2020 THEME: Sustainability
Sustainability is now such a commonly used word in our daily vocabulary that it’s hard to imagine people don’t know what it means. Of course, the first thought many of us have is in reference to sustainable resources for energy on our planet. Over the past several decades scientists have provided convincing research and evidence that our planet’s resources are not infinite, and that we must work to keep our use of them sustainable. This is to say, we have to look for ways to help the planet thrive while keeping up with our human demands on its resources.
But let’s look deeper into the word, sustainability. As noted above, the most basic definition of sustainability refers to maintaining a balanced rate or level, as in with the measure of economic growth. Imagine what happens when economies grow too fast, cannot sustain that level of growth. They crash! (Oh wait…Great Depression 1929-1939, Great Recession 2007-2009). So, it’s equally as important for us to consider the role of decent work and economic growth in our understanding of sustainability.
Further, when we combine the need for responsibly utilizing earth’s resources with maintaining healthy growth to address the demands of a growing population, we must look to creativity and innovation in industry and government. Creative design and engineering projects large and small help support sustainability efforts all over the world. Together, these efforts help to build sustainable systems, cities and communities that can exist long-term on our planet Earth.
In an effort to educate our communities and inspire student-led projects in these vitally important categories, the World Affairs Challenge presents our 2020 Theme: Sustainability.
Now, together with the United Nations Association of Denver, the World Affairs Challenge is asking YOU, the People of your team, to focus on an issue of sustainability that you feel passionate about. Where in the world is this specific issue a problem? How can you connect with those dealing with this issue and hear their perspective? Most importantly, what is your team’s idea for how you can help? What can be done that is new, out-of-the-box, and creative to solve this specific issue? Can work be done in your own community to help build a creative solution to this particular problem? How can you reach out into the world and make a difference?
These questions lie at the heart of the 2020 World Affairs Challenge. You, the Youth of our Nation, are powerful in your creativity, empathy and positive energy. Join us in Denver on March 14th, 2020 to present your ideas and solutions, and let us help you take action to make a difference.
1. Using the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals as a guide, decide on an issue of Sustainability that your team wants to try to solve. Consult the WAC Research Guide to the SDGs as a place to start learning more.
2. Select an area of the world where your team wants to work to solve this issue.
3. Connect with people in the community you selected to better understand their perspective on the issue. Use the WAC Community Partners as resources.
4. Make a plan for your team’s new and creative solution to the issue you selected, and outline how you hope to take your solution to action with the help of the World Affairs Challenge.
5. Create and perform your Formal Presentation outlining your issue and your plan for solving it at the WAC event on March 14, 2020.