Syracuse Madrid hosts student-led Sustainability Symposium

On the evening of Monday, November 13, Syracuse University Madrid hosted a student-led symposium titled “Transcultural Approach to the Sustainable Development Goals: A Personal Journey Abroad.” Roughly two-thirds of the fall 2023 student cohort presented projects on behalf of five different classes in the economics, Spanish, psychology, earth science, and business departments. 

“One of the best parts of living in Europe as a student is the unique opportunity to look first-hand into different cultures, governments, and ways of thinking, and being able to share that was incredible,” says Michaela Warren ’24, Communications and Rhetorical Studies major in VPA.

The core idea behind the symposium was to “help students reflect on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) setup by the UN to be achieved in 2030.” Michaela notes that the symposium was a “phenomenal opportunity to share new knowledge and learn, while also practicing teamwork to develop presentations and public speaking skills.”

Student presentations included:

  • Earth Science: What are the SDG’s and what would we like them to be?
  • Economics of European Integration: Taking action: Examples of EU policies to achieve the SDG’s.
  • Healthcare in Europe: Air Quality in China: How pollution is costing the country money and Botswana and how to deal with the third objective of the SDG’s.
  • Doing Business in Europe: Sustainability and renewable energies in Turkey and Economic Sustainability and circular economy in the German public transportation sector.
  • De Madrid al Cielo: Madrid como ciudad sostenible
  • Drugs and Human Behavior: The impact of addiction on health and wellbeing, The relationship between drug abuse and quality education and Consequences of drug abuse on peace and justice.

The symposium brought together professors, staff and students from different courses and disciplines to examine the present sustainability goals and how they will impact the future.

“Highlighting sustainability was the perfect topic choice due to the range of angles students were able to discuss in different regions. It was also an important community-building opportunity for students to collaborate on topics they are exploring in different classes”, says Micaela Warren.

“Great symposium,” says Dr. Juan Iso, Spanish language and literature professor. “Students went from global to local emphasizing the importance of achieving sustainable development goals in order to shape a better future for all.”