Over the summer, Glenn Flierl, professor of oceanography in MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, hosted high-school aged students participating in the “UN Junior Ambassadors for Sustainable Development and SE4All”, introducing the next generation of global leaders to atmospheric, oceanic and climate science happening at MIT.
The UN Junior Ambassadors for Sustainable Development and Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) program is designed to inspire young people to become agents of change and thought leaders for the future, promoting sustainability around the world. These junior ambassadors will become part of the growing human capital, contributing efforts towards the work necessary to achieve the UN's 2030 sustainable development goals (SDG) agenda. The program is a component of the international nonprofit World Organization for Sustainability Leadership’s (WOSL) mission, which partners with the UN, to educate local and international high school students on sustainability and to achieve the milestones set forth by the 2015 UN Sustainable Development Charter. WOSL fosters “change through a unique pedagogy that includes self-directed inquiry and firsthand experience performing international aid in the rural and developing world. From the deserts of Sub-Saharan Africa to the jungles of South America, WOSL candidates provide expertise, knowledge, and leadership for those communities that need to transform. Through this unique experience, serving candidates are cultivated into change agents that will provide the capacity building and scaling up of future world leaders needed to achieve the 2030 targets.”
Hosted by Paul Bogaardt and Lynne Chang at Claremont Graduate University in California and partnering with international organizations such as the Ethiopian Space Science Society (ESSS), the program empowers, engages, and excites students about sustainability. It connects classrooms with communities through capacity building and technology transfer partnerships. These networks enhance student learning, address critical objectives and encourage students to be active citizens in their local, national and global communities.