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In spring 2019, Cal Poly’s student chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) and Critical Global Engagement Club (CGE) will send a group of nine Cal Poly students to participate in the fourth annual United Nations (UN) Multistakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals (STI Forum) at the UN Headquarters in New York. The STI Forum provides a platform for a network of stakeholders to discuss how science, technology, and innovation can facilitate and impact the implementation of the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Sustainable development is commonly defined as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” For the past two years, EWB students have participated in the STI Forum as part of the UN Major Group for Children and Youth (UN MGCY), the official, self-organized space for children and youth to meaningfully engage in UN processes. This year EWB will be partnering with Critical Global Engagement Club to ensure that our involvement in the Forum highlights interdisciplinary voices and perspectives.



The SDGs under review at the 2019 Forum


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Participating in the STI Forum is an invaluable opportunity for Cal Poly students to experience first-hand and participate in the global policy making process. As part of the UN MGCY, we collaborate with policy makers, professionals, and students from around the world and across disciplines to advocate for sustainable development and ensure that youth voices are reflected in global policy making. EWB Cal Poly students share their unique perspectives as both students and engineers with field-based international development experience. As youth, we advocate for development for the present that doesn’t compromise the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Through the forum, students Learn by Doing through engagement in global science-policy.


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Our role as a part of the MGCY is to facilitate collective participation of young people in official and formal avenues of policy design, implementation, monitoring, follow-up, and review. This year EWB/CGE will be taking on a leadership role within the UN MGCY. Cal Poly EWB and CGE Club have been selected as one of the STI Focal Points to the Financing for Development Working Group. We will lead the UN MGCY’s coordination and substantive engagement in the UN STI Forum and Commission on Science and Technology for Development, as well as topics related to the implications of emerging technologies and S&T (Science and Technology) Road maps for sustainable development. This role will require starting a discourse about the SDGs with our peers to best represent voices of the youth at the Forum. We will have a formal way for students at Cal Poly and elsewhere to participate in this discussion and contribute their thoughts and opinions.


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We have raised enough funds to take nine students to the UN, but we do not want cost to prohibit a deserving student from experiencing this transformative opportunity. With more funding, we will be able to send more students to the forum, giving them the opportunity to Learn by Doing through engagement in global science and technology policy. There are no fees associated with attending the forum, so all funding will go towards the costs of airfare, transportation, lodging, and meals for four nights in New York City.  By contributing to our campaign, you are supporting the development of Cal Poly students as global engineers, thinkers, and leaders. To donate to our trip to the UN, please visit this link.