The Global Schools Program is an initiative led by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network - Youth Initiative (SDSN Youth) in support of UNESCO’s Global Action Program on Education for Sustainable Development (GAP-ESD).
“Empowering schools and teachers globally to educate children about the SDGs”
The vision of the program is to generate interest about sustainable development in schools in an effort to educate and engage students with the SDGs and to encourage them to prioritize the goals in their lifestyles, behaviors, education and professional careers as these goals provide framework for a better world that children could live in the future. The program aims to do this by transforming learning environments globally and making schools the hubs of education and leadership on SDGs, ultimately becoming vehicles for empowering and mobilizing students and young people to help implement the SDGs in their communities.
Integrate the Sustainable Development Goals into school settings.
Increase the capacities of educators and teachers to more effectively deliver education on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Provide youth with opportunities to engage with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the local level.
In 2012, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) to mobilise global scientific and technological expertise to promote practical problem solving for sustainable development, including the design and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at local, national and global scales. In 2015, the SDSN launched its official youth initiative (SDSN Youth) to empower youth globally to create sustainable development solutions.
SDSN Youth educates young people about the Sustainable Development Goals and provides opportunities for them to pioneer innovative solutions to address the world's biggest challenges.
With this aim, we create platforms for young people to connect, collaborate and integrate their ideas and perspectives into national and regional pathways for the implementation of the SDGs.
1. Educate young people about the SDGs and create pathways for achieving them.
2. Connect young people globally to exchange ideas, share experiences and collaborate to achieve the SDGs.
3. Support young people in the creation and scaling of innovative solutions for the SDGs.
Julia Guillemot - Project Leader
New-York & Paris
Julia Guillemot is a Project Leader for the Global Schools Program. Passionate about education and sustainable development, she is currently a graduate student at IÉSEG School of Management, Paris. She has previously studied philosophy and computer science as a visiting student at Harvard University and computer science and finance at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Her work focuses on the intersection of philosophy, ethics and Artificial Intelligence, with a special emphasis on the question of morality in computer systems. She is currently writing her thesis on the sustainable development of Artificial Intelligence and corporate social responsiblity regarding AI development and deployment.
Antonia is an enthusiastic advocate for sustainable development, particularly for building resilient societies to global changes. Antonia currently works at the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University's Earth Institute on enhancing community resilience to environmental disasters in the United States.
Antonia has previously worked on issues ranging from multidimensional child poverty measurement at the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribean (ECLAC), to rural community development and empowerment in India, and sustainable development policy at the UNDP-UNEP Poverty-Environment Initiative in Nairobi.
She obtained her bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Chile in her native city of Santiago, and a dual masters degree in International Affairs from Columbia University in New York City and Sciences Po in Paris.
Daniel D'Elia da Costa
Rio de Janeiro
Daniel Costa currently works at EURAXESS, a European Commission initiative that aims at fostering the mobility of researchers between the EU and the rest of the world. He has a solid background in scientific and academic cooperation, as he previously worked at the international French Agency for the promotion of Higher Education, Campus France. He graduated in International Relations by the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), with a 1 year mobility period in Sciences Po Paris. Daniel also has experience in education and social investment, having had worked within the Policy and Corporate Affairs department of the BG Group and as a volunteer of the NGO Cidadão Pró-Mundo, developing educational projects focused in Rio de Janeiro’s youth.
Mumbai & Hyderabad
Varsha Bhambhani co-founded School of Accelerated Learning to nurture disruptive, tech-empowered leaders and changemakers by igniting curiosity for limitless learning and enable rapid progress of society.
Her tryst with learning began as a volunteer teacher at Haji Public School in Kashmir, after quitting MTV India. She has since worked with premier public and private schools across 6 Indian states, enabling a keen understanding of India's socio-economic spectrum impacting the lives of 13500+ students, 150+ schools and 600+ educators.
Her work in entrepreneurship schooling for young adults was personally commended by Satya Nadella and felicitated at Microsoft E2 Conference, Seattle, 2015. It has also been showcased in multiple education blogs and journals and more recently at TECH 2018, a conference by UNESCO.
Lian Sabella Castillo
Lian Sabella Castillo is a Project Officer of the Global Schools Program at the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network - Youth Initiative. She graduated with a degree in Computer Science at De La Salle University - Manila (DLSU), developing a teachware to assist teachers in teaching adult learners how to read and write. She thereafter completed her master's degree in Information Studies at the University of Tokyo, Japan under the tutelage of Prof. Yuhei Yamauchi (Ylab). Her work with ICT integration in rural public schools was published and presented multiple times, gaining a number of accolades such as Best Paper (7th International Conference on Multidisciplinary Research, Cagayan de Oro) and Best Presentation (ASEAN Academic Forum, Tokyo). She currently works for Quipper, a Japanese educational technology startup headquartered in London. She champions and advocates for quality education and inclusive development.
Zitin is a development sector consultant with comprehensive work experience relating to the sustainable development goals across sub-sectors (youth livelihood, sustainable mining, education, healthcare and water, sanitation & hygiene), across geographies (India and Botswana) and across types of organisations (international non-profit, multilateral agency, multinational corporation and consulting firm). Originally from Mumbai, India, she has completed a Master's degree in Development Economics from School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS), University of London. She is a SOAS Masters Scholar and a J.N. Tata Scholar for pursuing her higher education. Zitin is involved in voluntary projects in the area of youth mentoring. She enjoys travelling, engaging in artwork and playing the Ukulele in her spare time.
