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 proceedingChapterpeer-review

    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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