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GEEF 2022 Results
Yonsei University successfully hosted the ‘4th Global Engagement and Empowerment Forum on Sustainable Development (GEEF 2022)’ • Under the theme of "REMEMBER Our Common Future", the Forum was held for two days from February 10th to 11th • Around 100 experts from around the world participated as speakers to present directions for the future of UN SDGs The 4th Global Engagement and Empowerment Forum on Sustainable Development (GEEF 2022), hosted by Yonsei University (President Seoung Hwan Suh) for two days on February 10th and 11th, ended successfully with 1,200 registrations around the world and accumulated more than 10,000 views on YouTube. The event, co-hosted by the Institute for Global Engagement & Empowerment at Yonsei University (IGEE), Ban Ki-moon Foundation for a Better Future, and Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, revisited the meaning and achievements of the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) under the theme of “REMEMBER Our Common Future.” The forum also discussed the direction of changes in the international cooperation system for the post COVID-19 era. Around 100 experts from various fields around the world participated in one Special Session, three Plenary Sessions, and twelve Featured & Scientific Sessions that covered a wider array of topics compared to previous forums. The Forum provided simultaneous English Korean interpretations and sign language interpretation for all sessions to allow for more inclusive participation in sharing wisdom for coexistence. At the opening ceremony held on February 10th, Seoung Hwan Suh, President of Yonsei University, said, “Since its establishment in 1885 and during its 137-year history, Yonsei University has continuously contributed to society, motivated by its core values of mutual solidarity, commitment, and engagement,” adding, “As a leading university and SDG champion in Korea, we will continue to promote awareness and efforts to contribute to a sustainable future.” Honorary Chair of the IGEE at Yonsei University and the 8th UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated, “Today’s Forum deals with many interesting topics including sustainable development goals, women’s health, COVID-19 vaccine accessibility, global citizenship for a sustainable tomorrow.” He added, “I am certain that this forum will bring about concrete suggestions and ideas for the better future of humanity.” Heinz Fischer, the 11th President of Austria, then stressed that “Conferences like GEEF, the exchange of opinions that lead to action, the sincere will to improve our society and the commitment to human rights are important elements for a better future.” Choi Jong-moon, the 2nd Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea, stated in his congratulatory remarks, “I would like to highlight the critical importance of forging multi-stakeholder partnerships to achieve sustainable development.” adding, “To this end, I look forward to the Forum’s continued leadership in engaging diverse stakeholders in our common quest towards the 2030 agenda.” During the keynote speech, the Deputy Secretary-General of the UN, Amina J. Mohammed, emphasized that “There is no denying that the pandemic has made out task even harder... Now is not the time to simply list or lament challenges. Now is the time to act,” adding, “The actions we take today will determine where we stand on the SDGs in 2030. This will shape conditions for decades and generations to come. Strengthened cohesion and forward-looking action can prevent and respond to future crises, climate-related disasters, famine, conflict, and public health emergencies.” In the Special Session held on the morning of the 10th, speakers under the theme of “REMEMBER Our Common Future” examined the past, present, and future of SDGs. The Special Session started with Gro Harlem Brundtland, the former Prime Minister of Norway, also known as the "mother of SDGs," and Ban Ki-moon, Honorary Chair of the IGEE, reaffirming the importance of international cooperation and education written in the 1987 "Our Common Future" Report at a time when global cooperation for sustainable development is retreating due to COVID-19. The two concluded their conversation by anticipating a better future created by the younger generation. Then, Jyotsna Puri, the Associate Vice-President of the Strategy and Knowledge Department at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) under the United Nations, emphasized the worldwide increase of socially marginalized people due to deterioration in various areas such as poverty, hunger, inequality, and climate. She then introduced IFAD’s efforts to achieve SDGs. JH Kah, Executive Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer of YG Entertainment, introduced K-Pop’s role in communicating