Category: Education & Research

Higher education, research and technical development are quite essential not only for developed countries but also for the developing countries. These are basic instruments for raising the standard of life as expressed in terms of Gross Domestic Product GDP (PPP) per capita, the level unemployment and environmental quality. However, GDP (PPP) per capita doesn’t serve as a perfect indicator of the quality of life. Generation of knowledge, development of affordable and reliable products and services are driven by society and market needs, also the existing and emerging pressures on finding prompt solutions for the ever increasing environmental and climatic threats. These sectors – higher education – research – technical developments – are very resource demanding especially for the developing countries and hereby require high level of management in terms of policy-making, coordination, qualified human resources and solid infrastructures. The role of international organizations and donation institutes is vital for capacity building, financial and technical support including transfer-of-knowledge, training, instrumentation, education and research infrastructures.

Africa – The Best of Sudan Film & Video Competition 2018

The first global video competition about “The Best of Sudan” will be launched by Sudan Knowledge “SK” and The World Association for Sustainable Development “WASD” during the 5th International Diaspora Conference 2018 coorganized with, and hosted by the Joint Inspection Unit of the United Nations system “JIU” in the Palais des Nations – Genève, Switzerland. Deadline of submission is the 15th of September 2017

https://youtu.be/l9oFc3BSxXgاخر يوم للتقديم ١٥ سبتمبر ٢٠١٧

SWAS 16th International Annual Conference, Genève 12-16 April 2018.

The World Association for Sustainable Development “WASD” will organize its 16th International Annual Conference in 12-16 April 2018, Palais de Nations, Genève, Zwitzerland. To be co-organized and hosted by the United Nations Joint Inspection Unit (JIU).

The Theme is “Public private partnerships for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda  for sustainable development”. 

See more at: http://www.wasd.org.uk/books/palgrave-studies-of-sustainable-business-in-africa/tt-sudan/

Drone Plans to Plant 100,000 Trees a Day

A system of drones has been developed to help quick rehabilitation of Earth’s lungs, forest trees. The system is supposed to help plant almost 100,000 trees per day.

The Earth is rapidly losing its forests at a rate much faster than humans can manage to replant with the same speed. How much is the degradation of world forest is, is not really known and figures vary. According to Scientific American “most analysts show up to 15 percent [of global carbon emissions] is due to deforestation.” This means that by clearing or burning the Earth’s forests, we are directly contributing to huge increase in climate change rates. One Australian engineer is enlisting technology to fight the battle against the ongoing deforestation. Dr. Susan Graham has helped to develop a pair of drones that can slow down some of such damage by planting trees at a rate that far outpaces what is possible to do by hand.

Read the complete story with the original video here: https://futurism.com/new-drone-plans-on-ambitious-mission-to-plant-100000-trees-a-day/

3R-Culture for Saving Planet Earth from Waste and Pollution. 

The 3R-culture “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” is establishing itself with key concepts in the ever expanding ideology and awareness of the fight against the accelerating pile-up of waste and pollution. Waste and pollution is not only a threat for endangering the whole life on planet Earth but it is also one of the main core reasons for global contrains and malfunctioning in industry and technology. Furthermore, it has also huge impacts on micro socio-economic developments and stability of rural and coastal environments in particular the livelihood of the poor and local communities that are dependent on the natural resources of their land-water systems. 

These multi-layered and multi-scale threats taking place in the Anthropocene and are caused by an ever expanding cycles of “production-consumption-waste” with increasing rates that we have not seen its peak yet, the “Peak Waste” (https://www.slideshare.net/mobile/ReciclajeInclusivo/esquemas-inclusivos-de-responsabilidad-extendida-del-productor-aprendizajes-desafos-y-oportunidades-por-derek-stephenson, http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/when-will-we-hit-peak-garbage-7074398/, http://environment-review.yale.edu/tags/industrial-ecology-urban-planning).

In low income countries with increaing transformation towards industrialisation and urbanization but yet with poor public infrastructures and almost non-existing policies for environmental protection and preservation, waste and pollution threats are enormous. However, a new 3R-culture is emerging from grassroot rural communities to save their livelihood which, unlike big national/international industries and production/urban facilities, is very much dependent on their living land-water resources where they live, work and develop roots that can last for decades or even generations. 

