Experts in Teamwork and Engage collaborate to put UN Sustainable Development Goals on the agenda.
By Vilde Øines Nybakken
The Engage lead village wants to turn UN’s sustainable development vision into action in education programmes. To accomplish that, 26 students are working intensively for three weeks. They are working in groups with the external partners Trondheim Renholdsverk, NTNU Eiendom and Ducky.Through action learning the students get to apply an entrepreneurial mindset on real problems with the aim of creating value for others. Hopefully, the work of the students will result in ideas on what can be done locally in Trøndelag.
Experts in Teamwork (EiT) is a compulsory course for all NTNU students in a master’s programme and one of the Engage center’s partners. This semester the EiT pilot village «UN’s sustainable development goals – what can we do in Trøndelag?» is lead in cooperation with Engage. EiT’s main goal is to train students’ interdisciplinary skills, which will be essential to reach UN’s sustainable development goals.
Practical work with sustainability goals
Caroline Wang, Arna Sætherø and Somaye Maher chose to work with NTNU Eiendom and NTNU’s environmental ambition after a discussion in the group. They all find the work the group does meaningful.
“The more I work with this project, the more useful I find it”, Wang says. She studies molecular medicine, and would have liked a greater focus on sustainability in her education.
NTNU’s environmental ambitions includes a subsidiary goal: Students graduated from NTNU should have basic knowledge about sustainability. The group is still early in its process, but one can already sense a strong engagement for the assignment.
The group wants to investigate NTNU students’ knowledge on sustainability through a survey. and find out how basic sustainability knowledge can be implemented in their education. Amongst the suggested solutions are incorporating it in ex.phil (already a compulsory course for all NTNU students) or EiT, or making it an individual course.
“If all NTNU students had basic environmental knowledge, a strong competence would be brought into working life”, says Sætherø, who is studying medicine.
“It would be surprising if it turns out that a lot of the students in the survey claims to have no knowledge about sustainability”, architecture student Maher says. If that turned out to be the case, it would make their work even more important.
Re-use is trendy
Helle Slupphaug, Tuva Verpe, Oda Hjelme and Inga Gloppen is working on a suggested solution to get Trondheim Renholdsverk’s free store concept BrukOM more available for students. The store is located in Heggstadmoen, but sadly many people are not aware of this availability.
“Bulky waste is often placed beside the waste containers. This can be usable furniture, bikes and other large items not able to fit in the containers. We want to create a more accessible place to deliver and collect usable bulky waste for students in the city centre. Hopefully this will contribute to more re-use”, the girls explain.
One of their suggested ideas is based on transport possibilities by bike. “Recycling and re-use is very in these days, for instance with services like Tise (a norwegian developed app to promote re-use, journ.anm.). We want to concentrate on students as target group. There’s a lot of bulky waste at student housing areas”, they explains.
They have made a survey to investigate students’ interest in a more centrally located free store like BrukOM.
The students provides a valuable perspective
Project engineer Elin Valvatne in Trondheim Renholdsverk emphasizes the value of getting perspectives from students through the collaboration. “EiT puts sustainability on the agenda. Sustainability is in focus in the waste collection industry. There are demands both internationally, from EU and nationally about meeting UN’s sustainable development goals”, she says. “EiT gives the students the opportunity to acquire deeper knowledge. It’s great and important for us to join in. We’re really glad to be a part of this and eager to see the results”.