KAUST to host Saudi Arabia’s inaugural global sustainable development congress

200+ speakers and 1,000 delegates to converge on the shores of the Red Sea — 30 May to 1 June 2023
March 6, 2023
Times Higher Education partners with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) will host the Times Higher Education (THE) Global Sustainable Development Congress from 30 May to 1 June 2023 — the first event of its kind in Saudi Arabia.

At the congress, more than 1,000 thought leaders and innovators from higher education, government, business and civil society will convene to discuss urgent solutions to the sustainability crisis. The event will feature a range of topics, all of which are framed around the actions that universities must take to help society meet the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Recognising the need for universities to be far more radical in their response to the emergency, KAUST president Tony Chan said:

“There is broad consensus that a global human and ecological catastrophe will likely precipitate in just a handful of years; yet universities, along with other sectors of society, are proceeding largely business-as-usual. We are in a state of climate and sustainability crisis, and universities throughout the world must begin to act like it.

“The congress is a call to action and an invitation to global universities to pivot their educational, research, innovation and outreach programmes towards tangible outcomes.

By integrating thought-provoking panels with collaborative workshops, the three-day event will deliver bold insights and forge powerful new alliances between sectors. Delegates will immerse themselves in four tracks aligned with the transformations needed to achieve the goals: Health and demography; Sustainable energy and industry; Sustainable environment; and Sustainable cities and communities. 

THE’s chief global affairs officer Phil Baty said:

“We are delighted to be taking the event to Saudi Arabia – a vital strategic force in the delivery of the SDGs – and to be partnering directly with KAUST, a world leader in research and innovation, in pursuit of a more sustainable future. It is particularly exciting to be hosting the event on KAUST’s campus on the Red Sea, where we will be able to see the outstanding research being done on protecting our oceans and supporting arid land farming.”

THE Impact Rankings 2023

The results of the THE Impact Rankings 2023 will be revealed at the congress, alongside masterclasses on how to use the data which measure the progress of 1,700 universities towards the SDGs. 

THE’s chief data officer Duncan Ross said:

“The congress is designed to inspire strategic change for universities committed to supporting the SDGs and to offer practical, tangible plans for transformation. It provides the opportunity to add human context to the data, allowing delegates to work creatively together.”

Event dates and location: 30 May – 1 June 2023 | KAUST, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia

For more information and book tickets here.

Further details

Super early bird pricing is available until 16 March with a 20% discount for groups of 3+.

Bursaries are available for university delegates from emerging countries.

On 29 May the congress will feature a series of pre-event workshops and masterclasses hosted by fringe partners from around the world.

Share the event across social media using: #GSDCongress


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