1963-2018 - 55 years of Research for Social Change

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“The World Came To Class”. UNRISD At The UN Summer Academy

3 Sep 2020

As part of a continued capacity-building partnership with the United Nations System Staff College, UNRISD research findings presented by insightful staff contributed to this year’s first-of-a-kind virtual edition of the UN Summer Academy, held online on 24-28 August 2020.

UNRISD hosted a "Social/Professional Networking Session" on integrated policies for environmental action and social protection on 26 August from 16:15 to 17:15 CEST, moderated by Isabell Kempf, Head of the UNRISD Bonn Office. In groups, participants brainstormed examples of environmental action where social protection was lacking, and then discussed those with two guest speakers: Gabriele Wagner from GIZ, Germany, and Muhammad Didi Hardiana from UNDP Indonesia. They then presented more positive case studies from their countries where environmental action was accompanied by social protection.

The session, in which participants work on collaborative exercises, was one of a variety of innovative moderated online learning formats used this year, such as live webinars with thought leaders; small-group breakout activities for reflection and knowledge exchange; and a group project in which participants apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired during the Academy. The virtual format of the UN Summer Academy was no barrier to participation, with 117 participants from 52 countries attending more than 20 sessions on sustainable development over five days.

Panel discussions were also integrated into the online format. UNRISD Director Paul Ladd participated in one of these, on the theme “Building Back Better Post-Covid-19” on 26 August from 14:00 to 16:00 CEST. Paul and the other speakers unpacked the concept of “building back better” and its implications for geopolitics, climate, health, society, economy, and environment, as summarized graphically below.

Image: UN at 75: The Future We Want. Building Back Better Post Covid-19. UN Summer Academy 2020. Used with permission.