Global Goals Jam: ‘Think big, start small’

| Rense Kuipers

‘Think big, start small.’ That is the main idea behind the Global Goals Jam, which is being hosted in the DesignLab on the 15th and 16th of September. During this two-day event, UT students can form groups to think of solutions for big United Nations (UN) issues like poverty, hunger and education.

The Global Goals Jam is a yearly event, initiated by the UN. During the 2015 Social Good Summit, 193 world leaders committed to achieving seventeen sustainable development goals by the year 2030. For this edition, five goals are selected: no poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being, quality education and sustainable cities and communities.

Big issues, local problems

This is the first time the UT hosts a venue for a Global Goals Jam. Sevim Aktas, Advanced Technology student and one of the organizers, believes this event can really ‘make the world a better place’. ‘Of course that sounds cliché, but I also think this is a real opportunity for us as students to act.’

‘There’s a lot going on in the world that we’re not directly confronted with, which also means we’re not fully aware of it,’ Aktas continues. ‘All these big issues stem from local problems. Which is also the way we’re going to address these global issues during the Global Goals Jam. By thinking big, but starting small, I believe we can really make a difference.’

Atmosphere of kindness

During the two-day event, students work in groups on ‘local’ cases together with companies as Lemonaid, UNICEF and OH Concepts. By following the four design phases – organizing, ideation, prototyping and evaluation – students are challenged to find creative solutions for local problems. At the end of the second day, every team has the opportunity to pitch its solution for their respective problem.

There won’t be any (cash) prize attached to this event. Aktas explains why: ‘It’s not a competition. It’s about being motivated to contribute to a better world. We aim to create an atmosphere of philanthropy and kindness.’