Anita Makori - Lab Fellow 2024 - Reflections on the Masterclass Series

My thoughts on the incredible opportunity I had with Lab's masterclass series. This experience was a tapestry of engaging sessions, insightful speakers, and thought-provoking discussions centered around the Sustainable Development Goals and the transformations needed in the coming years.

Covering an ambitiously broad spectrum—from education, gender, and equality to the sustainable digital revolution—each week was a new dive into the complexities and intricacies of global challenges. We explored themes like health and well-being, energy decarbonization, sustainable industrialization, and the crucial balance between sustainable food, land, water, cities, and communities. The breadth of topics reinforced how interconnected our world is and how solutions in one area can ripple through to others.

What made this series truly stand out was the emphasis on leading sustainable change. It wasn't just about identifying the problems; it was a deep dive into the how. We delved into evidence, ethics, and engagement as the pillars of driving meaningful impact. The conversations were enlightening, pushing us to think critically about the ethical considerations and the importance of engaging with the communities we aim to serve.

My biggest takeaway? The undeniable importance of localizing solutions and genuinely engaging with communities. Throughout this series, I was reminded that sustainability is not just a buzzword but a principle that demands ownership. For any intervention to be truly successful, it must be rooted in the lived experiences of those it affects. This means stepping back, listening, and co-creating solutions with communities at the heart. Ownership, I've learned, is at the core of sustainability.

The lessons learned, and the insights gained are not just for now but for a lifetime of impact. I am inspired to carry forward these principles in everything I do, aspiring to make a difference that is both inclusive and transformative.


Anita Makori holding her Lab Masterclass Certificate

Rafaela Viana - Lab Fellow 2024 -My Masterclass Journey

Over the past 8 weeks, I have been fortunate enough to experience a truly transformative journey at The Oxford SDG Impact Lab. The program has instilled in us a profound sense of purpose, challenging us to identify our unique contributions to advancing the SDGs. 
We didn't just learn theory, we embodied the character necessary to drive meaningful change in a complex world filled with competing priorities. From navigating conflicting principles and goals to honing our abilities in observation, evaluation, experimentation, and ultimately, delivery, each week brought new insights and skills. 
One of the most valuable aspects has been the opportunity to collaborate with businesses and non-academic organizations, applying our knowledge to develop innovative, research-based solutions with real, measurable impact. 
Here's a glimpse into our journey:
Week 1: How to change the world: Advancing towards the SDGs
Week 2: Purpose: Identifying Your Contribution
Week 3: Character: Who do you need to be to do what you want to do?
Week 4: Judgment: How to work in a world of conflicting principles, goals, and consequences
Week 5: Observation
Week 6: Evaluation
Week 7: Experimentation
Week 8: Delivery

I'm filled with gratitude for the invaluable lessons learned, the meaningful connections made, and the tangible impact we've achieved. Moving forward, I'm more empowered than ever to continue championing sustainability and social responsibility in both local and global contexts.

Read more about the Masterclass Series and Partnership Projects.

Rafaela Viana smiling holding her Lab Masterclass certificate