In the photo is the WORLD’S FIRST: THE PLASTIC-ONLY BOAT TO FIGHT POLLUTION that was created by the people of Kenya of the East Coast of Africa. This dohow in over 30 tonnes of recycled plastic waste, a waste which is indeed Kenya has lots of it. Such waste became the raw materials making a 60-foot dhow that is set to sail from the Kenyan coast to South Africa, in an initiative meant to raise awareness on the growing menace of plastics to marine ecosystem and spur a plastic revolution.

See more at https://www.fairplanet.org/story/worlds-first-the-plastic-only-boat-to-fight-pollution/?utm_campaign=Echobox&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook#link_time=1501838864

UN-SDG – Emerging possibilities for collaboration.

Currently, we are exploring the possibilities of mutual collaboration with major players within global applied sustainability issues. This is an interesting example, where coupling of science and technology with society, population and market needs, of pressing and urget nature in particular what regards transboundary socio-economic developments in the framework of UN-SDG.

<a href=”https://m.youtube.com/watch?list=PLXHgKvdFTooyUZcIdNEi9wvVWjNSllBpV&v=ziLJ-FBGwK8&index=24″>https://m.youtube.com/watch?list=PLXHgKvdFTooyUZcIdNEi9wvVWjNSllBpV&v=ziLJ-FBGwK8&index=24</a>

Call – The Hong Kong SDG Junior Ambassador Programme 2017

As Supporting Organisation for the SDG Junior Ambassador Programme 2017, we have the pleasure to invite a Primary 4 to 6 student who are interested to know more about environmental issues and global issues happening at the United Nations and to seize this opportunity and join now! The deadline for application is on 24 Feb 2017! Follow our Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/sdgja
More about the SDG Junior Ambassador Programme: Adopted by the United Nations (UN) in 2015, the SDGs is a universal call to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure all people enjoy peace and prosperity. The SDG Junior Ambassador Programme will cultivate the mind-set of primary schools students on environment conservation and sustainability. It will also foster a deeper connection between students and global policies, so as to drive a Behavioural Change from Inception to Implementation towards educating the community to create a greener lifestyle.

(In Chinese)

我地係香港女青年商會SDG小專員計劃嘅支持機構,如有興趣了解環保或聯合國知識嘅小四至小六學生一齊參加啦! 截止報名日期係2月24號,把握機會呀! 想知多啲,記住follow我地Facebook專頁: www.facebook.com/sdgja
SDG小專員計劃簡介: 為響應聯合國定下的17個可持續發展目標 (SDGs),並加強在本地社區的推廣,香港女青年商會即將首度推出 「SDG 小專員計劃」,旨在招攬小四至小六年級的學生成為SDG小專員,透過一連串講座、參觀活動及培訓工作坊,加深對可持續發展目標的認識,從中更學習籌劃活動技巧及完善溝通能力,並於學校和社區進行實踐計劃。首屆計劃將集中環境保育議題。從籌辦大型活動當中,會員可提升個人領導才能、學習青商的工作計劃安排及流程,更可於社區層面宣揚聯合國可持續發展目標及提倡響應其目標之行動。

Are We Devided – The  Dissatisfaction, Despair, Unknowns and Hopes?

If the outcome and results of the 2016- Presidential-Elections is being explained as the USA is divided, then it is not only the USA which is devided but it rather the whole world, it is we. If so, it is not the division in itself but rather the uncertainties and risks of such division which can raise, and did raise,  dissatisfaction, despair, unknowns and yet hopes to come. In scientific experiments, in business and in any undertaking there is an important fact about the outcome of any experiment or in trials, they can lead to negative results. Such negative results, as outcome, are equally important and interesting and can not to be rejected. In practical terms they mean “negative is positive”. We always learn something new from the unknowns that we either fear, may be forced to face, or are going to live with. Fears that we can not afford to have in our daily life and to hand them over to coming generations. It also gives us an indication that we have huge and urgent problems that are hidden somewhere, known or even unknown to all of us. Indeed problems that can not and should not be ignored and have to be solved or at least debated and mitigated “problems indeed are solutions that are not yet found”.

