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Libraries for Sustainable Development is an online resource created and managed by the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs

2019 ASIS&T Session: President-Elect’s International Incubator: Transformational Actions Using Information to Advance the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals

In keeping with ASIS&T President-Elect Clara M. Chu’s theme for the 2020 Annual Meeting “Information for a Sustainable World: Addressing Society’s Grand/Global Challenges,” this full-day international incubator aimed to develop and create transformational actions using information to advance the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Results from this pre-conference interactive workshop serve as catalysts for the ASIS&T membership and information community at-large to act locally or globally, personally or collectively in the year prior to the ASIS&T Annual Meeting in 2020 and beyond.

Four information action briefs were produced as a resource for sustainable development. These include:

  • SDG 12: Responsible Production and Consumption
  • SDG 13: Climate Action
  • SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  • SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals

Ten actions in library and information science work for two goals (13 and 17) were identified, discussed, and ranked with at least one action related to the categories of research, practice, teaching, and community engagement. Attendees related these to the development of the professions as well as to their own specific areas of work and projects of involvement. They discussed their possible involvement and potential allies and team members they could call on to move these forward during the coming year.

Next steps include registering your (library’s) commitment with the United Nations, and become a partner in advancing the SDGs; in partnership with the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs, invite the community to register and map your actions to advance peace on the Libraries for Peace portal http://librariesforpeace.org/; among others.

The President-Elect’s International Incubator was a great opportunity to have ASIS&T members (i.e., the information community) engage in addressing the UN SDGs. The incubator provided opportunity for intense conversations from those present and enhance membership attendance from the physical (conference) to the virtual (e.g., webinars, etc.).  The incubator is a novel approach to intentionally focus on an international agenda and just needs to take root as a conference format.