SDG Brain Lab Closing Ceremony 2024

About the UN Global Compact Network Lebanon

The UN Global Compact Network Lebanon is one of the 60+ Country Networks around the world that operate through a signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United Nations Global Compact HQ. We are an independent and self-managed entity with the unique mandate to provide direct support to UN Global Compact participants based in Lebanon as well as opportunities for learning, capacity building, awareness raising, policy dialogue, and partnerships on the Ten Principles of responsible conduct and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We help entities build a strong understanding of responsible business and activity within our national context and put their sustainability commitments into action as well as facilitate local connections with other stakeholders from businesses, NGOs, the public sector and academia.

About the SDG Brain Lab Programme

In line with the United Nations Global Compact Country Network Lebanon’s mission, the SDG Brain Lab programme highlights the importance of the Global Goals by empowering Lebanese youth in advancing the SDGs in Lebanon and the region. As future leaders, employers, and employees, our mission is to equip the youth with the necessary knowledge through an interactive, holistic program led by experts, trainers, and coaches renowned in their respective fields of expertise.

To secure a better future for the country and the upcoming generation, the UN Global Compact Network Lebanon engages a nationwide cohort of pioneering students with the Local Network’s participating companies through the SDG Brain Lab programme. This allows companies to benefit from the programme while playing an instrumental role in upskilling and empowering the youth of Lebanon.

The programme consists of three Hubs, each with its tailored curriculum. The Training Hub fuels students’ passion for purposeful learning by familiarizing them with the SDGs, UN 2030 Agenda, and pressing global issues; the Brain Hub enables them to understand and solve current private sector challenges in Lebanon; and the Data Hub provides them with the tools and resources to study the engagement of private sector employees in sustainability within their organizations.

Beirut, 27 June 2024 – The Closing Ceremony for the Third Edition of the SDG Brain Lab, a seven-month programme enabling Lebanese youth between the ages of 18 and 24 to advance the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN 2030 Agenda, took place on Thursday, June 27th, 2024, at Beirut Digital District.

The event began with opening remarks from Ms. Deenah Fakhoury, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact Network Lebanon, who emphasized the SDG Brain Lab’s role in providing an exceptional platform for students to expand their knowledge, develop critical thinking skills, and become effective advocates for sustainable development.

Ms. Alaa Karanouh, Community Impact Manager at the UN Global Compact Network Lebanon, presented the SDG Brain Lab programme, showcasing the innovative curriculum and learning opportunities offered to its participants across the three Hubs – Training, Brain, and Data. Through interactive sessions, the SDG Brain Lab has empowered students to understand the interconnected nature of the SDGs through the Training Hub, develop viable solutions to address private sector challenges faced by participating companies of the UN Global Compact Network Lebanon through the Brain Hub, and study companies’ policies and procedures to protect women’s rights through the Data Hub.

This year, the Brain Lab saw 800 enrolled students from eleven universities – the American University of Beirut, Arab Open University, Lebanese American University, Lebanese International University, Lebanese University, the Modern University for Business and Science, Notre-Dame University-Louaize, Phoenicia University, University of Balamand, Holy Spirit University of Kaslik, and Saint-Joseph University. A total of 500 students completed the programme, which consisted of 21 sessions delivered across all three hubs with the support of over 100 experts from various sectors and industries.

Students from the Brain Hub took the stage to pitch their project ideas, showcasing their creativity and dedication to finding sustainable solutions for challenges faced by six partnering companies and NGOs – Ajialouna, Banque Libano-Française, Children’s Cancer Center, Difaf, Makhzoumi Foundation, and MEDCO.

Our Executive Director then honored Dr. Ursula El Hage, Director of the Career and Placement Office and the Entrepreneurship Center at USJ, and Ms. Carla Saba, Deputy General Manager of Operations and Sites at Berytech, for their outstanding efforts and support in advancing the SDG Brain Lab’s mission. Their contributions have been invaluable in guiding and mentoring the participants throughout the programme.

Next, students from the Data Hub took the stage to share their experience working with our partners on the Hub – Debbane Agri, L’Oréal Liban, and Tinol. Representatives from participating companies Ms. Samira Franjieh from L’Oréal Liban, and Ms. Theresa El Hachem from Debbane Agri, expressed their admiration for the students’ efforts and creativity in addressing real-world challenges. They also highlighted how the partnership has provided valuable insights and practical applications for their businesses. 

Furthermore, Ms. Alaa Karanouh presented the SDG Brain Lab Ambassadorship programme, and called on stage Ms. Jane Aghjayan, one of last year’s SDG Brain Lab Ambassadors’ who gave a heartfelt speech. She recounted her personal journey and how the program had profoundly influenced her life, expressing her unwavering dedication to promoting sustainable development. 

To conclude the ceremony, last year’s Ambassadors of Change passed the torch to the new cohort of Ambassadors of Change, who have demonstrated exceptional commitment, engagement, and leadership throughout the programme. These ambassadors will serve as advocates for sustainable development within their universities and communities for the 2024-2025 academic year. All participants were then awarded certificates for their participation.

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