It is the outcome of the voting in terms of statistical uncertainties which is of major interest as well, not only the absolute result per se. Any measurement or assessment is associated with several uncertainties, including biases, which are equality important as the result in itself can give many indications of the nature of the uncertainties involved, i.e, in the way how the measurements or assessments are being performed, how the experiment “the system” is being constructed and if the components of the systems are being clear, homogenous and understood. In this case the nature of the uncertainties are totally unknown and can not be assessed. This said, yet there are many consequences for the outcome, and the associated uncertainties due to various factors and parameters, of the 2016-Presidential-Elections. As it looks today there can be major impacts on strategic policies and agreements that are being formulated by, e.g. the UN and the world community in particular the Paris Agreement and UN-SDGs. Also, other regional sub-agreements exist in risk zones which can cause polarization, pile-up and excalation. Who would be in charge of dealing with such consequences and impacts? If the first phase of the Paris Agreement and the ratification of UN-SDGs required huge efforts, still the promotion and implementation will cost enormous INVESTMENTS. Such investments have to done in a way or another and there are always solutions and different approaches for placing such investments. The whole process can not be expected to be completed overnight. This is an example on the essence of the dissatisfaction, dispair, unknowns and hopes as developed in the whole process of all the strategic issues that caused the negative outcome/results and the associated uncertainties; who will pay what, how and why?

As explained by Paul Ekman in his Blog (www.paulekman.com) the election was very close. Hillary Clinton had slightly more of the popular vote, but Donald Trump had the edge in the electoral vote, thereby winning the election for the Presidency. As he says “both candidates’ supporters have something to celebrate”. When the voting is so close, i.e. within statistical uncertainties, then we have indications on how the country is divided. The task of any President, in this case Donald Trump, is to unify by his words and deeds, not to act in a way as Paul Ekman says “will enthuse his supporters and cause despair among those who voted against him”. More about Dr. Paul Ekman and outcome of the voting, visit (http://www.paulekman.com/blog/despair-exaltation-country-divided/). We need to analyse and understand the results and the associated uncertainties in terms of micro psychological expressions among huge heterogeneous populations as is the case in the USA, it is this natural heterogeneity that cause serious uncertainties and unknowns. Dr. Paul Ekman is a well-known psychologist and co-discoverer of micro expressions. He is one of the 100 most influential people in the world according to the TIME magazine in 2009. He has worked with many government agencies, domestic and abroad. Dr. Ekman has compiled over 40 years of his research to create comprehensive training tools to read the hidden emotions of those around you.

There are lessons to be learned from the 2016-presidential-elections and voting in the USA. Many came out and expressed that the results were unexpected and were very surprising. If so, there must be serious shortages in the way how we explain and reflect on the realities and on the ongoing changes and shifts in our societies. Is it the failure of the social-media? Is it shortage, lack of engagement  and one-sided flow of information or is it the fear for facing the very reality of the different world we are living in. Indeed, following the evolution of polls there were clear indications that Trump had  reasonable possibilities and probabilities to win, so the results in itself was quite expected and not at all surprising. In any case within the existing statistical uncertainties in the outcome/results of the election/voting, there is clear dissatisfaction, disagreement among the USA population which can not and should not be ignored. Propably there are new trends or corrections that are not yet completely formulated and need to be fully debated and discussed. Half of the population can not be totally wrong, also half of the population can not be totally correct in such major, clear and significant disagreement. There are alarming signals of political instabilities and imbalances that developed and piled-up in combination with the 2016-election process where many people on all levels, both vertically and horizontally in the socio-economic system of the USA, were actively engaged. The outcome and results reflect further needs for minimizing the gaps in existing division and disagreement, so as to find solutions and new approaches to deal with them on several levels. These needs and solutions can not and will not be resolved overnight as they did not develop and evolve overnight either.

To understand the world around us we need sometimes to be reminded with basic knowledge and how instabilities and imbalances develop. Our modern societies are not any longer running on primitive grounds with simple and linear rules. Yet, when the majority go voting it is the simple and linear rules that dominate. Not all of us have the same reality, interests, level of comprehension of the daily life and everything around us. Also, with all the existing mobility and mix of cultures because of globalization and immigration trends. The increasing and fast flow of all types of contradictory interests and diverse information, through the Internet and the ever expanding landscape of social-media, add more and more uncertainties in the political reality. The reality, as we have it today, keeps piling-up in more and more complexity. Our decisions, at least for some of us and during at least some periods, are yet likely to be biased in a way or another. At the same time our interests and living conditions dictate upon us new pressures and additional uncertainties. In this context, we can only understand things as we perceive and experience them in reference to our hopes and fears. The overall environments, circles of relations and interactions have also much impacts on our judgement in political election and voting on candidates who will take vital decisions on our behalf, even to run our families, societies and businesses, also influence the fate of the whole planet. This said, it is very interesting that the voting came out almost 50-50, so we have all the reasons to seek all ways and solutions to achieve agreements otherwise the consequences will be disastrous. we can not run away from what we achieved and we can not go on with such enormous desagreement. Someone has to do the job and it is not and will not be easy.

