Local Goal Getter Mira Bakker: working on sustainability on all fronts

This week we interviewed Mira, an inspiring student who is working on sustainability on all fronts. As a girl she joined Scouting St. Gerlach, where she was involved also with nature (SDG #14 and #15). Last year, she graduated with a Bachelor International Relations and Affairs at UCM. To bridge her gap year, Mira applied for a Traineeship offered by SDG House Network and TheRockGroup.

SDG Professionals working on assignment for MECC

The first edition of SDG Traineeship started on 1st of March. This makes Mira one of the first trainees based in Limburg. Together with four other trainees, she received an assignment from MECC: how can MECC make itself more sustainable? The first steps have already been taken, but there is still a lot to do. Therefore, it is a challenging issue for the SDG professionals. They looked at MECC’s business operations and values, and selected a number of SDGs that matched, namely: # 8 Fair Work and Economic Growth, #12 Responsible Consumption and Production, # 13 Climate Action and #17 Partnership to Goals to achieve. During fifteen weeks, the project team will write a consultation report containing a baseline measurement of MECC’s policy with regard to these goals and how they can take next steps in this regard.

SDG Talks with guest speakers

In addition to this one-day-a-week project, every Tuesday evening an interactive SDG Talk takes place, where guest speakers from different sectors and types of organizations talk about the implementation of the SDGs that accompany system change. For example, the first Talks were held by Rob van Tulder, professor of International Business – Society Management at Erasmus University. Other SDG Talks covered for example Biosphere International, Diversity & Inclusion and the “Reform” of the economy. The closing session will focus on the future of the SDG professionals.

In touch with SDG House Maastricht

For Mira, the SDG Traineeship is not her first contact with the Sustainable Development Goals. While writing her thesis with localization of the SDGs as subject, she came in contact with us as SDG House Maastricht. Through this contact, she conducted interviews with potential partners of SDG House, which revolved around awareness and possible interest in the SDGs. This research has given us a wonderful way to expand the SDG House network in Limburg.

SDG’s also at AIESEC

In addition, Mira has joined AIESEC since last year, which attaches great importance to sustainability goals. This is how the SDGs find their way back on her path. Last April, for example, the national project World Largest Lesson was organized. Mira participated in this project together with a number of colleagues from AIESEC; they gave an interactive guest lecture on the SDGs at the bilingual secondary school in Liège. Mira tells us how nice it was to see that students initially had no knowledge of the goals, but came up with many ideas on how to impact themselves.

A great experience

To come back to the SDG Traineeship, Mira highly recommends it: it is a great experience where you can gain practical experience regarding consultation work. In this way she gets the opportunity to put the theory lessons of her Bachelor into practice and to work on a “real” case for an existing company. The challenging question that MECC has posed is an interesting preparation for future work: she has found that she would like to dive into the consultation world. We wish Mira the best of luck with completing her Traineeship and continuing her (study) career!

 Finally, our inspiring Local Goal Getter would like to give one more tip: “keep the conversation around SDGs going! Bring the sustainability goals closer to the people by getting the message across. It is important not to punish behaviour, we want to motivate! “

Also interested in the SDG Traineeship? More information can be found at https://www.sdghouse.org/sdg-traineeship/ . You can register up to and including 15 June.

Interview: Jennifer Timmermans

Pictures: Jennifer Timmermans