GSDC Student Competition

    Global Sustainable Development Congress Logo with colourful icon and wording alongside

    We offered two students the chance to attend the Times Higher Education Global Sustainable Development Congress (GSDC) in Bangkok, Thailand from 10-14 June 2024.

    Competition entrants had the chance to have a seat at the table with our international partners and contribute to UNSW’s achievement of the UN’s SDGs as part of our delegation to Bangkok.

    Read on to find out more about the two winning students and how their studies are related to global progress, societal impact and sustainability.

    Competition winners

    About the competition

    The GSDC will bring together 3000 global thought leaders and innovators to discuss urgent solutions to the sustainability emergency. Challenging the usual thinking on what higher education, governments, businesses and society must do to help society meet the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the congress is a call to action for global universities and businesses to pivot their educational, research, innovation and outreach programmes towards tangible outcomes.

    The winners will attend the two UNSW-hosted events, alongside partners from across the Asia Pacific, and be a contributing participant in the event for which they are selected based on their competition response:  

    • Roundtable on Water, Energy, and Food Goals post 2030: Carbon can be the Currency to a Just World (co-hosted with the United Nations Development Coordination Office – Region of the Asia Pacific)
    • Workshop on The Last Urban Migration and a post-SDG agenda for Cities: What do we measure and for whom?

    For more information on each of UNSW's events, see below. 

    Our students play a fundamental role in the contributions that UNSW makes to the community, the region and the world. As the future leaders that will be most impacted by the decisions made at the highest levels of government and business today, UNSW believes students need to take part in these conversations as we work to develop solutions with our partners.

    The winners are welcome to attend the rest of the GSDC sessions outside of these two events, and may be invited to more 'student specific' events by the organisers, Times Higher Education.  

    • Roundtable: Water, Energy, and Food Goals post 2030: Carbon can be the Currency to a Just World

    The increasing global population requires more water, energy, and food (WEF) with minimum impact. Urgent focus is needed on the development of efficient renewable energy pathways for low/middle-income countries.  

    Sustainable development will require the alignment of global CO2 emission pathways with WEF goals post-2030, rather than impel unjust choices between carbon and WEF strategies. The path forward for WEF systems must build on traditional knowledge and capacity. 

    Co-hosted by UNSW and the United Nations Development Coordination Office – Region of the Asia Pacific, this 60-minute roundtable discusses lessons and approaches that align both WEF and carbon strategies in addressing global inequality. 

    • Workshop: The Last Urban Migration and a post-SDG agenda for Cities: What do we measure and for whom?

    The Asia Pacific is home to almost half the world’s population. The region’s growing youth demographic and burgeoning middle class exemplify the rapid socioeconomic and demographic shifts that constantly reshape cities. There is urgency around enabling city systems to transition at pace to respond to complex legacies of settlement, marginalisation and neglect.

    This 90-minute workshop will bring together practitioners, scholars, and those with lived experience from across the region to draw out priorities for a post-SDG agenda for cities. It will explore key stressors through the lens of intergenerational equity, Indigenous knowledge, policy drivers and the role of measurement that matters. 

    The prize includes: 

    • Return flights from Sydney to Bangkok
    • Accommodation for the duration of the GSDC
    • Airport transfers in Bangkok
    • Some meals (breakfast is included in the accommodation and lunches are available at the GSDC)
    • GSDC conference ticket.

    For full details of inclusions, see the competition terms & conditions.

    To be eligible, you must meet the following criteria:  

    • Be 18 years old by 1 June 2024 
    • Be a current student enrolled in a UNSW degree (undergraduate or postgraduate)  
    • Able to travel to Bangkok, Thailand during the specified travel period (see important dates below) 
    • If you are enrolled in a PhD or masters, you will need your supervisor's approval to submit an application.  

    After reading the event details on this page and the competition terms & conditions, submit your application via the webform below.

    The webform will ask you to identify which event/s you would like to attend, outline why you think the focus is important and how you think you can contribute to the topics discussed.

    • Roundtable on Water, Energy, and Food Goals post 2030: Carbon can be the Currency to a Just World (co-hosted with the United Nations Development Coordination Office – Region of the Asia Pacific)
    • Workshop on The Last Urban Migration and a post-SDG agenda for Cities: What do we measure and for whom?

    Students can enter to take part in one or both UNSW events. 

    Entries are open to all current UNSW students, until Sunday 14 April 11:59pm.

      Competition entries close - Sunday 14 April 11:59pm

      Travel Start Date - 9 June 2024

      GSDC Start Date - 10 June 2024

      GSDC End Date - 13 June 2024 

      Travel End Date - 14 June 2024

      The competition operations team will review the application forms received and shortlist candidates for the roundtable and workshop based on their assessment of, among other things:  

      1. the quality of the candidate’s responses;  
      2. relevance of the candidate’s ideas and proposed contributions to the candidate’s chosen event; 
      3. the potential impact of attendance for the candidate (i.e. alignment with the candidate’s chosen career); and 
      4. no use of AI in the response, as reported by an UNSW AI detection tool.  

      The shortlisted candidates will be asked to attend an interview with a selection committee (comprising the Director of the Institute for Global Development, the SDG Steering Committee Chair, the GSDC roundtable lead and the GSDC workshop lead).  

      Candidates will be assessed on their: 

      1. communication skills; 
      2. understanding of the GSDC, in particular their chosen event and the key issues to be discussed at the GSDC; and
      3. ability to articulate their position and views on key issues.

      The selection committee will select two students for final endorsement by the Dean and Head of School, and those students will then be announced as the Winners of the GSDC Student Delegate Competition. 

      Winners will be expected to submit a reflection statement on their experience of the GSDC and the specific UNSW event they are selected to contribute to, and take part in a video interview describing their experience, to be hosted on UNSW websites and used in UNSW communication channels.

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      IMPORTANT Terms & Conditions 

      Read me

      Entries are now closed. 

       

      If you have any questions please contact: EDIComms@unsw.edu.au

      Find out more

      Explore UNSW's contributions to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, designed to tackle the world’s most pressing challenges, such as ending poverty and hunger, climate change, the reduction of inequalities and more. 

      This project is a collaboration between UNSW’s Institute for Global Development and the Division of EDI.