RMIT alumni in the UK fostering sustainable change

RMIT alumni in the UK fostering sustainable change

From humanitarian education to urban planning, meet two RMIT alumni based in the United Kingdom who are contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Atish Gonsalves is the Global Innovation Director at the Humanitarian Leadership Academy and is based in London, United Kingdom. Gonsalves studied a Master of Applied Sciences at RMIT.

“My work is focused on the democratisation and accessibility of education – linking into SDG #4, quality education.”

“The academy was set-up for the wider needs of the humanitarian sector and promotes new ways of learning.” 

“It's about protecting those most vulnerable in emergencies by developing and delivering educational programs on topics such as climate change disaster risk reduction and management.”

“All of our programs are co-created with local partners.”

“We believe that learning should not just be disseminated and that it should be empowering and creative – something that is fostered when people on the ground are engaged.”

"Our work also connects in with the goals of no poverty (SDG #1) and zero hunger (SDG #2), as we often see in disaster response that there are broader economic challenges and countries that are creating the issues.”

“We believe that through learning, we can help people to feel more equipped to prepare for and respond to crises.”

Learn more about the Humanitarian Leadership Academy and its global learning platform

The Humanitarian Leadership Academy is a global learning initiative facilitating opportunities to enable people to prepare and respond to crises.

Kieran Power is the Practice Lead - Sustainability and Resilience at AECOM and is based in London, United Kingdom. Power studied a Bachelor of Environmental Science/Bachelor of Environment and Society at RMIT. 

“I think the SDGs help underscore the need for organisations to step-up their level of collaboration and acknowledge that you can’t do it alone in terms of solving wicked problems being faced by cities.”

“This connects in with SDG #17 in that partnerships between industry and civil society organisations help to deliver better outcomes as well as enable better management of the nuances and challenges of projects.”

“In that sense, the SDGs encourage a more active degree of participation and consultation, with genuine community involvement in solutions development.”

“When we look at the future for cities in the context of the SDGs, rapid digitalisation must be a factor.”

“An organisation like AECOM looks to understand and play a role in how these potentially disruptive technological shifts will change the development trajectories of cities.”

“There is great potential for technology to improve the sustainability of cities, but this needs to be delivered in a human-centred way.”

“We must do more than invest in 'cool sounding' technologies just for the sake of it.”

Learn more about AECOM in the UK.


Story: Karen Matthews and Marlen Kakkori

10 October 2019


10 October 2019


  • Research
  • RMIT Europe
  • Urban Design
  • Environment

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