SAP Collaborations Champion Young Voices to Inspire a Sustainable Climate Movement
In line with its commitment to sustainability, global technology company SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) is working with organizations such as Goodwall and ChangemakersXchange to encourage young people to tackle climate change effectively. The company also influences youth through SAP University Alliances, which enables training in SAP solutions to support the creation of a sustainable, technologically skilled regional workforce and to highlight the role of technology in sustainable development.
In SAP’s collaboration with professional development network Goodwall, the two parties are continuing to build on the success of their Climate Leaders program, initially launched as a project ahead of COP27 to inspire young people to contribute to the global climate change debate. The Climate Leaders program reached thousands of young participants from 55 countries offering an opportunity for peer-to-peer learning, meaningful connections and upskilling.
“Now Goodwall and SAP, together with our partners, are scaling the program to become a youth climate movement. We intend to mobilize young talent to amplify their voices, and to take intentional climate action through various initiatives,” explains Taha Bawa, Goodwall co-founder. “As a society, we have failed to significantly tackle climate change so far. To reverse this trend we need to put youth at the forefront of the change, nurturing their ideas, financing their ventures, enabling their solutions, but most importantly, allowing them to become decision makers.”
SAP and Goodwall launched the Climate Leaders interactive campaign in 2022 via a website, app and social media, inviting young people to submit their views on climate change through various formats including videos and chat forums. From the submissions, several Climate Leaders were selected to create a representative Youth Climate Manifesto, which they presented to attendees of COP27.
The manifesto reflected the key areas of urgency identified by young people, along with diverse views, demands and ideas. Among the most common recurring issues raised was education’s role in climate awareness, representing 28% of the submissions received. It was agreed that education at all levels is required to enable youth to identify and develop solutions.
Wissam Kadi, Global Initiatives Director for SAP University Alliances and Next-Gen, who was deeply involved in the project, points out that recognizing education’s crucial role in sustainability is a key area of common ground between the youth and other important stakeholders. Both Kadi and Goodwall’s Chief Impact Officer, Eugenio Donadio, were invited to present the Climate Leaders program as an example of a best practice initiative at a COP27 side event titled ‘Unleashing the Power of Education’. The event was co-convened at the invitation of The Future Economy Forum and Sekem by the Climate Governance Commission and also included leading experts in global education from Dubai Cares, Aga Khan Foundation, the Global Partnership for Education, UNESCO, and UNICEF Generation Unlimited, among others.
Kadi says, “The role of education is expected to feature high on the agenda at COP28, along with the need for widespread collaboration globally between government departments, academics and private companies. SAP and Goodwall believe it is vital that sustainability is built into school and university curriculums, and that education initiatives are presented positively to help youth move from fearing climate change to viewing it as an opportunity to collaborate and co-innovate. Youth can play an important role in offering a fresh perspective and leveraging innovative technology solutions to accelerate change.”
Building changemaker capacity
In a bid to make the most of the opportunities created by having MENA as the site of two successive COP meetings, SAP and ChangemakerXchange are bringing together the region’s leading young changemakers to build their individual and organizational capacity and collaborate towards a more resilient region in the face of the growing climate crisis.
Batoul Husseini, Executive Director, Government Affairs and CSR, SAP MENA, explained: “We have been collaborating with ChangemakerXchange on projects since 2016, including pioneering programs such as the COVID-19 Collective Action Summit and the MENA Ecosystem Builder Program, as well as training regional networks in online facilitation and community building. On a global level, SAP is also a core partner of ChangemakerXchange’s Possibilists Alliance, a support ecosystem aligned on a shared understanding of the needs and challenges of young changemakers aiming to create the best possible conditions for them to thrive and to deepen or scale their impact.”
In Cairo, after COP27 – and to be repeated in Dubai after COP28 this year – ChangemakerXchange invited 20 of the region’s leading young climate changemakers to undertake a five-day journey focusing on human connection, peer-learning and impact strategies, allowing them to reflect on the outcomes of COP27 for their region and take collective action. Participants have now embarked on an intensive online capacity-building program, with sessions around preventing burnout, organizational development, fundraising and team culture.
University Alliances highlights sustainability
SAP University Alliances represents another ongoing SAP initiative to empower young people to create a sustainable future by enabling academia to educate the next generation to lead digital transformation, including socially and environmentally responsible business processes. The program builds industry partnerships and contributes towards creating a sustainable digitally focused workforce in the region through education in Intelligent Enterprise and the experience economy. Young people graduate with a competitive edge, thanks to their SAP training and engaging at SAP events.
On the sidelines of COP27, the British University of Egypt became the latest university in the region to join SAP University Alliances community. In accordance with Egypt Vision 2030 and the country’s Sustainable Development Strategy (SDS), the university aims to inspire students and provide insights into how technology can support organizational sustainable development goals.