A new year, an exciting new fellowship programme, and a new cohort of Oxford SDG Impact Lab Fellows seeking to find sustainable solutions to some of the world's most pressing challenges; this month the SDG Impact Lab launched its 2024 fellowship programme and Masterclass Series.  

We welcomed the 2024 Masterclass cohort of 68 postgraduate fellows, from 30 countries, beginning with an induction event at the Old Fire Station in Oxford.  

The day offered information about the SDGs and the sustainability agenda, with fresh insights into the context and current climate surrounding the SDGs, and varying perspectives on how international and local organisations are seeking to tackle global challenges and meet the targets of the global goals.  

Teamwork was key as the Fellows were asked ‘Do we have what it takes to save the world by 2030?’ Using skills of negotiation, co-operation & communication they undertook a real-world simulation led by Wendy Stone from The Global Academy with thoughtful reflections from the Fellows on the moral dilemmas often inherent in decision-making when balancing competing needs. 

Dr Kate Simpson, Director of the Systemcraft Institute, led a constructive session which helped our Fellows set out the perimeters of a problem, exploring why it’s crucial to widen our lens of focus and the importance of collective action to achieve system change. 

The day closed with a talk from Steve Kenzie, UN Global Compact Network UK on how to work with business to advance the SDGs. There were insights on getting companies on board to pursue global goals led agendas, on the shift towards circular business models and why committing publicly can help businesses reach their sustainability targets. The Fellows also heard about the scale of the challenges ahead and that time is of the essence to put sustainability at the core of business operations.  

The day closed with the Fellows joining together for a sociable dinner catered by Damascus Rose Kitchen | Social Enterprise in Oxford  

The enthusiasm, knowledge & positivity that the Lab Fellows brought to the event was inspiring and we’re looking forward to a stimulating Masterclass Series ahead.