
  • The ethical responsibility of providing education that meets the needs of today with the future in mind.
  • How to create and map course learning outcomes to SDGs and other useful frameworks such as Planetary Health Education Framework.

The session will be relevant for those involved in leadership and management roles within education and industry, content and curriculum designers, lecturers, practitioners, career advisors, and students. There will be discussions on how to make a difference through integrating all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and the 5 domains of the Planetary Health Education framework to create a course or degree that is transformative.

After the keynote talk there will be a round table discussion and questions from the audience with opportunities to network, share good practice and provide support and consultation on the day. For further discussions contact Dr Barbara Chinyani-Herring

Relevant for: 
All the SDGs

Late afternoon 15:30 - 17:00

Which transitions are needed to integrate SDGs in higher education?


Øyvind Fiksen
University of Bergen and IAU 

Higher education institutions steadily develop more SDG-oriented educational activities, courses and programs. At the same time higher education is making a major shift in teaching methods and philosophy, from passive to active learning activities, and student-centred education, with a growth in the scholarship of teaching and learning across campuses. How are the two transitions connected and how can the two transitions develop together? 

This workshop is organised by the International Association of Universities (IAU) and the Cluster for SDG14 led by the University of Bergen. In collaboration with the bioCEED Centre of Excellence in Higher Education at the University of Bergen, we will discuss how these two transformations of HE are linked and how they will or should develop in the future. 

After an input keynote, the speakers will react and address the guiding questions, followed by a moderated discussion. Researchers and Educators, students, sustainability officers and leadership are invited to engage, critically reflect and discuss. 

Guiding questions for discussion:

  • what changes are yet to be implemented for a truly transformational and interdisciplinary learning outcome? 
  • which role do teachers, researchers, educational leaders and students have in these transformations?


  • Introduction - Øyvind Fiksen, Vice-dean for Ocean at UiB, and lead of the IAU HESD SDG14 cluster (5 min)
  • Keynote Teri Balser, professor, University of Calgary: How and why higher education has to change (25 min)

Comments and panel discussion:

Moderator Øyvind Fiksen, University of Bergen

This session should be of special interest to researchers and educators, students, sustainability officers and leadership.

Relevant for:  
SDG 4: Quality Education 
SDG 13: Climate Action 
SDG 14: Life Below Water 
SDG 15: Life on Land 

Charting Desirable Energy Futures

Shayan Shokrgozar and Siddharth Sareen
Centre for Climate and Energy Transformation (CET), University of Bergen

Co-producing Actionable Knowledge for Whom, How and Why?

Unconventional energy deployment is reshaping institutions, sectors, and societies. Positive aspects include substantial emission reductions compared to conventional sources, prosumerism, and the emergence of ownership models like energy communities. However, oversight in socially and politically contested areas has led to socioecologically harmful consequences. Despite challenges, transitioning from fossil fuels to cleaner alternatives is crucial for enhancing social cohesion, ecological well-being, and combating climate change. This prompts the question: How can academia promote energy visions and practices that foster well-being for both humans and other-than-human entities within planetary limits?

Existing research highlights the need for a broader socio-political perspective. Neglected areas deserving attention include the role of care work, drawing inspiration from feminist scholarship, and the significance of alternative energy epistemologies and ontologies, drawing from post-development, in shaping future energy scenarios.

Join us in this session with Carlos Tornel (Durham University, UK) and Kavya Michael (Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden), who will provide insights into navigating the future of energy.

Relevant for: 
SDG 5: Gender Equality
SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy  
SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities 
SDG 13: Climate Action 

Workshop on Non-Violent Direct Action (NVDA)

Thomas Haaland
Scientist Rebellion Norway 

Non-Violent Direct Action (NVDA) represents methods of protest, resistance, and intervention, without physical violence, in which participants do, or refuse to do, certain things in response to systemic injustices. Scientist Rebellion (SR) is a global network of academics using NVDA to bring attention to the gap between political climate action and the scientific knowledge on climate change.

Scientists have a long history of engaging in knowledge-based activism, bringing scientific legitimacy to the environmental movement and getting the facts out to the public in a way that scientific publications cannot. But today, civil disobedience is under attack around the world. In South America, scientists who speak up for climate injustice are being killed, while across Europe, simply expressing support for environmental protest groups is increasingly met with police violence and punished with prison.

In Norway, freedom to protest is still maintained, and SR Norway therefore invites you to join this digital workshop on NVDA. Here, we will discuss the scientific evidence supporting non-violent civil resistance as a powerful tool for systemic change, ethics and effectiveness of different kinds of NVDA, personal motivations for and limitations to activism, legal considerations, and how each of us can best use our voices and bodies to push for change. To quote Albert Einstein: Those who have the privilege to know have the duty to act.

