08.10.2018 - UNESCO Montevideo Office

How can we support sustainable development in the digital era?

UNESCO, NIC.br and the SDG Academy announce a new course on Tech for Good.

WORLDWIDE. On Monday, October 8, Tech for Good: The Role of ICT in Achieving the SDGs will launch on edX.

In an unprecedented endeavor, UNESCO, the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s SDG Academy, and the Brazilian Network Information Center’s Regional Center for Studies on the Development of the Information Society (NIC.br – Cetic.br) have brought together thought leaders and change makers in the fields of information and communication technologies (ICT) and sustainable development to explore how digital technologies are empowering billions of people around the world by providing access to education, healthcare, banking, and government services; and to address how “big data” is being used to inform smarter, evidence-based policies to improve people’s lives in fundamental ways. For Alexandre Barbosa, Head of Cetic.br, ”Information and communication technologies have become an essential enabler for achieving the SDGs and at the same time they are a powerful means to measure their progress. This course provides insights into the opportunities these technologies bring to society”.

International instructors include high-level government officials, academics, and outstanding NGO activists from UNESCO, Cetic.br, the International Telecommunication Union, the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, and Columbia University, among others. Lidia Brito, Director of UNESCO Regional Office for Sciences in Latin America and the Caribbean, says, “this will be a unique opportunity to share knowledge on ICT4DEV in a real diverse and global platform”. She invites all those interested in the development agenda to join this MOOC.

Technology specialists, sustainable development practitioners, advanced undergraduates, and graduate students are particularly called upon to acquire the key concepts and practices of this exciting and ever-changing field.

Ultimately, Tech for Good looks at the ways in which stakeholders are coming together to answer big questions about what our future will look like in a hyper-digitized world.

Learners who complete the course will be prepared to positively manage new challenges that technology introduces, such as privacy, data management, cybersecurity, e-waste, and the widening of social divides. Chandrika Bahadur, Director of the SDG Academy, expresses: "Technology has enormous potential to help achieve all of the Sustainable Development Goals--the critical question is how policy makers, practitioners, professionals, and people like you and me can use technology effectively and ethically for public good. That is the goal of Tech for Good--and we at the SDG Academy are delighted to partner with UNESCO and Cetic.br to offer this course, which brings together experts from around the world to spark a global conversation. It is itself a small example of using the power of the Internet and virtual learning for the SDGs."

In addition to lectures by world-renowned faculty, Tech for Good engages learners with readings, interactive discussions and live O&as with course faculty. It is open, free and offered entirely on-ine through edX, one of the world’s leading online education platforms. For Dorothy Gordon, Lead Faculty of this course “In addition to clear explanation of concepts, expert resource persons provide practical examples of the transformational changes that digital technologies are bringing about in our world. I hope that our learners will be inspired by the knowledge they gain to put Tech for Good into action.”

The course will launch with Module 1 on October 8. Content will release weekly for 10 weeks, and conclude on December 30 after a 2-week “catch-up” period. Learners can enroll at any time.

The course is now open for enrollment directly on edX. Please visit this link.

The course is being offered in English with English transcripts, but we plan to have video transcripts in other languages in the future.

For more information contact Shannon Kobran, Education Manager at the SDG Academy at shannon.kobran@unsdsn.org.

Press contacts

Weber Shandwick

NIC.br Communications


The SDG Academy creates free high-quality mass online education for sustainable development. Its courses feature the world’s foremost experts in topics such as health, education, climate change, agriculture, and human rights — equipping the next generation of sustainable development practitioners to take on the complex challenges facing our planet.

UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. It seeks to build peace through international cooperation in Education, the Sciences and Culture. UNESCO's programs contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals defined in Agenda 2030, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015.

As a reference center for the production of ICT data related to the monitoring of the SDGs, Cetic.br/NIC.br is leading important projects, including the production of reliable and policy relevant data based on surveys and big data sources, as well as promoting capacity building programs for policymakers and data users.

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