Representative from the UNDP Comes to Talk to Route 4

Representative from the UNDP Comes to Talk to Route 4

Justin Jacobs

On Thursday, October 10, 2019, Sheila Casserly from the United Nations Development Programme’s secretariat Business Call to Action came to Sabancı University to give a presentation to the route four learners about the Sustainable Development Goals and what the secretariat itself does within the scope of the SDGs.

Sheila Casserly is the Outreach and Membership Specialist for the BCtA. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Geography and International Relations and a master’s degree in International Management. She has worked in the German parliament and she has also worked with multiple Turkish and international companies training professionals in corporate and cross-cultural communication skills. She is currently with the BCtA in İstanbul, scouting and supporting international companies with inclusive business models.

In her presentation to the university, Sheila invited the audience to help her define sustainable development as a term. From this definition, she moved to a discussion of the United Nations’ “Millennium Development Goals;” she described them, shared their successes and revealed the reasoning behind the UN’s following proposal for “Sustainable Development Goals.” She refined the concept of sustainable development and shared an overview of the seventeen goals.

Sheila’s work focuses on the private sector and how businesses support the UN in achieving the SDGs by the year 2030, so she shared this with the students, illustrating the why? and how? business in the private sector can engage with the SDGs. She emphasized investment and measurement of social and environmental impact as two such ways.

To give local examples, Sheila shared the ways Big Chefs and Turkcell engage with the SDGs by adopting inclusive business models or activities. She clarified that inclusive business models not only include low-income communities in their business models, but also benefit the communities they include. This is the work that she does with BCtA, she collaborates with businesses to support them in developing and implementing, or continuing to implement, such models.

As she concluded her talk, she showed the students practical ways to engage with the SDGs, such as identifying targets, subtargets and indicators. She invited students to informally engage with the SDGs by considering SDG number five: gender equality. She shared target five and two subtargets, along with a list of possible indicators. She invited the students to consider the university along these lines and do their own informal assessments of the situation of gender inequality at the university.

Sabancı University was pleased to invite Sheila to talk and is very thankful for her time; we hope to welcome her back at some point in the future.