Relevant for: 
All the SDGs

Poetry workshop on sustainability frustration

Aiste Klimasauskaite, Ingeborg Rønning and Elyse Hauser
University of Bergen

What: We invite you to a colLABorative poetry workshop – a place where you can blow off some busy workday steam. This will not be your usual lab/workshop, but a space to try and bridge the gap between the vastness of global sustainability goals and your individual study or research experience.

How? We will use our imagination or collaborate with AI to create or recreate rhymes, poems, verses or even stories and songs. Connecting your studies or work with sustainability and the Sustainable Development Goals can be frustrating and even intimidating or impossible. Through rhyming, we can acknowledge what is bothering us, confront frustrations, address the discomforts or accept that some things will not change. And once it is all on a page – we can let go.

Process: The workshop will start with a short introduction/discussion about the SDGs, how they play out in our studies, funding proposals, and everyday work. Then, we will look at a few examples of recreated, famous rhymes (with and without AI). Next, we will have a session where participants will create or co-create texts. Finally, we will have a space to share and discuss.

Aims: With this workshop, we aim not only to open a space for creating, but also to foster a community feeling for those who might feel isolated in daily lab or office work. We hope that by sharing poetic expressions we can find common ground, mutual understanding or even boost motivation for research or studies.

So, join us and let’s make a moment of pause, reflection, and connection.

Relevant for: 
All the SDGs

Infusing the SDGs into classrooms

Join us for a session with speakers from universities on 3 continents that are infusing the SDGs into higher education classrooms by supporting teachers and their academic development, through the development of OER with innovative pedagogical practices and the creation of a digital SDGs multidisciplinary toolkit for faculty and students. 

Cristine Gusmão
Coordinator of Graduate in Biomedical Engineering, Federal University of Pernambuco, Brazil 

The use of Open Educational Resources in Brazil is still in its infancy and the proposal presents a joint action between two postgraduate programs at the Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE) – Biomedical Engineering and Technological and Mathematics Education with the objective to develop open educational resources (OER) as complementary material for both postgraduate and undergraduate courses, associated with SDGs 3, 4, 5 and 6. The results are interesting as students are stimulated by the new concepts and their application in professional practice. The products built at UFPE are deposited in an institutional repository and contribute to the teaching of undergraduate and postgraduate courses and the communities served. 

Amohnwoh Ariete Achiangia, Mahsa Moulavi, Tracy Bhoola
Research at York Undergraduate Students, SDGs Project Coordinator, York University, Canada 

We believe that using the SDGs and 5 Pillars as an additional framework for the student learning experience strengthens the applicability of students’ education, links purpose with impact and encourages a global perspective on topics that concern them. This session will explore an SDGs Toolkit in the spirit of supporting and exchanging resources with educators. The Toolkit is a multi-disciplinary online SDGs-in-the-Classroom Toolkit offering a dynamic suite of cross-disciplinary supports to mobilize knowledge and help teachers identify how their classrooms can welcome an inspiring and innovative SDGs discussion, activity, experiential component, or lesson plan with resources such as case studies, lesson plans, supplemental classroom materials, research, videos and podcasts. 

Discussion facilitator:
Eevi E. Beck
University of Oslo

Many teachers across Higher Education may be interested to contribute to transformative change by including sustainability-related issues in their teaching, but do not necessarily have the imagination or confidence to see how to do so. What supports might teachers need and how can they be provided for those who want to do more in their classrooms? Through a sharing discussion forum, experiences and “tools to think with” are shared and teacher perspectives on for example, ecological and social sustainability, and their wishes for the types of supports needed for academic development are welcome. 

Relevant for all the 17 SDGs and the 5 Pillars

Interactive Overshoot & Collapse Dynamics

Mahla Rashidian
Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA)  

This workshop introduces an innovative simulation game that explores overshoot and collapse scenarios in environmental systems, offering hands-on learning about resource use, population growth, and ecological sustainability.

Taking on roles like policymakers, participants navigate the interactive simulation to understand the complexities of decision-making in managing finite resources. The game aims to illustrate overshoot and collapse dynamics, encourage discussions on environmental challenges, and explore mitigation strategies.

The workshop includes a short film by Steve Cutts on ecosystem collapse, a briefing on system structures, interactive gameplay, and a debriefing session for analysis and discussion.

