ISCN Virtual Events Series: Strengthening the exchange of knowledge and ideas amidst the COVID-19 pandemic

As the world adapts in order to move forward amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the ISCN has quickly reoriented its efforts to bring members and non-members together by providing virtual platforms that facilitate the exchange of knowledge and ideas. A clear example of these efforts has been this year’s first series of virtual events, which took place between the 14 May and 24 June of 2020.

The ISCN Awards Ceremony 2020

The ISCN 2020 Awards Ceremony was held virtually on 14 May 2020 and brought together 343 attendees from over 40 countries. The Awards Ceremony received significant positive feedback, with particularly positive comments regarding the event as an opportunity to learn more about the winning initiatives.

The ISCN 2020 Award winners:

34 applications were received from 25 institutions across the four ISCN Awards categories - Whole Systems Approach, Partnerships for Progress, Cultural Change for Sustainability, and Honorary Member Award.

The 2020 awardees were:

  • Cultural Change for Sustainability Award: Thammasat University, Thailand [video]
  • Whole Systems Approach Award: Chalmers University of Technology and KTH, Sweden.[video]
  • Partnerships for Progress Award: LUT University, Finland.[video]
  • Honorary Member Award: McGill University, Canada.[video]

You can watch the awards ceremony's eye opening keynote by climate change expert and leader of ETHZ’s climate physics group, Reto Knutti, by clicking this link. You can watch the full ISCN 2020 Awards video here.

Student Engagement for Sustainability on Campus: an ISCN Student-led Virtual Session

The second event of the series, “Student Engagement for Sustainability on Campus” took place on 28 May 2020. This event was conceptualized, organized and coordinated by students of member institutions. As such, it was a solid step for “increasing student involvement with the network”, one of the goals of the ISCN strategic plan 2020-2023.

The webinar, moderated by Dario Siegen (ISCN 2020 Conference’s student coordinator), included a keynote from Marie-Claire Graf (founder of the student initiative Sustainability Week International), engaging presentations from Sharina Ligtelijn and Marijn van Steen ( members of the Green Teams TU Delft), as well as interactions from the audience. This webinar hosted 654 attendees from 44 countries. In addition, a second part of the event was geared towards working group sessions in breakout-rooms for 55 participants.

You can watch the webinar by clicking this link.

Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Ranking: a catalyzer towards more sustainability in Universities?

The third and final event of the first series of virtual events for 2020 was the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Ranking: a catalyzer towards more sustainability in Universities event, which hosted 377 attendees from over 40 countries.

The event was moderated by Kristina Von Oelreich (Sustainability Manager-KTH) and Alexander Nebel (Head of Institutional Data Management-EPFL) and was framed around the presentation of the results of a survey on the Times Higher Education Impact Ranking conducted among leading universities in sustainable development by the ISCN’s Times Higher Education Working Group.

The webinar included a keynote debate between Janet Hering (Director of the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (EAWAG)/Professor of Biogeochemistry at ETHZ and EPFL) and Göran Finnveden (Environmental Strategic Analysis and Vice-president for Sustainable Development at KTH Royal Institute of Technology). Additionally, six ISCN representatives of member institutions presented their testimonials pertaining to the potential and challenges of the THE Impact Ranking. You can watch the full video here.

Overall Experience for Members and Non-Members

The first series of ISCN virtual events have been a resounding success with over 1,374 attendees and excellent reviews and levels of satisfaction. We look forward to bringing you the second series of virtual events that will kick-off in October and will run through December 2020. We hope to see you all there.

The ISCN Secretariat