No Summit, No Problem!

Although this year’s North East Global Challenges Network summit couldn’t go ahead as planned, we are pleased to announce that our first virtual event is taking place next week on Thursday 9th July.

The event is an Early Career Researcher webinar, so if you’re a PhD candidate, postgrad or still in the early periods of your academic career get involved! The ECR event is run by Durham university in collaboration with IHRR, in close partnership with Newcastle and Northumbria Universities.

The day will start at 12:30 with an introduction by Dr Douglas Halliday, the director of Durham University’s Global Challenges. The day will then move into a series of talks by current researchers.

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World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought and the GCRF Water Hub

June 17th marks the UN World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought. The day is observed every year to increase public awareness of the international efforts to combat desertification, with water security experts from various disciplines working to ensure land used for agriculture, textiles and urbanisation is up to scratch.

It seems a suitable day then to introduce the Global Challenges Academy backed Water Security and Sustainable Development Hub here at Newcastle University with international partners in Colombia, Ethiopia, India and Malaysia.

The GCRF Water Security Hub at Newcastle is a UKRI funded research and education facility based in the School of Engineering. The hub’s focus is on sustainable development goal 6, clean water and sanitation, goal 4, quality education, and goal 13, climate action. The Water Security Hub has a clear vision that is visible in all research and is central to the conversations Newcastle academics have with their international partners:

‘Our vision is to enable sustainable water security through developing and demonstrating a systems approach that better understands water systems; values all aspects of water; and strengthens water governance to enable integrated water management.’

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The World Literacy Summit and SDG No. 4 – Education

Rebecca Woodcock, BA Politics at Newcastle University

Newcastle University has some great academics focusing on the Sustainable Development Goals. As the World Literacy Summit moves online this week due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we thought it would be a good idea to focus on SDG 4, inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning.  

The 2020 World Literacy Summit 2020 is the fourth summit hosted by the World Literacy Foundation. It combines speeches from international literacy specialists, including NGO leaders, academics and literacy entrepreneurs. The discussion will share knowledge of the worlds literacy statistics, improvement and goals for the future.

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SDG 5 – Gender Equality and International Women’s Day 2020

Rebecca Woodcock, BA Politics at Newcastle University

As the GCA’s week of focusing on gender equality comes to a close, it’s great to look back on the events our interns and staff at Newcastle University have been involved with in the fight for SDG 5.

First, Elle, one of our interns and PhD student researching adolescent girls’ empowerment through citizen scientist afterschool clubs, attended COCO’s #EachforEqual event at Newcastle Business School. The event explored COCO’s aims and missions towards achieving gender equality, voices from local entrepreneurs supporting BAME communities and speakers challenging gender bias in the workplace and the taboo of menopause. The event notably celebrated women from all backgrounds, cultures and locations as we strive for gender equality in our region and beyond. Some of the stand out quotes were as follows:

Salha Kaitesi, who works with Teakisi, an online platform creating a space for African women to empower and celebrate each other, stated that ‘representation is empowering communities’ when talking about the experiences BAME communities face in society. Salha went on to discuss the inequalities that African women and WOC face in society, such as the persistent racial inequalities in the labour market, education, home ownership and employment in the public sector.

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Here’s how smart power could help the UK reach 100% renewable energy

Phil Taylor
Siemens Professor of Energy Systems, Newcastle University

This article was originally published on The Conversation

Both Portugal and Germany have recently succeeded in meeting almost all of their power needs using renewable energy. But at the moment, the UK falls far short of this feat. In 2015, less than a quarter of the country’s energy was generated from renewable power sources such as wind, solar, hydro and bio-energy.

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Those of you who follow this blog via email may just have received a very strange post … we were testing out some new functions of the blog and accidentally published a test post!

Sorry, it won’t happen again … until the next time!