with the younger generation through cultural and artist influence. He also talked about social participation activities based on the positive influence of YG artists such as BLACKPINK (UN SDG Advocates), AKMU, and YOON. Finally, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea, Kang Kyung-wha, discussed various issues and the future state of the world through topics such as climate change, clean water, quality of education, and sustainable development with eight youth representatives from six different countries around the world. Former Minister Kang expressed that it is encouraging to see that young people have ideas, and a firm will to achieve SDGs and that the voices of the youth must be reflected as they head towards the milestone year of 2030. A total of 15 Plenary Sessions and Featured & Scientific Sessions included participation from Director General of International Vaccine Institute (IVI), Jerome Kim, Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Mahmoud Mohieldin, Minister of Education and Religious Affairs of Greece, Nikki Kerameus, and many other distinguished speakers. They shared ideas for achieving UN SDGs in various areas, including vaccine accessibility, social care, SDGs index, and global citizenship. The participants particularly agreed on the importance of rebuilding the international cooperation system, which was disrupted by the pandemic, and urged for rapid change. Finally, Park Young-Ryeol, Chair of the Institute of Global Engagement and Empowerment (IGEE) at Yonsei University, stated, “IGEE at Yonsei University will continue to progress in teaching and researching about sustainable development to build a better world, and create a new path as a university that leads the era of the new-normal,” and promised GEEF’s return in 2023. The Forum was officially sponsored by FleishmanHillard Korea, Hanbul Motors, Botanicsens, Incheon Port Authority, and Korea Tourism Organization. It was held as part of the Fourth Phase of the BK21 graduate school innovation project. The entire Forum is recorded and available on Yonsei University IGEE’s Official YouTube channel. Photos and materials of the event will be available at GEEF’s official website (www.geef-sd.org). The Institute for Global Engagement & Empowerment (IGEE) (Leadership: Honorary Chair, Ban Ki-moon; Chairman Young-Ryeol Park) was launched in 2017 with the goal of producing "Creative leaders with community spirit" while upholding the university's main principles of Coexistence and Engagement, Creativity and Innovation, and Challenge and Excellence. Affiliated organizations include Ban Ki-moon Center for International Cooperation, Yonsei Institute for Global Health, and Center for Global Sustainability.
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Activities

‘2022’s first GEEF for ALL Series: When CSR Meets ESG Opportunities : What We Need to Know?’ held successfully at Yonsei
‘2022’s first GEEF for ALL Series: When CSR Meets ESG Opportunities : What We Need to Know?’ held successfully at Yonsei
IGEE (Institute for Global Engagement & Empowerment) at Yonsei University held the 2022’s first GEEF for ALL Series in 30th May 2022. The seminar was held with the theme ‘When CSR Meets ESG Opportunities : What We Need to Know?’. Rebecca Chunghee Kim, a professor at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University participated as a lecturer. Professor Kim suggested the issue of the genuine corporate role and responsibility in the global society, amid the post-COVID-19 era. Moreover, professor Kim explained the paths and experiences of CSR(Corporate Social Responsibility) and ESG(Environment, Social, Governance) and emphasized the need for strategic CSR. Professor Kim explained the need for research on linkages among CSR, modern capitalism, and global institutional contexts. Kim highlighted the role of Youth Leaders and that it is important to practice SDGs based on inclusive leadership regarding each business and environment, in a flexible manner. The seminar has been moderated by professor In Han SONG (Director of the Ban Ki-moon Center for International Cooperation, IGEE), and diverse listeners including Yonsei university professors, graduate and undergraduate students, and students from Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University joined the seminar. GEEF for ALL is planned to draw the international community’s continuous interest and participation, by delivering more innovative platforms for global agendas through GEEF(Global Engagement & Empowerment Forum on Sustainable Development). Starting from ‘GEEE for ALL: Myanmar’s Human Rights and Peace’, it has been continuously carried out to find solutions for complex problems in the global community. Meanwhile, some participants who left comments will receive Professor Kim’s book, “When Corporate Social Responsibility Meets COVID-19”.