Developed in collaboration with UiB and NOVA University in Lisbon, the simulation contributes to effective educational approaches for conveying complex environmental concepts, emphasizing engagement, systems thinking, and insights into the challenges of overshoot and collapse.

The workshop material and the interactive learning environment have been designed for all age groups and people with various backgrounds. This workshop is quite open to diverse participants but should be of special interest to people with knowledge of systems thinking.

Relevant for: 
SDG 1: No Poverty 
SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities 
SDG 12: Responsible Production and Consumption 
SDG 13: Climate Action 
SDG 15: Life on Land

2100 universities: working towards the SDGs

Duncan Ross
Times Higher Education 

Times Higher Education (THE) is excited to participate in day zero of the SDG Conference in Bergen, with its focus on The role of universities in transformative change.

This session will bring together Duncan Ross, the Chief Data Officer of THE, together with Jean-Christophe Carteron, co-founder of Sulitest, and Julian Skyrme, Director of Social Responsibility at the University of Manchester to discuss the practical ways that measurement can support universities in developing their approaches to sustainability.

We will also be joined by Dr Julia Christensen Hughes, President and Vice Chancellor of Yorkville University, Canada. Yorkville is a young, private university with a blend of online and in-person degrees.

The session will provide practical pointers to what works, and to the challenges involved in refocusing your institutions to a more social conscious and sustainable future, and is ideal for university decision makers and influencers (and to everyone who might want to develop into those roles).

THE has pioneered the measurement of the contribution of higher education to the SDGs through the Impact Rankings – the only global measurement of universities against each of the 17 goals. This year with more than 2100 participant institutions it demonstrates the range and effectiveness of the sector in transforming the world.

The University of Manchester is unique in UK higher education for having social responsibility as a core goal and is one of the world's leading institutions for impact towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Sulitest is a not-for-profit that equip universities with tools and data that enables them to better design, deliver, and demonstrate the positive impact of their actions to improve the sustainability literacy of their stakeholders.

Relevant for: 
All the SDGs

The Norwegian labour marked for immigrants – is it sustainable?  


Ingrid Stensnes
Bergen Public Library

What is it like to enter the labor market for immigrants in Norway today? 

We hear stories about those who have applied for hundreds of positions without getting to a single interview, those who have long educations from other countries that are of little value when you come to Norway and those who have gone to the drastic measure of changing their name in order to get a job. Do we have discriminatory and racist practices in Norway? What barriers do immigrants meet in the Norwegian labor market? How can we achieve a sustainable and more inclusive labor market? 

Ingrid Stensnes, Bergen Public Library, projectleader for the Sustainabilitylab  

First speaker:
Benedicte Nessa, NORCE 

Benedicte Nessa is a social scientist specializing in sociology of migration (Ph.D) and a researcher at NORCE Research. Her work focuses on, amongst other, refugees, labor market integration, and the role of civil society in integration processes. Key themes include discrimination, exclusion, belonging, gig economy, and social sustainability. Nessa also has extensive experience with a major civil society actor, where she has worked on and led projects aimed at preventing exclusion and marginalization. 

Second speaker:
Francine Mbanza Jensen, founder of Unity Sparks and leader of Empo multicultural resource centre 

Empo-Multicultural Resource Center offers meeting arenas, courses and counseling, as well as Social, cultural and professional activities for adults, young people and families with immigrant backgrounds. We promote diversity, dialogue and participation in a Norway's Multicultural society. 

Relevant for: 
SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities

Sudan: medical education during conflict

Sara Abdelgalil
Shabaka Social Enterprise CIC 

We invite you to meet leading medical educators from Sudan representing different educational institutions. We will share the transformative experiences in a country with few resources and fragile health services. Even worse since April 2023 an armed conflict erupted in Sudan particularly in the capital Khartoum, Darfur, and Al Gazira states. The health facilities, academic institutions, and national medical libraries were either destroyed or invaded by armed forces.

Academic staff, undergraduate students, and postgraduate trainees are either displaced internally and externally as refugees in the neighbouring countries. The humanitarian situation is Sudan is dire, higher education is disrupted, new transformative and innovative approaches are explored.


  • Dr Ayman Nasr, leading with Sudanese medical diaspora the resuscitation training, in different states in Sudan by developing a national NGO called Ina'ash (resuscitation). The organisation aims to establish strong decentralised training system 
  • Dr Tahra Almahdi, an expert in medical education working at Alahfad University, Medical school for women. The university is considered an icon in addressing gender equality in Sudan, and provides health education to medical, nursing, midwifery, and nutritional students. 
  • Professor Duria Rayis is a professor in women health at the University of Khartoum, leading the postgraduate training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology nationally. With her colleagues they are delivering training to midwives in remote states to improve maternal health 
  • Dr Sara Abdelgalil is a Paediatric Consultant working in UK, she is an expert in diaspora engagement during humanitarian crises. She developed simulation-based education training in support of medical education to enhance learning during humanitarian crises, an accredited programme. 


