Global Consensus Is a Dream, but Twitter Is Real: Simulating a Sustainable Development Goals Summit Through Interdisciplinary Classroom Politics and negotiation by Social Media

Simon Kemp, Julia Kendal, Adam Warren, Laurence Wright, John Canning, Marcus Grace, Clare Saunders

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Published conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Rio+20 saw commitment from the international community to develop Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to shape the global efforts towards sustainable development. As part of an interdisciplinary curriculum innovation module at the University of Southampton, students take part in a ‘SDGs Summit’. Interdisciplinary student groups represent nation ‘blocs’ attempting to reach consensus on six priority SDGs, from a starting set of sixteen, through personal and social media negotiation. The exercise requires students to inhabit the perspectives of different ‘blocs’, challenging them to extend their understanding and application of sustainable development beyond their own discipline. This paper shares best practice on this innovative vehicle for teaching students the complexities surrounding international political negotiation and agreement where the outcomes will have differing social, economic and environmental consequences for the ‘blocs’, depending on their economic prosperity, natural resources, states of development, and political ideologies. The paper also explores how the summit incorporates the challenges around inequality of access and influence on the global negotiating platform. The adaptation of existing simulation and negotiation pedagogies to address current global political concerns and the use of Twitter in the classroom is considered to be a suitable approach to address the complex interdisciplinary subject area of sustainable development. Although initially focused at ESD practitioners, the interdisciplinary, social media and international focus of the SDGs Summit renders this approach relevant for pedagogical innovators and students across the globe.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIntegrative Approaches to Sustainable Development at University Level
EditorsWalter Leal Filho, Luciana Brandli, Olga Kuznetsova, Arminda Maria Finisterra do Paço
PublisherSpringer International Publishing AG
Pages551-566
ISBN (Print)9783319106892
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Publication series

NameWorld Sustainability Series
PublisherSpringer International

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Kemp, S., Kendal, J., Warren, A., Wright, L., Canning, J., Grace, M., & Saunders, C. (2015). Global Consensus Is a Dream, but Twitter Is Real: Simulating a Sustainable Development Goals Summit Through Interdisciplinary Classroom Politics and negotiation by Social Media. In W. Leal Filho, L. Brandli, O. Kuznetsova, & A. M. Finisterra do Paço (Eds.), Integrative Approaches to Sustainable Development at University Level (pp. 551-566). (World Sustainability Series). Springer International Publishing AG. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-10690-8_38