Promoted by Iberdrola, Salamanca University and the Polytechnic University of Madrid
The Spanish city of Salamanca will host the first Ibero-American Conference on the UN Sustainable Development Goals from 27 to 29 June
Salamanca, 16 May, 2018.- Coinciding with the 800th anniversary of its university, the city of Salamanca will be the venue for the first Ibero-American Conference on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which will be held from 27 to 29 June and be attended by more than 300 international participants.
Organised by Salamanca University, the Polytechnic University of Madrid and Iberdrola, the upcoming Conference aims to become a benchmark Ibero-American forum for discussing the immediate work and future steps needed to achieve the UN sustainable development goals.
“Significant players from a wide range of fields and countries – affirms Victoria Muriel, Economics Professor at Salamanca University and Chairwoman of the Conference’s Organising Committee – are going to meet in Salamanca to envision the future for subjects as significant as education for social transformation, solutions to mitigate climate change, sustainable life scenarios and the partnership policies required to achieve the UN SDGs by 2030. The Conference is going to be a first step and it will close with the Salamanca Declaration, which we are designing to serve as a route map aimed at proposing the next steps to be taken in the immediate future”.
For Carlos Mataix, Director of the Innovation and Technology for Development Centre at the Polytechnic University of Madrid and member of the Organising Committee for the Conference, "this event must serve to finally convince us that it is possible to meet the massive challenges facing our civilisation, because the Sustainable Development Goals are essentially a call for a transformation that requires large doses of creativity".
The Conference programme features speakers from fifteen countries. The most noteworthy of these are Saskia Sassen, Professor of Sociology at Columbia University in New York and winner of the 2013 Prince of Asturias Prize for Sociology; Augusto Barrera, a member of parliament from Ecuador and former Mayor of Quito; and Carlos Sallé, Director of Energy Policies and Climate Change with the Iberdrola Group.
The central topics at the Conference are how to create innovative educational standards designed to meet the challenges of the future and to adapt to different local contexts; how we can mitigate the effects of climate change and progress towards a low-carbon economic model in which energy will play a crucial role; how we can innovate to create sustainable life scenarios within which we make the ideal of human development a reality; and how to invest in new institutional agreements, in education, in the adaptation of cultures, etc. with a high medium- and long-term return. Other topics to be dealt with will include gender equality, the reduction of inequalities, the task of teaching, reducing the consumption of raw materials, water and energy and promoting waste reuse and the circular economy.
Institutional paragraph on Salamanca University
Throughout 2018, the University of Salamanca is celebrating its eighth centenary. The history of Salamanca University is also that of higher education in Spanish. Its title of ‘alma mater’ of Ibero-American universities and dean of Spanish universities has its origin in its creation in 1218. After this time it quickly began to play a key role in the development and implementation of university studies and scientific advance. However, it also established itself as a centre for debate and reflection on aspects as important as the nature of power, human rights and international conflicts. Salamanca University has centres dedicated to the strengthening of academic and cultural links with other countries and cultures such as the Centre for Brazilian Studies and the Institute for Ibero-American Studies.
Institutional paragraph on the Polytechnic University of Madrid
The Polytechnic University of Madrid is participating in this conference through its Innovation and Technology for Development Centre (itdUPM), an inter-disciplinary space that brings together different lines of research in technology and sustainable development and which works in collaboration with companies, civil society and public administrations to tackle the challenges of sustainability and suggest new solutions.
Iberdrola is a global private sector company that has, since its creation over 150 years ago, worked to serve energy advancement, security of supply, quality and innovation. Thanks to a strong growth and internationalisation process that began in 2001, the company has become a world leader in clean energy and it is now one of the world's top five electricity utilities by market capitalisation, with over 34,000 employees providing services to 100 million people.
The Iberdrola Group has integrated the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) defined by the United Nations for 2030 into its strategy. The company is focusing its efforts on goal 7 and 13 - affordable and non-polluting energy and climate action, respectively - although it contributes directly or indirectly to compliance with all the other SDGs.