We would all agree that no system (including political ones) whatsoever can stay stable, or reach stability, unless there is some sort of equilibrium between the overall individuals, partners or components making up these systems. This is true in physics whenever there is a set of forces acting on a body, particle or on each other. Once the number of forces increase the complexity of the system become more and more apparent and delicate to any small changes of one and each of the forces. Also, in chemistry where reactants in a chemical reaction are brought together to give products. For equilibrium between reactants and products, forward and reverse reactions must be of equal rates. The same here with increasing number of reactants, it becomes more and more difficult to have control on the forward and reverse directions without using sensitive and comprehensive precise monitoring and control systems. The same is true in natural eco-systems which are often incredibly sensitive to change. For a healthy ecosystem for example to be in equilibrium, i.e. relatively stable state that keeps population sizes within a sustainable range. Consider the case of bears (who only eat fish) and salmon (who are only hunted by bears). If the bear population grows particularly large one year, the total population will require more fish to feed it. This will make the salmon population shrink. Over time, if there are fewer salmon, there will not be enough food for all of the bears to eat. Some bears will starve and fewer cubs will be able to prosper, leading to a smaller overall population the next year. As more time passes and the bear population gets smaller, the salmon population will start to increase again due to having fewer natural predators. In a perfectly stable ecosystem, this cycle can continue indefinitely. Of course, natural ecosystems are far more complex than this simple example, but the relationship between species applies to complex ecosystems as well. When eco-systems grow in complexity the system becomes much more sensitive not only for the internal dynamics between species and the associated competition within the food-web but also the external drivers.

The political landscape is not an exception what regards equilibrium, stability as reflected in uncertainties and biases that cause division. In any political system with complex social mosaic, cultural evolution and religious diversity the situation becomes very critical even if the system is democratic, opened, dynamic and yet dependent on external forces. In such systems there are always shifts, or even twists, in the political balance which is not strange but rather natural as dissatisfaction among individuals and/or groups is a natural outcome of changes in internal policies and structures as well as the associated external interactions. Large-scale and long-term equilibrium under such conditions is rather impossible even with most sofisticated corrections and mitigation measures.

Even if the have an answer (https://sv.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Trump) on which one is the winner of the 2016-Presidential-Election of the USA, we are still faced by different sets of fears, dissatisfaction, despair, unknowns and hopes (https://www.google.se/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/nov/10/will-trump-destroy-america?client=safari). This can very well happen if the results were on the opposite direction, i.e. the silent half that voted for the coming President Trump. All what we have to do is not to run away from the existing reality. Citizens and their representatives need to continue with their responsibilities, engagement and contributions in the ongoing process of shaping and reshaping their own future (https://www.google.se/amp/www.vox.com/platform/amp/policy-and-politics/2016/11/9/13575042/donald-trump-minorities-afraid-president?client=safari). We can not seek new future elsewhere and the only place to have space for anyone of us is still Planet Earth. We can not run way from finding out how to get back and be in agreement.

Korean’s Sustainability Concept for Water Resourse Management – Smart Water Grids 

The increasing pressures and competition on water resources on different spatio-temporal scales require developing more friendly and sustainable approaches to meet the increasing constrains from population growth, uncertain energy production and accelerating threats from global warming. 

Among newly emerging solutions is Grid-concept “water production-distribution-consumption” which is described in the attached Link that describes “Sustainable Water Distribution Strategy with Smart Water Grid” (http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/7/4/4240/htm).

Why Switzerland’s ETH Zurich? – Student Finance & Tuition Fees at World’s Top Universities

Undergraduate and postgraduate high-quality education at top international universities is a dream for many students around the world. One of the major obstacles, apart from meeting admission requirements and related practicalities for acceptance and enrollment, is tuition fees and the overall student finance for logistics and other living costs.

Much search, thinking, consultation, preparation and planning for deciding on appropriate high education and professional tracks are IMPERATIVE what regards the most reasonable answers on five basic questions in this context what, where, how, when and why. Every one in the process of entering the labor market and/or preparing for his/her own suitable Career-Development-plan has to deal with these five questions. The process of joining the labor market is not strainghtforward, may depend on other qualifications and personal merits apart from any formal education whatsoever and can look very much different for everyone. Also, it may different routs and time spans. 

We give here a short guide and an overview of current fees for domestic and international students at the 10 top universities in the QS World University Rankings 2015/16, also some information about the chances of receiving financial aid.

http://www.topuniversities.com/student-info/student-finance/tuition-fees-world’s-top-universities