Sessions on the SDGs and the Global South

With the Global Minds Fund, allocated by the federal government, Ghent University wishes to further develop and expand its University Development Cooperation (UDC) capacity and to sensitize its community to International Development and the Sustainable Development Goals.

This year, several lectures are organized on the SDGs & the Global South. With this initiative we hope to reach students  from all faculties to join and learn about  global challenges and opportunities we face and to stimulate them to engage in finding solutions.

Overall we hope to inspire global minds within the Ghent University community. This  is a first step to make sustainable change happening, local and global.

Past sessions

Science for Sustainable Development


20/05/2019 / 17-20h / Faculty of Bioscience Engineering / Campus Coupure, Aud. Oehoe, Coupure Links 653, Gent

SDGs session 9
SDGs session 9

In 2016, Sir James Fraser Stoddart (Northwestern University, US) won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his part in designing a molecular machine. Now he travels around the world to inspire young chemists. On Twitter, @sirfrasersays spreads the word about the beauty of chemistry.
On 20 May 2019 he will give a lecture in Ghent about Science and the Sustainable Development Goals.
After his lecture, the winners of our alumni video contest will present their winning video on how their studies at Ghent University have contributed to achieve one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The contribution of companies to the achievement of the SDG's in the Global South by Luc Bonte and Bram Callewier

SDG 1, 8, 12 & others

06/05/2019 / 13-15h30 / Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Campus Tweekerken, Auditorium Quetelet, Tweekerkenstraat 2

SDGs session 8
SDGs session 8

Luc Bonte is the chairman of the board of ‘Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs’, an organization aiming to set up and support economic activities with a social impact in developing countries.
Luc Bonte was the CEO of ArcelorMittal Ghent, the president of ArcelorMittal South-Africa and the general director of Vredeseilanden.
In his presentation Luc Bonte will discuss the actions that ‘Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs’ take in collaboration with private companies, NGO’s and investors.
Bram Callewier is general manager at, a sister company of natural stone wholesaler Beltrami. The extraction, production and transport of natural stone, for instance in India, faces several ethical and ecological challenges. In his presentation, Bram Callewier will explain how his company deals with these challenges. More specifically, he will discuss the efforts he takes to fight child labour, in collaboration with NGO’s.
Both speakers will illustrate how their actions contribute to the SDG’s in the Global South.

Sustainable Development Goals, nutrition and health: where are we now?

SDG 2&3
25/04/2019 / 17-18h30 / Campus Heymans, Auditorium 2, Ottergemsesteenweg 460, Ghent

SDGs session 7
SDGs session 7

Dr. Habiba Hassan-Wassef, a graduate of Cairo University Medical school, obtained high quality training in clinical, laboratory as well as public health nutrition research in Egypt, before further developing her academic career in France and the United States where she was a Whitehall Research Fellow at Columbia University.  Policy related aspects of her career were developed through twenty years of service with the World Health Organization. Dr. Hassan-Wassef’s knowledge and expertise was further strengthened through continued national and regional research and expert services in Europe, the Middle-East, and Africa. Dr. Habiba is an Africa Nutrition Society Trustee, a Council Member of the Federation of African Nutrition Societies, and vice-President of the African Society of Mycotoxicology.  She is a member of regional and national think tanks and technical advisory groups in her fields of expertise and is author of several scientific publications. Dr. Hassan-Wassef received a number of national and international awards in recognition of her contribution to health and nutrition that include the Gold Medal of the “Académie d’Agriculture de France“ (2008); the Africa Award for Distinguished Services to Nutrition (2016); and the RUFORUM 2018 Prize to Individuals Making Impact for Africa’s Development.