  • Professor Kamal Mustafa, Centre of Translational Oral Research, Department of Clinical Dentistry, University of Bergen.


  • Dr Zeinab Hamid SBE. A paediatric specialist, she fled the war and is engaged in Sudan medical education training programme during this critical period.

Relevant for: 
SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being 
SDG 4: Quality Education 
SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities 
SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals

The BRIGHTS Project & the Green Offices potential to guide the transition in the universities

The BRIGHTS Project & the Green Offices potential to guide the transition in the universities

Martina Altea Bellinzona
University of Pavia - BRIGHTS Project 

The EU-funded Project BRIGTHS -Bringing Higher Education Institutes Towards Sustainability is conceived to fit in today’s need for urgent engagement of universities on climate change. The project tackles this need at all levels of the academic community: from raising climate awareness among students through SDGs transdisciplinary courses, to innovating the professors’ teaching methodologies in delivering sustainability education, to strengthening the role of Green Offices.

In this workshop, the project coordinator (Martina Altea Bellinzona – University of Pavia, Italy) will present the project; afterwards, the workshop will host a digital roundtable discussion both with invited sustainability officers:

  • The former will provide useful insights on how to efficiently manage a Green Office, and examples of best practices it could be collector of.
  • The latter will be involved through the use of Mentimeter: lacks & strengths, obstacles & resources, what are your Green Offices focusing on and how could we support each other in overcoming the common difficulties? Let’s share our experience!

The roundtable will gather insights and generate a discussion on how to strengthen and exploit the potential of Green Offices: this event should be of interest to both academic and administrative staff involved or interested in the role that Green Office can play, as well as to students interested in collaborating with the Offices, e.g. via Green students’ associations.

Relevant for: 
SDG 4: Quality Education  
SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
SDG 13: Climate Action 
SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals

Collaborative Online International Learning for Sustainable Development Goals 

Fella Benabed
Annaba University, Algeria

Presentation: Collaborative Online International Learning for Sustainable Development Goals (pdf)

Learn more about the Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) experiment on Sustainable Development Goals. This experiment is conducted within the framework of the Erasmus+ project “Fostering Students’ Interdisciplinary Competence through the Action-Oriented Approach & COIL” (led by Nitra University in Slovakia, in partnerships with universities and high schools from Algeria, Czechia, Hungary, Poland, and Romania).

The objectives were to help learners understand the meaning of sustainability and its four pillars, identify the Sustainable Development Goals, reflect on their personal contributions to the achievement of these goals, and benefit from collaborative learning and internationalization at home with peers from diverse backgrounds. The activities were designed to equip learners with the knowledge and skills necessary to take action for the SDGs, allowing them to become effective change-makers today and responsible decision-makers tomorrow.

Following this presentation, some students who participated in the COIL experience will take turns to reflect on their learning during the workshops and their post-COIL actions for the SDGs. The last stage of the event will be devoted to questions from the audience, and answers from the event’s chair, the COIL facilitator, or the students.

The session should be of interest to educators and students of all disciplines.

Relevant for: All SDGs

Biodiversity: A Multi Aspectual Framework CANCELLED

Kamaran Fathulla
University of Aberdeen

Biodiversity is being characterised as suffering from a “crisis of clarity”. A profoundly alarming statement echoed by a number of other similar ones, impacting the very survival of all life on Earth including humans. Numerous, often competing, biodiversity definitions are found in the literature. These variations often driven by the specific interest of the group or entity behind the definition lead to detrimental consequences for the sustainment and protection of biodiversity. 

Universities’ role as autonomous and multidisciplinary institutions are ideally positioned to address environmental crises through nourishing open minded, critical debate and inquiry. However, this multidisciplinary ethos often gets dragged into siloed and yes competing interests often driven by funding objectives.

We present here a framework for appreciating multidisciplinary not on the exclusive distinction between academic subject differences but rather on the basis of the diversity and richness of reality itself. We present this framework through the notion of Multi Aspectual notion underpinned by the work of the Dutch philosopher Heman Dooyeweerd. We will demonstrate how this philosophy offers a better outlook for understanding and preserving biodiversity.

Relevant for: 
SDG 4: Quality Education 
SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals