How Does WPI Contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals?
Department(s):George C. Gordon Library
How does WPI contribute to achieving the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? This was the question that inspired the SDG self-study team, sponsored by Provost Wole Soboyejo and led by Global School Dean Mimi Sheller together with Director of the Office of Sustainability, Professor Paul Mathisen.
The team began working together in 2022, using several strategies to begin answering that question.
The first was "flagging and tagging" activities across WPI with the UN SDGs - by linking faculty research, undergraduate projects, WPI courses, and staff and faculty interest with SDGs, we can now to find and report on these facets of WPI's contributions:
- IQP and MQP projects, as well as GPS posters associated with UN SDGs can be found in Digital WPI
- every faculty and staff member can associate their WPI profile with the UN SDGs to which they contribute and the "directories" link on the WPI website now includes a searchable directory of faculty and staff by UN SDG
- work has begun in the Office of Sponsored Programs to associate research funding requests with UN SDGs
- published research at WPI can be found by UN SDG in the Scopus and Scival databases
A second strategy was to make WPI's first submission of data to the annual Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Ranking. This ranking is a global, voluntary, free process for benchmarking university contributions in research, institutional practice, and in partnerships and information sharing that advance progress on the SDGs. The team's first data submission was completed in fall 2022, reporting on contributions in the previous year (2021). The submission addressed WPI's contributions to five SDGs (a minimum of three was required).
A third strategy was to create a prototype for an internal report on WPI and the SDGs. This report, dated September 2023, is being shared now with the WPI community, and feedback is welcomed through an open survey and through conversations with interested community members at a World Cafe on December 5, 2023.
The team will continue to develop opportunities for outreach, dialog, and collaboration related to the SDGs. All questions, ideas, and suggestions are welcome! Please reach out to the SDG self study team (Mimi Sheller, Paul Mathisen, Carrick Eggleston, Dawn Farmer, Nicole Luiz, Anna Gold, and Elizabeth Dufresne) at email@example.com.