Doing the impossible just means doing it: the London Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases
SDGs session 6
SDGs session 6

SDG 3 & others
02/04/2019 / 18-19h30 / Diergeneeskunde / Campus Merelbeke, Auditorium 1 Maximum, Salisburylaan 133, Merelbeke

Julie Jacobson currently is the Chair of Uniting to Combat NTDs, supporting an innovative partnership to help achieve the WHO established targets for ten neglected diseases. She is a family practice physician with training in clinical tropical medicine and applied epidemiology. She recently completed 11 years at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation where she worked on activities and investments toward the control and elimination of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) helping to establish the Foundation’s NTD team and the Uniting to Combat NTDs partnership. In addition to NTDs, Julie worked with several other program areas at the Foundation ranging from disease specific work in areas like dengue to helping establish the program on maternal immunization and contributing to activities around what is now integrated delivery.  
She has now co-founded a new non-profit, Bridges to Development, to accelerate the availability and scale up of new technologies and strategies to improve health and education in the developing world.

Early Childhood Education and Care and the Sustainable  Developmental Goals of the UN: pathways to develop/strengthen the pre-primary workforce in LMICs

SDGs session 5
SDGs session 5
SDG 2 & 4

28/03/2019 / 17-19h / Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences / Auditorium 1, H. Dunantlaan 2, FPPW, Gent

Dr. Jan Peeters is an expert in  policy-oriented research and in policy advocacy. In this presentation he will talk about two Sustainable Developmental Goals that are important for ECEC in Low and Middle Income Countries: Goal 2 seeks to ensure that by 2030 “all girls and boys have access to quality Early Childhood development , care and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education. Goal 4C-4C1: about increasing the supply of qualified teachers at a relevant level in  pre-primary education by pre-service and in-service training. He will give an overview of  work done by UNICEF and UNESCO until now to increase the enrolment in ECEC and will give some concrete examples how this is implemented in practice in 8 post communist countries.  In the second part he will look at pathways to develop and strengthen the pre-primary workforce in LMICs and present a guidance tool for this countries to  increase the professionalisation of their teachers.

Re-thinking everyday academia in dialogue with decolonial, feminist and queer critique by Prof. Tamara Shefer

SDGs session 4
SDGs session 4

11/03/2019 / 14-16h / Het Pand, Onderbergen 1, 9000 Gent, Zaal August Vermeylen

T. Shefer is Prof. of Women’s and Gender Studies in the Faculty of Arts at the University of the Western Cape. She has foregrounded youth, gender and sexualities in her scholarship, including a focus on HIV/AIDS, gender-based violence, masculinities, memory and post-apartheid, gender and care, and social justice and critical, feminist pedagogies in higher education. Most recent books include the edited volumes Engaging Youth in Activist Research and Pedagogical Praxis: Transnational and Intersectional Perspectives on Gender, Sex, and Race (2018, with J. Hearn, K. Ratele & F. Boonzaier) and Socially Just Pedagogies in Higher Education: Critical posthumanist and new feminist materialist perspectives (2018, Bloomsbury, with V. Bozalek, R. Braidotti & M. Zembylas).

Contributions of biodiversity to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by Dr. Hilde Eggermont

SDGs session 3
SDGs session 3
SDG's 14, 15, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 13, 16, 17

26/02/2019 / 17-18:30h (incl 15 min Q&A)  / Faculty of Sciences / Auditorium 1 / Ledeganckstraat

Dr. Hilde Eggermont is affiliated with the Belgian Biodiversity Platform – RBINS. This presentation will illustrate and discuss the critical role that biodiverse and healthy ecosystems play in addressing current challenges including poverty, climate change, food and water security.

It will also shed light on the concept of nature-based solutions, and the rapidly changing international context.

The Sustainable Development Goals, Biodiversity and a Rapidly Changing World by Prof. Alexander Gillespie

SDG 14 & 15


Professor Gillespie's areas of scholarship pertain to international and comparative environmental law, the laws of war and a number of pressing issues of social

SDGs session 2
SDGs session 2
concern such as drug policy and refugees.

He has recently received the award from the Franqcui Foundation Belgium, with which he will hold a professorship at Ghent University for six months during 2018.  

Read more? 'De opwarming van het klimaat vergroot de kans op oorlog' - Knack 13/2/2019

Introduction on the SDGs by dr. Jan Vandemoortele