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Yonsei University’s Research has been published on UN Academic Impact for its commitment to the SDG 3
Yonsei University’s Research has been published on UN Academic Impact for its commitment to the SDG 3
The academic achievement of Professor Cheon Jinwoo’s research team has been published on the UN Academic Impact (UNAI) website. UNAI aims to realize the UN’s goals and obligations including sustainability, promoting human rights, educational opportunities, and resolving disputes through cooperation with higher education institutions. As one of the members of UNAI, Yonsei University is actively co-working with UNAI to facilitate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and share relevant insights and information every year. Professor Cheon’s research has been recognized as the research contributed to the achievement of SDG 3. Good Health and Well-Being among the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the UN. Professor Cheon, the head of the Nanomedicine Research Team of the Institute for Basic Science (IBS), jointly developed Point-of-Care (POC) technology named ‘nanoPCR’ that accurately detects the COVID-19 within 17 minutes using nanomaterials with a research team led by Professor Lee Hakho of the Harvard Medical School. This drastically reduced time required for the Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RTPCR), a currently used COVID-19 standard test method, at the same time guaranteeing RTPCR level accuracy (99%). The result of this study has also been published in Nature Biomedical Engineering (IF17.149), and for more information, please check out https://www.un.org/en/academic-impact/university-research-team-develops-high-speed-nanopcr-technology-diagnose-covid-19.
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‘GEFF for ALL Series III: World Peace & Climate Action’ held successfully at Yonsei University
‘GEFF for ALL Series III: World Peace & Climate Action’ held successfully at Yonsei University
Institute for Global Engagement and Empowerment at Yonsei University annually holds GEEF, which stands for Global Engagement and Empowerment Forum aiming for all global stakeholders to convene to collaborate towards accomplishing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). GEEF for ALL series, as a special seminar, is also being proceeded with diverse topics and experts all around the world. The third series ‘World Peace & Climate Action’ was held on 26th August 2021, having a conversation between Iván Duque Márquez (the President of Colombia) and Ban Ki-moon (the 8th Secretary-General of the UN and Honorary Chair of IGEE). The event started with a forum and panel introduction by the presider Song In-han (Professor and Director of Ban Ki-moon Center for International Cooperation, IGEE). Two excellencies thereafter exchanged their greeting and special remarks on the issues. In a special talk, both agreed on the importance of peace, especially the one achieved from a peace agreement with Colombia's past revolutionary armed forces FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia). Ban also mentioned that he was greatly impressed by Duque’s visit to the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) during his visit to Korea, and added he would not forget Colombia's efforts to protect the peace as the only Latin American participant during the Korean War. Referring to the climate change report by IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), Ban emphasized that the initial target of keeping global temperature rise below 1.5℃ by 2052 is no longer applicable now as we already consumed 1.1℃. Thus, he highlighted the altogether effort with all 195 state parties to Paris Climate Change Agreement should be accompanied. Duque also consented to the issue and said that even though the agreement was signed, Implementation should come along to accelerate investment. Special conversation clip available on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9X-jP1M61CU
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“Dream Start” is where Yonsei’s Social Engagement Begins
“Dream Start” is where Yonsei’s Social Engagement Begins
With its Honorary Chairman Ban Ki-moon having called for the need to recognize and mobilize young people as agents of change, IGEE is engaging and empowering the young generation as enablers of sustainable development. IGEE’s flagship mentoring program Dream Start is one way universities and higher education institutions can support the uptake and implementation of the SDGs through their learning and teaching activities. Centered around SDGs Goal number 4, "Ensuring Quality Education for All", Dream Start is composed of learning, personality, and cultural mentoring. Learning mentoring consists of basic curriculum guidance, and helping with school work and academic achievement. Personality mentoring is conducted to help mentees develop mentality of success, career motivation, and life guidance, while adapting to school life and improving competence. Cultural mentoring involves various cultural experiences such as field trips and movies. It also provides an opportunity for mentees to have diverse cultural experience and enhance their sensitivity away from celebrities-oriented cultural activities. The program has provided learning opportunities to youth from low-income households in the Seodaemun District of Seoul where Yonsei University is located. Over 900 teams of mentor mentees have completed the program since 2009. Mentors are selected at a competitive rate of 3:1 each year based on their leadership, multicultural sensitivity, integrity, and spirit of service. Mentees are selected on a voluntary basis and through recommendations by their school principals. In 2019, 60 teams of mentors and mentees were created. Middle and high school student mentees not only learned more efficient studying methods, but also engaged in discussion on how to best cope with stress arising from performance and grades. The program thus not only benefits the mentees but also the Yonsei students that participate in it. "It's been one of the best opportunities I've had in the university," says Jong-min Lee, a senior majoring in economics. “Through Dream Start, I was able to enhance my interpersonal skills through real-life experiences, while applying my knowledge to benefit the community. I am also glad to have contributed to an improvement in the academic performance of my mentees.”
