This article was contributed by Dr. Binbin Jiang, Executive Director of Kennesaw State University’s Division of Global Affairs and Director of CIFAL Atlanta.
In light of recent travel limitations due to the global pandemic, United Nations training center CIFAL Atlanta is offering virtual programs on sustainable development, youth leadership development, health and well-being and human rights.
CIFAL Atlanta is housed in the Division of Global Affairs at Kennesaw State University. It is part of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)’s network of 20 International Training Centers for Authorities and Leaders around the world.
The CIFAL network provides provide online certificate courses, local and global internships, tailored trainings/workshops, conferences and collaborative research opportunities focused on social, economic and environmental sustainability for governments, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, civil society and academic institutions.
Training programs offered by CIFAL Atlanta aim to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs), and as even the United Nations General Assembly goes virtual this year, CIFAL is offering Atlanta educators, companies and organizations the chance to bring U.N.-level training to their audiences.
The slate of programs and courses offered includes:
Youth and Sustainable Development Goals Course
A free e-Learning program that prepares youth to propose innovative solutions and drive transformational change by highlighting 15 businesses and organizations focused on sustainable development. Developed in partnership with the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Center for Serve-Learn-Sustain and the Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development (RCE) Greater Atlanta, with support from the Turner Foundation. To enroll, visit: https://www.unitar.org/event/full-catalog/youth-sustainable-development-goals
Wellness & Self-Care with CIFAL Atlanta Webinar Series
An ongoing webinar series launched to help address wellness and self-care topics to improve individual health during the COVID-19 pandemic. The free webinars provide education on the relationships between sustainability and mental, emotional and physical health, as well as the importance of well-being to individuals within communities. Sign up for upcoming webinars: https://dga.kennesaw.edu/cifal/programs/wellnessandselfcarewebinar
“It’s your world for the moment” Exhibit
Artists exhibit work that considers environmentalism and climate change in relation to other global social issues. In collaboration with the KSU Zuckerman Museum of Art, the combined in-person and virtual program will comprise a series of activities and events, including a student-led Recycled Art and Activism Art Competition this Fall. For more information, please view: https://arts.kennesaw.edu/zuckerman/exhibitions/current.php
Development of Digital Stories and Publications on Integrating Sustainability in Business
A video project by KSU Business interns that is seeking international and local businesses to highlight practices for implementing UN Sustainable Development Goals. KSU students who were not able to participate in education abroad due to the pandemic are working with RCE Greater Atlanta to build a digital platform of online publications through EducateAll, UNITAR’s micro-learning platform, and the CIFAL Global Network. Businesses or organizations that would like to be featured in this project, please visit: https://dga.kennesaw.edu/cifal/programs/upcoming.php
Economic development, environmental sustainability and social development research projects
Multiple global research projects by faculty from KSU’s Bagwell College of Education, College of Architecture and Construction Management, College of Computing and Software Engineering, College of Science and Mathematics, Southern Polytechnic College of Engineering and Engineering Technology, Burruss Institute and Office of Research to strengthen sustainable development capacities of government authorities, private sector representatives and civil society leaders around the world. For more information, visit: https://dga.kennesaw.edu/cifal/globalresearch/canlproject/index.php
K-12 Teacher Training in Sustainability and Human Rights
A week-long virtual seminar for Georgia K-12 teachers on sustainability and human rights. Held in June 2020 in collaboration with the Miner Anderson Foundation, teachers from eight counties across the state participated in the seminar and are currently implementing sustainability and human rights projects in their respective schools. Participating teachers will be awarded a certificate of completion by CIFAL Atlanta and UNITAR in Spring 2021 after presenting their projects. For more information, visit: https://unitar.org/about/news-stories/news/cifal-atlanta-hosts-sustainability-and-human-rights-virtual-seminar
As CIFAL Atlanta looks to the future, we continue to emphasize international relationships as the basis for knowledge exchange across cities and sectors on best practices to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.