The International University of Sarajevo is the leader among higher education institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina in implementing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into its teaching, research, and community activities. Not surprisingly, IUS will be among the first universities in the world that will apply the innovative SDG 17 Rooms methodology to a tertiary classroom context, starting in the Spring 2023 semester.
17 Rooms is an experimental method to stimulate new forms of action for the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, launched in 2018 by a joint team from the Brookings Institution and the Rockefeller Foundation.
17 Rooms aims to identify practical next steps within each SDG while stimulating productive connections across all goals. “Rooms” are essentially working groups tasked with a common assignment of identifying cooperative actions they can take over to make progress on their SDGs. Thus, the 17 Rooms method efficiently convenes natural and unconventional allies in a neutral space, promoting enough familiarity to collaborate toward Sustainable Development Goals.
The 17 Rooms initiative has evolved in two tracks:
- Global Flagship Process – an annual meeting where policy leaders focus on global SDG challenges
- 17 Rooms-X – a widely accessible methodology that aims to help local communities to problem-solve practical next steps toward achieving the SDGs.
Being a unique approach to SDGs, the 17 Rooms-X methodology offers a unique opportunity to address challenges in SDGs at universities worldwide. To date, there have been several efforts to implement the 17 Rooms for community-wide processes on campuses, primarily in North America in such universities as George Mason University, University of Toronto, Concordia University, Queen’s University at Kingston, and the Georgia Institute of Technology.
In the Spring 2023 semester, the 17 Rooms methodology will be implemented at the International University of Sarajevo within the HUM100 Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development course taught by Associate Professor Dr. Aliaksandr Novikau from the Department of International Relations and Public Administration. The course will provide students with a unique opportunity to learn about contemporary global challenges and spark new ideas and pathways toward Sustainable Development Goals in their communities.