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Unleashing Innovation with UN Sustainable Development Goals

November 16, 2021 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Location: NUI Galway
Galway, Ireland

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Professor Jay Friedlander

Chaired by Dr Majella Giblin

Online Event

2pm – 3pm: Lecture

3pm – 4pm: Masterclass

This lecture and masterclass provides senior leaders, social innovators and sustainability champions in small and medium enterprises (SMEs), a framework to embed sustainability firmly in their organisation. The combined event aims to systematically remove the barriers preventing sustainable innovation. SME leaders who are looking for a clear, repeatable pathway to make SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) a strategic part of the business should attend the lecture and masterclass.

A gap exists between the aspirations and implementation of the U.N. SDGs. Research shows that while most business leaders agree that sustainable development is important, few understand how to make sustainability strategic. As a result, sustainability efforts happen in an ad hoc fashion rather than a systemic approach – reducing impact and wasting valuable resources. Those enterprises aligning the UN SDGs with their strategy are reaping substantial benefits. Sustainability initiatives have been transformed from a focus on legal compliance and disjointed efforts with marginal performance, to a force driving innovation.

The lecture (2-3pm, all welcome) will cover topics such as:

– Linking Values and Prosperity: Demystify the SDGs and discover how to strengthen financial results by improving social and environmental performance.

– Rapid Innovation: Reimagine your organisation by employing the proven tactics embraced by global leaders and disruptive start-ups alike.

– Insights to Action: Leverage the insights you gained and chart your implementation using the Abundance Cycle, a virtual canvas, to seamlessly align sustainability and strategy.

The Masterclass (3-4pm, limited to 25 participants) aims: to align enterprise/organisational goals with sustainability and improve financial returns through positive social and environmental actions. The agenda is adaptable to the specific sustainability and innovation challenges facing your team. For example: identifying new opportunities presented by the SDGs; understanding how sustainability is reshaping your industry; tying together disconnected sustainability initiatives; or communicating sustainability to internal and external customers. This unique educational experience is tailored to your organisation. Those attending the Masterclass, should ideally first attend the preceding lecture.

Who Should Attend?

Senior leaders, entrepreneurs, and sustainability champions who want to use the SDGs to drive innovation and value. The lecture and masterclass content is appropriate for a range of entities including for-profits and non-profits across various industries and stages of growth.


Professor Jay Friedlander, is the founding Sharpe-McNally Chair of Green and Socially Responsible Business at College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine – the most sustainable higher education institution in the United States. Professor Friedlander’s research merges sustainability, social innovation and entrepreneurship. To that end he created the Abundance Cycle, a model for maximizing environmental, economic and social prosperity. His work has been published by MITSloan Management Review, Stanford Social Innovation Review, in addition The New York Times and dozens of media outlets have recognized his work. Professor Friedlander is a Babson College Senior Fellow in Social Innovation and speaks globally on sustainable innovation. He is a sustainable entrepreneur and has worked with hundreds of small and medium enterprises






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The InterTradeIreland All Island Innovation Programme

The All-Island Innovation Programme is funded by InterTradeIreland which aims to promote and encourage innovation across the island of Ireland. A series of free innovation lectures, seminars and masterclasses are held throughout the year to share international best practice in areas of innovation. The Programme is delivered in partnership with InterTradeIreland, Queen’s University Belfast, NUI Galway, and University College Cork.


Hashtag:  #AIIPSeminars

By registering for this event, your data will be held by InterTradeIreland, the All Island Innovation Programme funder. InterTradeIreland will not circulate your details to any third party’