This last week – November 23rd to 27th – was dedicated to sustainability with IE’s first-ever edition of Sustainability Week. During this week, students, alumni, faculty and staff enjoyed workshops, forums, and other networking events that all together focused on the theme ‘The Big Reset’. The week addressed 3 pillars that frame the sustainable development goals: economic, social and environmental inclusion. Changemakers and leaders joined IE from all over the world, to raise awareness on sustainability and create a shared responsibility to work towards achieving the SDG goals.
IE students know very well the importance we need to give to sustainability promotion. Our university is fully focused on the sustainability initiative. Earlier this year, IE introduced their commitment to the SDGs. We saw the announcement of the 10-year challenge, where the focus will be on specific annual projects in six areas: energy, water, healthy food, paper, recycling, and single-use packaging. For our current year, the spotlight is on responsible consumption and going 100% paper-free. Generally, IE wants to ensure that ‘all students who graduate from IE are trained as responsible leaders and are aware of their role in building a sustainable world’. During this past week, the Campus Life department and the Sustainability Office came together to announce the Sustainability Week, focused on the same goal.
Let’s take a look at some of the inspiriting events that took place over these past days:
On Monday, we took a general look at what sustainability means at IE University. It started with guest speakers Isabela Del Alcázar, IE Global Head of Sustainability, and Nicole Rosow, Associate Director of the IE Sustainability Office. They showed us that change starts with ourselves and introduced to us the Chain of Change. We are all part of a large university community. If we combine our individual efforts with the University’s institutional initiatives, we will collectively achieve a stronger and more sustainable IE.
Then, Earth Ambassador Nacho Dean, the first person in history to have walked around the world and to have swum the 5 continents, spoke to us about ‘our home the earth’. The DEI Project and the Center for Diversity in Global Management offered us a diversity workshop, ‘uncovering the invisible culture that binds us all’. The last event of the day was organised by the IE Library with a Q&A led by The Stork. It was on the topic of going green in the access to knowledge and being a part of sustainable transformation.
On Tuesday, the spotlight shone on the first pillar: Economic Inclusion. The Technology and Innovation Club opened the day by introducing us to how the Digital Revolution can be turned into Climate Action. Then during the day, the Net Impact Club opened the Social Responsibility Forum around the theme of ‘Reimagining Capitalism’. Later on, IEU alumni spoke about how they inspire climate change in a special version of Grads Give Back: Social Impact Edition.
On Wednesday, the focus shifted to the second pillar: social inclusion. The first event of the day was the LEAP Conference ‘Disruptive’, organized by the LEAP Club. The conference addressed the different ways society transforms through time. They taught us that ‘We have to disrupt old paradigms in order to create real social change’. The second event of the day was the ‘Cinema for Equality,’ which was a combined effort from the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Project, in collaboration with the Junta de Castilla y León, Irudi Biziak, the IE Girl Up Club, and the IE Creativity Center.
Thursday centered around the third pillar: Environmental Inclusion. The IE SDGs Club opened the day with a workshop called ‘Powering development: “Wind, Solar or Biomass?”. Then, we saw an IE Business School LinkedIn Live under the topic ‘Gender and Top Executive Career Advancement’. It was organized by IE Women, in collaboration with the Research Office, Center for Liquid Learning, IE Knowledge, and faculty. The Agrobusiness Club organized the last event, focused on sustainable food and agriculture, and how to grow more with less.
The Student Government hosted a workshop on what policymakers need to know about fighting climate change. After, the Eco Club led a forum regarding green start-ups, where the topic of discussion was sustainable entrepreneurship. Moreover, the Charity Club gave a reminder on the week-long event organized in the spirit of Thanksgiving. They organized a gratitude campaign in the form of a Food Bank Donation Drive.
On Friday, the Sustainability Week focused on Resilience through Creativity, starting with a book-exchange organized by the Campus89 Club. The second event of the day was a conversation between Martha Thorne, Dean of the School of Architecture and Design, and Susana Malcorra, Dean of the School of Global and Public Affairs. Raquel Hazeu, President of the SDG’s Club Madrid Chapter, moderated the talk. It focused on how we can design a more inclusive world. ‘Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and the Challenges of Sustainability’ was the last event on Friday. It brought comments about the collaboration between IE and the museum. It featured Director-General Juan Ignacio Vidarte and Catalina Tejero Mayor, Associate Head of the IE Arts & Humanities Division.
Throughout the week, we also saw some other happenings among students. For example, the ‘sustainability hacks’ Instagram initiative by the SDG’s Club, the Eco Club and The Stork, Art for the Big Reset by the IE creativity center, and the Segovia Environmental Clean-Up.
A full week of informative, inspiring and encouraging events to raise awareness around the topic of sustainability. All of them make you want to get up and start changing the world one step at a time. As Isabela Del Alcázar and Nicole Rosow told us on Monday: ‘The Chain of Change starts with you!’ Altogether, this was a great week to be an IE University student. Do not forget to commit to our shared goal of achieving the SDGs, starting with signing the Sustainability Pledge!