Dear members of the UBC community.
Next week, March 1 to March 5 is SDG Week at UBC. SDG stands for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals were adopted by world leaders in 2015 at a historic UN summit and came into effect on 1 January 2016. The goals call for action by all countries – poor, rich and middle-income – to promote prosperity while protecting the planet.
They recognise that ending poverty must go hand in hand with strategies that build economic growth and address a range of social needs including education, health, social protection and job opportunities, while tackling climate change and environmental protection. But it’s not just countries that need to address the goals – it’s all of us, including universities.
Organized by the UBC Sustainability Ambassadors, SDG Week seeks to increase awareness of and engagement with the Goals from diverse perspectives. From science and technology to public health, business, and politics, they’ll be discussing challenges and solutions to turn talk into action.
There’s all sorts of activities, including a Hack-Earth-On, a networking event and a panel on sustainable consumerism. You can find out more at sustain.ubc.ca/events/.
As usual in my weekly update, I like to give a shoutout to some of UBC’s unsung heroes. This week’s unsung heroes are the members of the Faculty of Dentistry’s Geriatric Dentistry program, Shunhau To, Mina Bahuch and Jozefina Kuncarova. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, they have donated over 110 boxes of toothpaste to local long-term care facilities. They’ve also placed a priority on educating the public about strategies to maintain optimal oral health during the pandemic, especially among vulnerable populations. Shunhau, Mina, Jozefina, UBC is proud of you.
A few months ago, my unsung hero shoutout was to the students and recent graduates in the Film Studies program who volunteer at COSMIC Medical, a not-for-profit organization. COSMIC Medical is working to provide personal protective equipment around the world through open-source design. Today, I’m pleased to show you a sneak preview from a documentary about the group.
The documentary was produced by film studies student Gabriel Galand, who is in talks with Canadian broadcasters about distribution. I hope it inspires you as much as it did me.
Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor