Smartly’s Urban Thinkers Campus

Smartly’s Urban Thinkers Campus

Smartly Social Entrepreneurship on the SDGs, as Associate Partners of UN Habitat’s World Urban Campaign, organized between November 14th and 16th, the Urban Thinkers Campus entitled “Vibrant and Inclusive Urban Life”, at the Mexican Society of Geography and Statistics, in Mexico City.

With the great support of the representative of UN Habitat’s Regional and UN Interagency Frameworks, Roi Chiti, and Mexican Congresswoman Maria Chavez and her team, Smartly carried out the three-day event with speakers attending from Indonesia, Canada, the US, Argentina, Cyprus, Guatemala as well as Ecuador, elevating the event into a truly international gathering of professionals who wished to exchange best practices, promote and achieve sustainable urban development.

The Urban Thinkers Campus was held in the presence of academics, experts from varying disciplines who deliberated on panels such as: Local Parliaments and their fundamental role in implementing while localizing the SDGs, Woman2030 highlighting that women’s and girl’s empowerment across the board to achieve sdg5, and therefore gender equality, stems from their political empowerment and inclusive participation in decision-making. Gender equity for all is a true prerequisite for a healthy and just society and a lucrative economy. Panels also debated on the need for creativity and innovation in accelerating sustainable urban development, the vital contribution of sustainable mobility within and across cities, cultural heritage and culture of peace, inclusive governance, the rise and social importance of sustainable entrepreneurship, to name a few. On a more creative note, the event also included a panel on Sustainable Fashion, where Mexican and Argentinian fashion designers and entrepreneurs, respectively presented their work, which embraces the local culture, sustainability, and the responsible production of their clothes and garments. Their message to the public: respecting the supply chain and promoting the ethical use of natural raw materials. Their work was a real example of the preservation of cultural heritage while looking after our planet and being responsible producers and consumers.

An important part of the event was dedicated to the third edition of the Urban Journalism Academy (UJA) in Latin America, and the Resilient Youth Festival. The Urban Journalism Academy, is an initiative by UN Habitat dedicated primarily to journalists, spokespersons and media professionals who are intrigued by the sociopolitical challenges of urban life, and who seek to strengthen their ability to analyze the overall urbanization process, while receiving substantive knowledge about the main planning and management problems of cities.

The Resilient Youth Festival is one of Smartly’s platforms fostering resilience in young people, through the artistic experience of creating and presenting audiovisual content emphasizing the value of resilience as a tool to overcome difficulties in life.

The Urban Thinkers Campus was an excellent occasion to network and form new alliances and partnerships. As an event open to all, it invited all participants from local government and regional representatives, youth, students, entrepreneurs, NGO representatives, the private sector, architects, engineers, and renown artists to commit in helping establish a real circular economy, rethink and reshape our urban spaces, and promote more inclusive public policies, and adequate urban planning for sustainable and smart cities. 

Article by Stephania Constantinou
Photo credits: Smartly Social Entrepreneurship on the SDGs (CC)