By Rachel Garvey
NUI Galway hosted the Global Goals Jam from Friday September 20th until Sunday September 22nd. The Global Goals Jam is an international event which saw over eighty Jams held around the world, where creative teams worked together on local challenges related to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. This year’s themes in the Global Goals Jam focused on water, waste and climate change. The two-day event invited a number of people from all backgrounds, some of whom were Alumni, current students, staff members and others were members of the general public, who brought in their local knowledge. Visitors who were invited participated in workshops seeking to address local issues, in light of the global development goals. Members of the general public and NUI Galway were able to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals by creating short-term interventions that had long-term impacts. The Sustainable Development Goals have an important implementation that will help to achieve development plans, reduce future economic, environmental and social costs, strengthen economic competitiveness and reduce poverty. Volunteers were encouraged to sign up online to take part in the event, with the reward of a free lunch.
The weekend workshops demonstrated and taught people how virtual reality technology works, experimentation with 3D printing and exploring all the MakerSpace resources in the James Hardiman Library in NUI Galway. The Technology and Social entrepreneurship workshops allowed participants to collaborate and launch solutions for long-term impact. The event was organised as a collaboration between NUI Galway’s James Hardiman Library, the volunteering programme ALIVE, an entrepreneurship programme, Launchpad, the campus sustainability team and the non-profit organisation, The Ladder.
Lorraine Tansey, of the volunteering programme, ALIVE, said: “Across the University campus are the tools and resources to connect students, staff and the public at large to the sustainable development goals and make real changes. We are delighted to come together for this event and highlight social entrepreneurship skills. Together, we can work across disciplines, to look at pressing environmental concerns”. The event proved to be a worthwhile visit, as visitors were able to meet new, like-minded people. They also addressed the different social challenges on a global scale, collaborated and learned from local ideas, while volunteers achieved a certificate of recognition and individuals developed start-up social entrepreneurial skills.