Stage 3: conversation establishment—Panel discussion
Owing to I've gotta PhD, iGEM teams are able to share lots of knowledge with the public on this social media platform. However, these interactions were unilateral. iGEM teams hardly got the feedback from the audience or discussed with some people also working in the same field. We and NCKU_Tainan thought it meaningful to call the iGEM teams also devoted to SDGs together and strike up a bilateral conversation with one another. Thus, we together co-host a virtual panel discussion and successfully invited five Taiwan iGEM teams to participate in this event.
A Lecture from the Expert
We were greatly honored to invite Professor Shih-Fong Chiou to give all the participants a lecture on the topic "Why, How to connect to SDGs". Shih-Fong Chiou is a professor at College X, which is the newly-established college in National Cheng Kung University (NCKU). Rather than traditional colleges, College X aims to develop students' critical thinking, problem-solving skills and enhance their knowledge. Furthermore, the college intend to help students' build their relationship with other people excelling at different professions.
Professor Chiou's lecture helped us understand the concept of SDGs in a more creative and comprehensive way. Professor Chiou first introduced the foundation of SDGs and guided us on how to set up goals properly and practically when we tried to work on SDGs. Afterwards, he elaborated on the third, fourth and sixth SDGs that were covered by different participating teams. Moreover, he also raised some local issues of SDGs in Taiwan and listed some actions taken by our government. With these examples, Professor Chiou not only guided us on how to evaluate the effectiveness of the regulations but also encouraged us to think about issues of SDGs from a different perspective. Through a 30-minute interaction with Professor Chiou, we obtained lots of knowledge as well as plentiful suggestions, both of which were beneficial for the upcoming panel discussion.
Discussions of SDGs issues
Before the discussions, our team and NCKU_Tainan asked all the participating teams to decide which SDG they wanted to focus on. They were to write a rough description for the issue and come up with three questions they want to discuss. All the participants could thereby understand the problem from each team in advance.
In order for each team to get adequate feedback from their peers, we put teams into different rooms and had them present to each other. One team would be the presenter and the other team would be giving feedbacks, and then they would switch their roles. After both teams have presented, teams would rotate to another room and present to a new team. At the end of the presentations, everyone was gathered together and each team would provide a brief summary of what they have learned during their presentations and from the feedbacks.
Success and benefit of the partnership
Through the interaction with NCKU_Tainan, we looked more into SDGs and discussed the best way to unite iGEMers having the same vision of SDGs.
We transformed the two-party discussion into a special event and invited all the iGEM teams to make contributions to SDGs, which not only promoted the concept of SDGs, but allowed people have a better understanding of the importance of good health and well-being (the third SDG) as well as quality education (the fourth SDG). Also, we perfectly embodied the spirit of partnership (the seventeenth SDG) during the whole process.
Aside from connecting SDGs issues with the public, we also gathered iGEMers and the expert devoted to SDGs to strike up a conversation and discuss SDGs issues together. Brainstorming with other iGEMers prompted each of us to think outside of the box on how to improve the current method and put the new idea into practice.
Improvement & Future
To reach more people and make everyone aware of the SDGs issues, we should work harder on promoting our Facebook page. We hope to attract more people and have them to follow us. In addition to our Facebook page, we would like to be more active on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media platforms to reach more people.
Not only iGEMers but also the public can share their contributions on this platform. We can invite other experts or some people interested in SDGs issues to join I've gotta PhD to make greater influence on SDGs.
This time, we only invited iGEM teams in Taiwan to join the panel discussion. In the future, we may be able to hold a global event and invite people all over the world to discuss the SDGs issues together.