“‘SDG for a better future’ is not only the theme of our Summer School, but also our shared vision,” Prof. WU Zhaohui, president of Zhejiang University, said at the opening ceremony of the SDG Global Summer School, which was held on August 1 in the format of the metaverse.
As part of Z4G, Zhejiang University’s sustainability action plan, the inaugural SDG Summer School in the virtual format is aimed to maximize the University’s positive impact on the youth and the world by enhancing sustainability-related education with its global partners.
In the remarks, President Wu extended warm welcome to around 1000 talented young students from over 80 countries and regions. He expressed the hope that they will gain a better understanding of the complex challenges facing our world in this intellectual and inclusive community. “You will move forward as critical thinkers, change-makers, innovators, communicators and future leaders,” he added.
Mr. WANG Zhijia, former special adviser to the Under Secretary General of the United Nations, pointed out that although the challenge we are facing is quite huge, we still have sufficient opportunity to deal with it. “Everyone can make change, through the choice made in our daily life,” he urged young people to take action now.
Prof. WU Jian, vice president of Zhejiang University, hosted the opening ceremony, expecting that the Summer School will help young people deepen their knowledge of the SDGs and empower them on the path to achieving the goals in the context of globalization.
One of the highlights is the metaverse elements integrated into the opening ceremony, which provides immersive experience beyond reality for the students physically apart. Participants can choose their own avatars and enter the virtual conference room to attend the event. Around the spacious virtual room are arranged the display boards, where audience can walk around to enjoy the videos about ZJU’s campus life and its endeavors in the SDGs. They can also make various gestures to interact with new classmates or sit down to chat “face to face” in real-time through the audio-video tools.
As ZJU’s new initiative to further embed the SDGs in its development, the Summer School 2022 offers three academic modules, themed on Carbon Neutrality, Inclusive Development, and Smart City respectively, in alignment with 6 sustainable development goals. Two non-curricular cultural activities, namely 14-Day Tasks and Model UN, are also arranged as a complement to inspire students to discover fusion of tradition and modernity. With the exciting opening ceremony, students from five continents have begun the two-week journey towards sustainability under the mentorship of prestigious professors from ZJU and its partner universities. Let’s explore innovative ways to achieve a sustainable future together.
For the full version of the opening ceremony, please watch here.