UN SDGs Symposium: Exploring the DiverCity of Athens
Following the representation of The American College of Greece (ACG) in the UN Millennium Fellowship Program 2020 by eleven Deree students, this three-day online Symposium is organized by the Fellows and the ACG Office of Public Affairs, as part of the cohort’s collective project. The symposium aims at increasing awareness about the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and furthering their social impact on campus.
The Symposium will delve into four of the 17 Goals: SDG 10 – Reduced Inequalities, SGD 5 – Gender Equality, SDG 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities, and SDG 12 – Sustainable Consumption and Production, through panel discussions with notable academics and experts in their respective fields, who will present hands-on solutions.
An essential part of the sustainability efforts of ACG, the event will welcome as guest speakers representatives of local authorities as well as NGO representatives and members of academia, who will engage in panel discussions and interactive sessions with participants. The event targets a wide audience of undergraduate and graduates students as well as representatives from sustainability-related NGOs, academia, professionals, and any person with an interest in the advancement of SDGs and, specifically, in sustainable cities, sustainable consumption, equality, diversity, and sustainable fashion.
The Symposium is held under the auspices of the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI), the Millennium Campus Network (MCN), and the Millennium Fellowship Program and is supported by the Deree Psychology Society, the Deree Sociology Society, and the Deree International Honors Program Society.
Located in Athens, and originally founded in 1875 in Smyrna, The American College of Greece (ACG) is the oldest American-accredited College in Europe and the largest private college in Greece. ACG is an independent, not for profit, nonsectarian, co-educational academic institution. The mission of ACG is to add distinctive and sustainable value to our students, Greece, American education, Hellenic Heritage and the global community, through transformative teaching, scholarship and service.
Educating a total of 5,770 students (Fall 2020), ACG is divided in three educational divisions: Pierce (secondary education), Deree (undergraduate and graduate programs), and Alba Graduate Business School (graduate programs).
The first American higher education institution abroad to achieve accreditation in 1981, by the New England Commission of Higher Education, as of 2010 ACG undergraduate programs are validated by the Open University (UK). In 2020, ACG was awarded the STARS Gold rating by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), in recognition of its sustainability achievements.
As The American College of Greece approaches its 150th anniversary in 2025, the College’s leaders asked themselves how ACG could help Greece’s best future become a reality. This question gave birth to ACG 150, a visionary strategic plan to leverage educational programs for economic and social impact, as well as to consolidate, support and expand ACG’s activities in performing research, creating technology and fostering innovation. To accomplish these goals, ACG 150 plan establishes the Institute of Hellenic Culture and the Liberal Arts (IHCLA) as well as Greece’s first Institute for Hellenic Growth and Prosperity (IHGP), which houses Centers of Excellence in areas including Tourism & Leisure and Logistics, Shipping & Transportation, as well as the Research, Technology & Innovation Network (RTIN).
United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) is an initiative that aligns institutions of higher education with the United Nations in supporting and contributing to the realization of United Nations goals and mandates, including the promotion and protection of human rights, access to education, sustainability and conflict resolution.
Since 2010, UNAI has created a vibrant and diverse network of students, academics, scientists, researchers, think tanks, institutions of higher education, and educational partners. There are over 1400 member institutions in more than 145 countries that reach nearly 25 million people in the education and research sectors around the world. The work of these institutions is vital to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals as they serve as incubators of new ideas, inventions and solutions to the many global challenges we face. United Nations Academic Impact provides the integral link between the UN and these stakeholders to ensure that the international community harnesses the energy and innovation of young people and the research community in service to humanity.
Every subject and discipline can have a UN imprint. We want relevant institutions to recognize this link and undertake activities that can directly support United Nations mandates and objectives.
UNAI assists stakeholders in this regard by disseminating information on UN initiatives and activities, providing ideas on how these activities can be applied at the local level on college campuses, in classrooms and in communities, and by providing a platform where university students, academics and researchers can connect and share ideas, research and resources to further the Sustainable Development Goals and other UN mandates.
ACG has been a member of UNAI since 2017.
The Millennium Campus Network (MCN) is a Boston-based, global non-profit training the next generation of social impact leaders. Through an innovative year-long experience, the MCN is training a new generation of leaders on university campuses across the globe.
Our mission is to train the next generation of social impact leaders to:
· Rethink the paradigms that perpetuate inequality
· Promote a human-centric and collaborative approach
· Transform dialogue into action
Our programs are geared toward building the skills and experiences future leaders will need to increase their impact and solidify their career path.
At MCN we envision a future of sustainability and peace, one where every individual has the opportunity to realize their human potential.
Our programs support students working to advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The Millennium Fellowship is a semester-long leadership development program that happens on campuses of universities and colleges of the chosen Millennium Fellows students. The Fellowship is the outcome of the collaboration between the United Nations Academic Impact and the Millennium Campus Network.
As part of a cohort of 8-20+ Millennium Fellows on each campus, the students convene to learn from and challenge each other. Millennium Fellows convene at least 8 times during the program.
The Fellows also Develop a plan of action for their sessions together and meet to exchange best practices. Additionally, they have the option of organizing a campus-wide sustainability initiative or more.
When the Fellowship is completed, fulfilling the graduation requirements, students earn a certificate of recognition from United Nations Academic Impact and Millennium Campus Network.