Skip to content

Kick-Off Meeting for Students Working with P4G Partnerships

Earlier this week, students, professors, and speakers met at DTU Skylab – the Technical University of Denmark’s innovation hub – to greet and exchange ideas on how concrete public-private partnerships can support green growth in developing countries and help reach the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s).

Throughout this semester, a handpicked group of 66 students from eight universities will attempt to strengthen five selected P4G partnerships’ impact on the SDGs. These so-called Young Academics’ work will culminate on the 18 October, the day prior to the P4G Summit in Copenhagen, where they will present their recommendations to representatives from the P4G partnerships.

Jens Christian Rørdam Stensbjerg, who studies electrical power technology at Aarhus University, says he joined the Young Academics because it allows him to combine his passion for sustainable energy with analysis of concrete partnerships projects:

“I can use my technical knowledge to work with a partnership that increases access to affordable and clean energy in Africa. This gives me a chance to have a positive impact on people.” 

The Young Academics initiative is interdisciplinary. While some of the students focus on technology and engineering, others have a background in business, regional studies, political science, sustainability, and much more. This implies that the P4G partnerships will be analysed from different perspectives, providing them with fresh ideas.

To inspire the students, two speakers were also invited. Ole Thonke, Head of Department for Growth and Employment at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, presented the P4G initiative and emphasized the importance of public-private partnerships in reaching the SDGs as well as the need for involving the younger generations in sustainable development. 

Katherine Richardson, Professor at Copenhagen University, ended the formal program with a galvanizing keynote speech on the SDGs and pinpointed the most urgent challenges our societies are facing.

The project leader at DTU Skylab, Marie Louise Møllebæk Pollmann-Larsen, is excited about the immense student interest in the initiative:

“We have been overwhelmed by the high interest that students and their professors, across Danish and South Korean universities, have shown to take part in this initiative. I am confident that the young academics will come up with some highly interesting and innovative perspectives and recommendations for the five P4G partnerships.”

The Young Academics track is part of the larger “Next Generation P4G” initiative, which aims to include youth at the upcoming P4G Summit. You can read more about Next Generation P4G and the other initiatives here.