RCE Greater Phoenix - 2023

RCE Greater Phoenix Launch Event
Basic Information
Title of project : 
RCE Greater Phoenix Launch Event
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Greater Phoenix
Contributing organization(s) : 
RCE Greater Phoenix, Arizona State University
Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, (Arizona State University, ASU)
Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory, College of Global Futures School of Sustainability (ASU)
Knowledge Exchange for Resilience (ASU)
Learning Futures Collaboratives on Education, Sustainability, and Global Futures (ASU)
Rob and Melani Walton Sustainability Teachers Academy (ASU)
Learning Planet Institute
City of Phoenix
City of Tempe
RCE Dublin
RCE Hawaii
Underwriters Laboratories Research Institutes
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Katja Brundiers
Organizational Affiliation: 
RCE Greater Phoenix
Alejandra Enriquez Gates
Organizational Affiliation: 
RCE Greater Phoenix
Format of project: 
In-person, online, YouTube video
Language of project: 
Date of submission:
Wednesday, March 29, 2023
Additional resources: 
Panel Discussion: “Partners for Future - Creating Access to Sustainability Education in our Region” https://youtu.be/CpLLHHFzBqM
Panel Discussion:”Policy Meets Art: A Dialogue among Education Policymakers and Youth Activists about Climate Futures” https://youtu.be/CpLLHHFzBqM
Film Screening "Youth vs Gov" trailer https://youtu.be/Ae3dgp8lyIU
At what level is the policy operating?: 
Geographical & Education Information
United States
State of Arizona and southwest United States
Address of focal point institution for project: 
Payne Hall, 1000 S. Forest Mall, Suite 204, P.O. Box 871611, Tempe, AZ 85287-1611
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
As a rapidly expanding area situated in a precarious desert environment, the Phoenix Metropolitan Area faces significant sustainability challenges. The City of Phoenix has recently been called the most unsustainable city in the world, especially in terms of air quality, heat island effect, groundwater availability, and quality education. The city of Phoenix is home to 1.6 million people; is the fifth largest city in the United States and is the fastest growing city in the United states. The ethnic makeup of the Phoenix metropolitan area is as follows: White (43%), Hispanic (42%), Black/African American (7%), Asian (4%), Native American (2%), Pacific Islander (<1%).
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
The greater Phoenix Metropolitan area is a large, interconnected area marked by urban sprawl, which is situated within the natural boundaries of a desert valley surrounded by the mountains of the Sonoran Desert. The main challenges the region faces are: environmental, socio-cultural, demographical, economical and multi-layered education quality and landscape requirements. Arizona’s largest and most populated city, Phoenix, has recently been called the most unsustainable city in the world by New York University sociologist Andrew Ross (2019). The primary sustainability challenges that the greater Phoenix area faces are increasing urban heat island effect, decreasing air quality, unsustainable water resource management, and inequitable access to quality education (Heffernon, Welch, & Melnick, 2007). Five Sustainable Development Goals can be used to address these issues—Sustainable Cities and Communities, Climate Action, Reduced Inequalities, Gender Equity, and Quality Education.

October, 2022 to January, 2023
At a time when Greater Phoenix is facing urgent sustainability challenges we realized how many organizations and people in the region are working hard to create opportunities for sustainability education in our community. In support of these organizations and as a way to strengthen connections and create an informed an active community, the RCE and partners
Our goals focus on Quality Education including a vision of learning from the native people who have inhabited these lands. Reducing Inequalities and Gender equality within and among our communities, working together to make Sustainable Cities and Communities, and to take urgent action to combat climate change through Climate Action
Activities and/or practices employed: 
Opening: series speeches, welcomes
On January 26th of 2023, the RCE Greater Phoenix launched officially. We offered a series of events during the day including a Lunch for community and ASU partners with poetry by Valencia Clement. We continued with afternoon sessions:
Panel 1: “Partners for Future - Creating Access to Sustainability Education in our Region”
Panel 2: What are the Human Sciences?
Panel 3: Policy Meets Art: A Dialogue among Education Policymakers and Youth Activists about Climate Futures”
Movie Screening: Youth vs. Gov with movie director/producer Christi Cooper, prior to this date.
Size of academic audience: 
In-person 78 attendees , online 43 participants
The RCE Greater Phoenix launch offered the opportunity to introduce the concept of the RCE Global Network and the RCE Greater Phoenix mission, vision and goals. In addition, welcoming messages from United Nations University, and global and local partners such as RCE Dublin, RCE Hawaii and the City of Phoenix. The local and ASU community welcomed the RCE Greater Phoenix and offered support and opportunities for collaboration.
Lessons learned: 
There are ample opportunities for collaboration and for the same reason we are establishing the plan of action and annual plan of activities.
Key messages: 
Our Mission: The mission of the RCE is to advance sustainability in the region by supporting all community members through meaningful, equitable and participatory learning experiences, while prioritizing access for underrepresented communities, in particular historically marginalized youth.
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
The RCE is already working in local/regional initiatives with educational institutions, civil society groups, government entities, and for profit organizations.

RCE Greater Phoenix announced a partnership with Underwriters Laboratories Research Institutes for a sponsorship of a Teacher Fellowship Program on Sustainability Education aligned with UN SDGs.


File Name Caption for picture Photo Credit
Image icon Panel 1.jpeg (147.54 KB) Panel Discussion: “Partners for Future - Creating Access to Sustainability Education in our Region” A. Enriquez
Image icon Panel 3.jpeg (157.1 KB) Panel Discussion: “Policy Meets Art: A Dialogue among Education Policymakers and Youth Activists about Climate Futures” A. Enriquez
Image icon Poetry.jpg (147.66 KB) Valencia (Val) Clement- Poetry
Image icon Film screening 'Youth vs Gov' flyer.jpg (210.19 KB) Film Screening "Youth vs Gov" discussions on climate change, constitutional rights, judicial system, government, democracy, activism, youth and social impact. A. Enriquez
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 1 - End poverty in all its forms everywhere 
SDG 2 - End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture 
SDG 3 - Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages 
SDG 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 
SDG 5 - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls 
SDG 6 - Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all 
SDG 7 - Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all 
SDG 8 - Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all 
SDG 9 - Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, and foster innovation 
SDG 10 - Reduce inequality within and among countries 
SDG 11 - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable 
SDG 12 - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns 
SDG 13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 
SDG 14 - Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development 
SDG 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss 
SDG 16 - Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels 
SDG 17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development 
Disaster Risk Reduction 
Traditional Knowledge  
Curriculum Development 
Plants & Animals 
ESD for 2030-Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 1 - Advancing policy 
Priority Action Area 2 - Transforming learning and training environments 
Priority Action Area 3 - Developing capacities of educators and trainers 
Priority Action Area 4 - Mobilizing youth 
Priority Action Area 5 - Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level 
I acknowledge the above: