Students can contribute to SDG 8 by collaborating, speaking and acting for decent work and positive economic change. They can do so by seizing and creating opportunities to develop, plan and implement entrepreneurial projects with positive ecological and social impact. This requires their capability to think in a systematic way in order to craft “pictures” of the future in which the ecological, social and economic impact of their individual short term decisions is viewed on a global scale and in the long term. It also requires the students’ capability to facilitate sustainable change processes, in order to contribute to a society and economy which ‘meets the needs of all within the means of the planet. In other words, to ensure that no one falls short on life’s essentials (from food and housing to healthcare and political voice), while ensuring that collectively we do not overshoot our pressure on Earth’s life-supporting systems, on which we fundamentally depend – such as a stable climate, fertile soils, and a protective ozone layer’ (Raworth, 2017).

You can empower your students to become sustainability leaders for SDG 8 by fostering during your courses values-driven leadership, sustainable consumption and sustainable entrepreneurship. SDG 8 includes sub-targets related to: sustainable economic growth, financial services and economic productivity, global resource efficiency, entrepreneurship and innovation, job creation, employment and decent work, youth employment, forced labour, human trafficking and child labour, labour rights, including migrant workers and those in precarious employment. In your classroom, you can link this SDG to themes such as working conditions, labour rights and inclusive labour market, sustainable consumption and sustainable business models.

Action Area

  • Values-driven leadership

    Values-driven leadership

    Values-driven leadership empowers students to take the lead in sustainable transition processes, based on the ability to reflect on their own and others needs and values. Leadership is a mutual relationship based on shared needs and values. Values-driven leadership allows you to put values, which are the guiding principles in our lives, into practice. Students should be encouraged to be empathic, committed and to reflect on theirs and others needs and values in order to facilitate change and improvements related to decent working conditions and sustainable economic growth.
  • Conscious consumption

    Conscious consumption

    Sustainable consumption empowers students to act as responsible citizens, reducing their ecological footprint and overcoming the limitations of the mainstream sustainable consumption strategy. Sustainable consumption implies “the use of goods and products which respond to basic needs and bring a better quality of life, while minimising the use of natural resources and toxic materials as well as the emissions of waste and pollutants over the life cycle, so as not to jeopardise the needs of future generations.” (Seyfang, 2006) Therefore students should be encouraged to think in a systematic way and to analyse, evaluate, and craft “pictures” of the future in which the impact of local short term decisions is viewed on a global scale and in the long term.
  • Sustainable entrepreneurshipDuurzaam ondernemerschap{/lang

    Sustainable entrepreneurshipDuurzaam ondernemerschap{/lang

    Sustainable entrepreneurship empowers students to take informed decisions and responsible actions in order to contribute to a more sustainable world. A world in which economic growth is limited by planetary and social boundaries. Sustainable entrepreneurship refers to the discovery, creation, and exploitation of entrepreneurial opportunities that contribute to sustainability by generating social and environmental gains for others in society (Hockerts and Wüstenhagen, 2010; Pacheco et al., 2010; Shepherd and Patzelt, 2011). Therefore students should be encouraged to create and seize opportunities, to be adaptive and to develop, plan and implement entrepreneurial projects with positive ecological and social impact, while taking into account other viewpoints in the decision-making process
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