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“Development is a Constant Struggle to Find a Right Answer”
“Development is a Constant Struggle to Find a Right Answer”
Inadequate infrastructure is a constraint on growth and impacts quality of life whereas good infrastructure helps reduce poverty and inequality. Two distinguished IGEE SD professors attempted to shed light on the importance of infrastructure and more broadly to discuss the existing and future potential of Private- Public Partnerships (PPP) in helping achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. World Bank Senior Advisor Jaehyang So explained on November 14 that PPPs are rooted in the same integrated approach as the SDGs in that each component must be pursued as an integral part of the whole. As part of the Understanding Sustainable Development with Ban Ki-moon course, So’s lecture illustrated how developing quality reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure can support economic development and human well-being. So explained that the term PPP mainly refers to infrastructure because of their importance in terms of basic development and growth, and stressed that PPP helps progress in access to quality education, healthcare, water, and sanitation, among other SDG targets and indicators. She iterated that for PPPs to become an instrument for financing key economic infrastructure projects, it is necessary that countries have in place the institutional capacity to create, manage, and evaluate them. In closing, So said that there isn’t a very clear answer as to why one particular country develops and another country doesn’t. “What is the secret of development success? Many people have tried to answer the question but nobody knows. Development is a constant struggle to find a right answer,” she said. Another SD professor and Asian Development Bank Director Um Woochong’s lecture on November 14 illustrated how ADB’s future operations will be designed to help developing member countries meet the SDGs and how its deeper engagement with countries on SDG priorities and opportunities will accelerate progress. Um, who leads ADB-wide knowledge management and innovation in various thematic and sector operation areas, illustrated in particular how transport will remain a major part of ADB’s infrastructure operations, and how ADB is already in transition in terms of its transport investment to assist with the shift to low-carbon sustainable growth across Asia and the Pacific. Um explained that cities in the region are facing increasing demand for financing sustainable growth-inducing infrastructure such as roads, transport, and social infrastructure systems. “Urban infrastructure plays a crucial role in terms of meeting the demands of the poor. Building better, more sustainable infrastructure will provide the basis for achieving the SDGs,” he said. Um stressed that ADB has tracked the links between its projects and the SDGs since 2016 and is improving monitoring how the projects and programs it finances will support SDG targets. For 15 weeks, the Understanding Sustainable Development with Ban Ki-moon course invited more than 10 senior officials and professors to share their knowledge and experience on international development with Yonsei undergraduate students. The topics of the lecture series ranged from peace and security to green urban development and gender equality. “My understanding of SDGs changed in such a way that it has benefitted me to think more in depth and learn about international development in more detail from different perspectives,” says Minji Ko, a graduating senior. “I came to realize that what’s most important is for me to change, for me to change my thoughts, for me to change something to change the society.”
