By Dylan Valic
It may seem like a professor’s work is never done, but Dr. Scott Carlin, associate professor of geography, takes that premise to another level. In addition to teaching classes on campus, he also recently organized a conference with the United Nations to work towards creating a more sustainable future.
The conference took place in Salt Lake City, Utah from Aug. 26-28. The conference was hosted to discuss the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Created in 2015, the SDGs are a set of goals that would help solve many of the world’s problems if they are instituted. They include ending world hunger, ensuring that children receive a quality education and ending gender inequality.
The main focus of the conference was the 11th SDG: creating sustainable cities and communities. One method for creating a sustainable city is to ensure that accessibility is a priority when constructing buildings, according to Carlin. “If people have disabilities, like walking disabilities, a building should be made so people who are handicapped have proper access to buildings,” he said.
Carlin was one of the co-chairs of the Thematic Sessions planning committee. When organizing sessions, Carlin needed to make sure there was equal representation among the speakers. “We needed to have speakers that represented a large range of different countries, different ages, and different aspects of the problem,” he said.
Carlin is also attempting to get the UN to recognize a day dedicated to the education of global citizenship. Global citizenship is the idea that people should look past their country’s borders and be aware of how their actions affect the world. “We are arguing that [it’s] a really important way to get more attention focused on these global goals and bring them into the school system,” he said. Carlin also hopes to have students work towards solving problems regarding climate change, as well as address what work they can do in their own communities.
Carlin wants students on campus to know they are able to attend different events hosted by the United Nations. LIU will also be awarding two students UN badges, allowing them to access to UN events and buildings. Interested students should contact Carlin at Scott.Carlin@liu.edu for more information.