Emma Himmelberger is the Research Intern for the Global Schools Program. Emma is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Spanish at Mount Holyoke College, where she also studies Environmental Studies and Anthropology. She has just completed her junior year abroad at the University of Seville, Spain. Previously, Emma has worked as a Research and Publications Intern at the Indigenous Rights organization, Cultural Survival, in Cambridge, MA. She is passionate about sustainable development and excited to support youth involvement, working with the Global Schools team.
Carol is a recent graduate from the Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore (NUS). She is taking the bar course, while working part-time for the Centre for International Law at NUS. Her main interests are environmental and migration issues particularly in Southeast Asia.
Regionally, she has interned at the Outreach, Protection and Intervention (OPI) Unit of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Kuala Lumpur and at The Law and Policy of Sustainable Development Research Center (LPSD), a Hanoi-based NGO working on community development and environmental issues in rural Vietnam. Locally, she has worked with migrant worker NGOs, and founded the Community for Advocacy and Political Education (CAPE), a youth group that organises capacity-building workshops and publishes resources on Singapore's laws and political processes, and advocacy strategies. She hopes to develop herself further in research and advocacy.
As a law student, she was Vice-President of the Pro Bono Group, a Finalist at the 31st Jean-Pictet Competition on international humanitarian law, and an NUS representative at international pro bono and environmental conferences, including the COP24 in Katowice, Poland.
Nina Greig Towers
Nina works with leaders at the forefront of ethical and sustainable business. Nina was appointed the Global Schools Ambassador for 2018, where she implemented the Sustainable Development Goals in the Australian school system. Nina is the Co-Founder Future Business Generation where she now is an Advisory Board Member. Nina is also Marketing and Public Affairs Coordinator at Future Business Council, where she advocates and supports businesses that are creating a new sustainable economy for Australia. Nina is Founder and past of Youth Talk'ers’, an agency that places young people in speaking roles to create more diverse discussions. Nina has a bachelors degree in Business Marketing.
Borbala Bretus is a Project Officer for the Global Schools Program, currently working from New York, being a visiting postgraduate student from Central European University, Hungary studying at Bard Globalization and International Affairs Program, NY. Borbala is specialized in international development, and her former professional experience includes working on European Union development projects in third countries. Borbala is passionate about the Sustainable Development Goals; she used to be a board member for the UN Youth Association of Hungary organizing several regional campaigns and events for university students. Borbala is working on schools' engagement and expanding the network of global schools who sign the pledge.
Christine is a Project Officer for the Global Schools Program. She was the Summer 2019 Communications & Marketing Intern. Christine grew up on the coast of Maine and attributes her upbringing to her appreciation for the environment. She is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Sustainable Development and a minor in Economics at Mount Holyoke College. Christine has previously worked for Clean Water Action on campaigns and fundraising initiatives. She also has experience in Environmental and Social Justice Education. Christine hopes to pursue a career in sustainability for higher education or in corporate social responsibility.
Pearl Afu Acheampong
Pearl Afua Acheampong is a journalism graduate from the Ghana Institute of Journalism. Pearl has been involved in many Model United Nations conferences since 2015. She has participated in both local and international conferences. She was the Ghanaian Youth Observer at the United Nations Headquarters In 2016. Pearl served with the communications team of Newmont Goldcorp Ghana for her mandatory National Service . Her passion advocating for minorities unheard led her to start a local campaign on gender equality called Boys for Girls. Pearl hopes to gain a great deal of knowledge working with people from diverse backgrounds.
Emma is a Project Officer for SDSN Youth’s Global Schools Program. She has just entered her third year at Bard College, where she majors in Global and International Studies with a focus on International Relations. Emma is currently in Manhattan, studying at the Bard Globalization and International Affairs Program. After graduation, Emma plans on earning her master’s degree in International Relations and then attending law school to study International law. She is extremely supportive of SDSN’s mission and excited to be a member of the team.
Curriculum & Content Team
Shilpa Sahay holds a Ph.D. in Educational Technology from the University of Florida, Gainesville (2013-2018). She is passionate about teaching and learning and aspires to work on educational projects that can solve real-world problem of illiteracy and lack of education. She has been Undergraduate course Instructor and has been researching on teacher attitude and perception towards integrating educational technology in global classrooms. She did her Masters in International Education at New York University, New York. Prior to that, she did a Masters in Social Work and Bachelors in Political Science at Delhi University, India. She has wide experience of working with grass root NGOs, UN bodies, research groups at universities, and multinational organizations. She is currently exploring potentialities of distance digital learning narrowing the traditional North-South global divide. She has been recently inducted as Content Lead Researcher into the Global Schools Program of UN SDSN Youth Initiative.
A recent Harvard graduate, Rin is a Content Team Lead of the Global Schools Program. Rin acknowledges her privilege as a former teacher to join the global curriculum-mapping efforts on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). Professionally, she is passionate about removing existing gaps in sustainability education and accelerating the dissemination of high-quality practices. Personally, Rin hopes to connect talented educators with the world's most underprivileged children to teach them on Global Goals (SDGs) so that they too, can lead self-driven, sustainable lifestyles. In her free time, Rin enjoys dancing to new choreography and teaching yoga for kids in nature.
Aidi is a second year master's student studying Learning Analytics at Teachers College, Columbia University. Before coming here she did undergraduate studies in philosophy in China. She has experience in educational research & evaluation, short-term teaching and program planning.