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The very first ENLIGHT Global Citizenship Award goes to…

The Glassary Initiative by students from the University of Galway, Ireland and The Concordia Precious Plastic Project (CP3) by students from Concordia University, Canada!

In the first edition of the ENLIGHT Global Dialogue twelve student organisations from Belgium, Canada, China, Ireland, Mexico and Sweden presented their projects promoting sustainability on campus or local communities. The full event was split into three online sessions hosted by the ENLIGHT Student Network (ESN) and was an opportunity to share experiences on running sustainability projects as a student organisation. All presentations can be viewed on the ENLIGHT Global Dialogue website.

A panel of judges, consisting of students from the ESN and officers from ENLIGHT Universities Green Offices, had the very difficult task to select two awardees of the Global Citizenship Award. The award includes an invitation to join the ENLIGHT Teaching & Learning Conference hosted by University of Bordeaux in October 2023 to present their projects to a wider audience.

The conference sharing style utilising zoom was a great way to connect with campus communities across the world and learn how students and staff in Canada, Mexico or Sweden improve sustainability on their campuses. When volunteering as a student, it is very empowering to see other students across the world engage with their community and share the experiences of making a positive change. There is a feeling of solidarity as we take on big issues, said Malena Thren and Ruth Keeley, students at University of Galway in Ireland, about the online sessions. Malena and Ruth are two of the students running the Glassary project support by Dr. Lorraine Tansey at the University of Galway Green Office.

Sara Ordonselli and Amy Tran, from Concordia University in Canada, agreed saying that sharing experiences is a valuable opportunity for everyone to learn from each other. It inspires others to replicate similar projects elsewhere, increasing the overall impact of sustainability initiatives. In fact, our project is inspired by the Precious Plastic Project in Europe, and the resources that the community has shared online were instrumental in helping us to build our project. The Global Dialogue showcased a variety of different initiatives, which demonstrated how even dissimilar projects can benefit from learning from one another and help generate new ideas to tackle sustainability challenges. By collaborating and sharing knowledge, we can accelerate progress toward a more sustainable future.

The second edition of the ENLIGHT Global Dialogue is expected to take place in April-May 2023 and the call for submitting proposals is open until March 30. Two more Global Citizenship Awards will be awarded, also inviting student organisations to join the ENLIGHT Teaching & Learning Conference in October. Check the ENLIGHT Global Dialogue website for more information.

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