Our Roles in the Goals – Coordinated Theme 2017-2018

Welcome to the launch of this year’s coordinated theme! Below is a long but exciting email with more information about our theme ‘Our Roles in the Goals’, what that means, and how you can get involved.

Read on for much more! Get in touch with ideas big and small!
SfGH love,
Policy and Advocacy Director (2017-2018)

We’re currently running an Essay Competition on the SDGs! Check out this page for information on the specs for the essay and the fantastic prizes that are up for grabs.

Welcome to Students for Global Health’s Coordinated Theme!

Coordinated Themes are voted on and contributed to by the whole network at Spring General Assemblies. They are a way to coordinate our education, advocacy and action efforts across the network around an issue central to our vision. In the past, they have focused on Ethical Electives and Gender. They are proposed by SfGH members like you to bring an issue you care about to the centre of our work – so get thinking for next year!

Introducing: Our Role in the Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a set of UN goals signed up for by 193 countries. They offer an incredible opportunity to hold countries to account in many realms of development hunger, poverty, climate change, gender, health, economic justice… They are a framework for us to all use to work towards a world in which equity in health is a reality for all.

Our aims for this coordinated theme are to raise awareness and engagement with the SDGs, to use them as a tool for global health education, to help channel this knowledge into action and to work out Our Role in the Goals.

Throughout the year we will rotate through the 5 themes of development: peace, partnership, people, planet and prosperity. This month we are focusing on ‘planet’.

Find out more…

  • Check out this great article by the guardian. It walks through each of the 17 goals and divides them into themes of development that we will also use the year.
  • We have had great fun on national committee putting together a resource hub of books, articles and films to help us gain a broader understanding of sustainable development. Find the incredible global health reading list here! And do let us know if you’ve got suggestions to add.
  • Remember the brilliant Global Health conference in Bristol in 2016?! The conference also focused on Our Role in the Goals and the team put together a fantastic resource for further reading and videos, including videos of all of the 20mins speeches in the plenaries!! Check it out here.

Keep your eyes peeled for what will come after planet. Get in touch with our Coordinated Theme lead, Meg, if you have questions, thoughts or suggestions big and small at coordinatedtheme@studentsforglobalhealth.org or Anna our Policy and Advocacy Director at pad@studentsforglobalhealth.org.

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We have compiled some resources to enable you to contribute to better planetary health and work towards the planetary Sustainable Development Goals!

Lifestyle choices:

Our lifestyle choices have a massive impact on planetary health, below are some resources which give you great tips and information on how to improve your lifestyle choices to benefit the environment.

WWF Footprint Calculator: http://footprint.wwf.org.uk/

Get started on improving how your lifestyle contributes to environmental change by calculating your carbon footprint, it also tells you how you compare to the rest of the UK and the areas where most of your carbon footprint arises from. It has great resources on how to reduce your carbon footprint and live a more sustainable lifestyle.

Reducing Plastic Use: Greenpeace UK: https://www.greenpeace.org.uk/9-ways-reduce-plastic-use/

Plastic pollution is one of the most talked about current planetary issues; sprung into the spotlight especially following Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Planet 2 episode on the impact of plastic waste gained international attention. This article from Greenpeace has 9 simple methods of reducing your plastic waste which you can incorporate into your life.

CDC: Sustainable Lifestyle: https://www.cdc.gov/sustainability/lifestyle/index.htm

A great page with lots of tips on how to make sustainable lifestyle choices as well as a link to their Supporting Healthy Planet podcast.


Here are a few great campaigns which you can get involved in, either as an individual or with your branch or a group of friends.

Plastic Free July

Plastic Free July is an international campaign encouraging people to reduce their plastic waste during July.

Don’t worry if the idea of no plastic for a whole month seems daunting; you can pledge to do the campaign for 1 week, 1 day or the whole month and can choose smaller goals which are easier to attain; such as avoiding single use plastic or targeting takeaway items instead of going completely free.

Find out more and register for this campaign here: http://www.plasticfreejuly.org/register.html

World Health Organisation’s Breathe Life

Air pollution has a negative impact on both planetary and human health and is an issue which we should all be concerned about.

Breathe Life is a Climate and Clean Air Coalition initiative led by WHO and UN Environment. Click here to go to the website for more information and to show your support for this campaign.

Healthy Air UK

This campaign also focuses on air pollution and has a great page detailing how you can get involved here.


Check out these organisations working for planetary health!

Healthy Planet UK: http://www.healthyplanetuk.org/

Check out this group affiliated with Students for Global Health and the work that they do!