Global Goals Week opens Feb. 17 with keynote from world-renowned economist Jeffrey Sachs

SUNY New Paltz is ramping up its participation in the United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development initiative with a week-long series of interactive workshops, performances and a keynote address with Jeffrey D. Sachs, one of the world’s foremost experts on sustainable economic development.

Global Goals Teach-In Week begins Monday, Feb. 17, as one of the biggest expressions to date of the College’s investment in the UN Sustainable Development Goals framework: a set of 17 guiding tenets that leaders around the world have signed on to as part of an international effort to progress toward a more sustainable future.

The keynote event of the College’s programming features Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, speaking via livestream on Monday, Feb. 17, at 6 p.m. in Lecture Center 100.

Jeffrey Sachs

Sachs, described as “probably the most important economist in the world” by The New York Times, is a world-renowned professor of economics, leader in sustainable development, bestselling author and syndicated columnist whose work has been published in more than 100 countries.

In his address, “The Age of Sustainable Development,” Sachs presents a compelling and practical framework for how global citizens can address the seemingly intractable worldwide problems of persistent extreme poverty, environmental degradation and political-economic injustice. Sachs outlines a holistic way forward, offering the tools, metrics and practical pathways people need to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Global Goals Week continues with “Sustainability in our Closets,” a workshop led by Associate Professor Andrea Varga for those who are feeling overwhelmed by a life filled with stuff. This session, on Tuesday, Feb. 18, at 5 p.m. in the Honors Center, will provide clear, easy-to-follow ideas for becoming a more conscious clothing consumer.

On Wednesday, Feb. 19, all community members are invited to get involved in the effort to bring about a just, equitable, sustainable future at the College. Students from the United Nations Semester class will lead an inclusive discussion from 3:30 – 6:30 p.m. in the Student Union Multipurpose Room to help formulate a plan for SUNY New Paltz to fulfill the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

Also on Feb. 19, Peregrine Dining Hall will be serving Future 50 Foods, a curated collection of meals with biodiverse ingredients that are nutritious, affordable and flavorful, all with a low environmental impact.

There are many more Global Goals Week programs on the schedule, including an LGBTQ+ Allies Workshop, a Tenants’ Rights Town Hall, a food drive in the Atrium, multiple professional development opportunities for faculty and staff, and arts performances by the Step Afrika! dance and storytelling company and the Cave Dogs collective.

View the full slate of Global Goals Week events online.

If you have accessibility questions or require accommodations to fully participate in any of these events, please contact the event organizers at