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“Without Human Rights, Development Doesn’t Mean Anything”
“Without Human Rights, Development Doesn’t Mean Anything”
In two special lectures presented to Yonsei undergraduate students, Honorary Chairman of IGEE Ban Ki-moon reflected on his two-term tenure as Secretary-General of the United Nations while also calling for youth participation in the implementation of SDGs. In his first lecture on October 31, Ban gave an overview of the historical development of SDGs and the Paris Climate Agreement. For the 100 students enrolled in the Understanding Sustainable Development with Ban Ki-moon course, his talk provided a rare opportunity to hear a first-person account of how the UN operates and global leadership works. Ban encouraged the students, many of whom plan to work in international development–related jobs, research, or diplomacy, to think of both the planet and humanity beyond national boundaries. “SDGs cover all spectrums of our life and each goal is logically connected. Look outside your immediate surroundings and think of both the planet and humanity beyond national boundaries,” he said. His second lecture on November 21 focused on human rights and peace. Ban explained that human rights has tremendous effect on politics and economy. “It is possible for dictatorial states to achieve peace and economic growth, but without human rights, development doesn’t mean anything,” he said. It was such conviction that led to the creation of the Human Rights up Front (or HRuF) under his leadership. As an internal campaign, HRuF helped position the UN’s work on human rights protection as a priority for all UN entities. Ban acknowledged however that the HRuF, like other initiatives for cooperation among UN entities, has to rely on an institutional commitment based on a limited legal basis for cooperation between specialized agencies. “The challenges we face are simply too numerous to be left in the hands of a few leaders. Think beyond yourself. You hold the keys to unlock a more sustainable, peaceful and prosperous future,” he said. Tae In Park, Research Professor and convener of the course, says the course has garnered strong interest from Yonsei students around the campus and it will repeat next semester. Educating students and increasing public awareness about the SDGs is a major component of IGEE’s work. Understanding Sustainable Development with Ban Ki-moon is a flagship course developed by IGEE to increase students understanding of SDGs. Students learn about the definition, historical background, and normative and analytical aspects of sustainable development taught by renowned scholars and experts. Aside from this course available to Yonsei students, IGEE developed a special Coursera course Sustainable Development in the 21st Century with Ban Ki-moon open to the public. https://ko.coursera.org/learn/sustainable-development-ban-ki-moon
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“GEEF X AEARU” discusses university's role in sustainable development
“GEEF X AEARU” discusses university's role in sustainable development
The “GEEF X AEARU 2019 Forum” held at Yonsei University on October 30 discussed the critical role of higher education institutions in implementing and driving sustainable development initiatives. Representatives of 16 universities from eight different countries including China, Japan, Kazakhstan, Niger and the United States and the 8th UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon explored the role of universities in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how they can cooperate with each other as global knowledge partners. Yonsei University President Kim Yong-hak in his welcoming remarks stated that global problems require global action, and that given its primary role as knowledge producer, higher education can serve as a powerful means to help create a more sustainable future. In his keynote speech, Ban Ki-moon, Honorary Chairman of the Institute for Global Engagement & Empowerment (IGEE) at Yonsei University explained that of the 17 SDG goals, SDG 4 is dedicated to education, and that in recent years, universities around the world, including Yonsei University, have made massive efforts to bring the dialogue on sustainable development into the spotlight. In the first session, education experts including Professor Ju-ho Lee of KDI School of Public Policy and Professor Do-nyon Kim of Sungkyunkwan University pointed out the limitations of traditional teaching methods and stressed that a new approach should be flexible according to the characteristics of individual learners. They explained that in practice it means reorienting the education system at all levels to equip students with the requisite knowledge, skills and values to create a sustainable future. The second session discussed the global trend of dissolving borders between society and academia, and explored how universities can co-create urban sustainability. Professor Yang-joon Nam of Nanyang Technological University and Professor Peter Abrahamson of Copenhagen University presented examples from across the world where universities reach out past campus boundaries to form meaningful partnerships with industry, government and civil society organizations. The forum concluded with the adoption of a declaration which illustrates higher education’s commitment to creating a sustainable future, and the partnership of higher education institutions for the solution of global challenges. The forum was co-hosted by the IGEE of Yonsei University, National Assembly Futures Institute, and the Association of East Asian Research Universities (AEARU). AEARU is a regional organization founded in January 1996, with the goals of creating a forum for the presidents of leading research-oriented universities in East Asia and of carrying out mutual exchanges between major universities in the region. IGEE was established in 2017 to explore higher education’s unique role in helping to achieve the SDGs.
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