The 29 bachelor, master and MBA students from 12 different programmes and with 14 nationalities volunteered to be the first SDG Ambassadors. 23 of them met earlier this week to get to know each other, and to get inspiration for achieving their aim: to contribute to RSM’s mission to be a force for positive change in the world by creating local impact with projects and events that contribute to the SDGs before the end of the academic year in June 2020.
Change comes in all forms and takes into account personal wellbeing as well as educational, business, and community actions. For example, the brainstorming session produced ideas as varied as: helping refugees in Rotterdam settling in, opening up the discussion about mental health to counteract the peer pressure that causes students to feel stressed about their performance; and help for young entrepreneurs with their finances from experts in the RSM community.
The students discussed their motivations and their goals, and identified which aspect of these wicked problems they would like to contribute to and why. They were coached to think about their target audiences’ triggers and how to reach them. This line of thinking will help the Student Ambassadors to know what their next step will be.
Three enthusiastic students who decided to work together said: “We already have the project figured out. We just need a pen, paper, and these three brilliant minds!” Others discussed the possibility of working towards SDG 15: Life on Land with tree-planting, or assisting Marjolijn van Gerven, the national SDG1 co-ordinator and RSM alumna, with reducing poverty in Rotterdam.
Positive Change management trainee Neeltje van Roessel introduced the evening with practical information. Director Eva Rood inspired the new ambassadors when she explained what positive change could mean, and how she hoped to see the SDG Ambassador pilot scheme shaping up: she expects students to take the lead on their projects. Students were invited to make their own videos to share their progress and struggles as they get to work on realising their projects.
The RSM Positive Change Initiative hopes to involve alumni, the whole student community, and the wider RSM community by spreading awareness and inviting them to join projects.