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The earth surrounded by icons showing UN's sustainability goals.
Vania Hasegawa May 30, 20236 min read

Education and technology are critical for the UN to be able to achieve its Sustainable Development Goals

Translation generated by an AI translation service

Education and technology working together to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

In 2015, the United Nations (UN) adopted 'The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development' which provides a shared roadmap for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, both today and in the future. itslearning, together with other partners, is supporting this effort to assist the UN and the rest of the world in meeting the target by 2030.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDG) is an action plan for people, the planet, and prosperity that aims to "realise the human rights of all and achieve gender equality", and it is because of this that the Knowledge Alliance for Business Opportunities in SDGs (SDG4BIZ) was founded.

Moreover, this alliance develops, tests, and disseminates curriculum and training material to identify and exploit business opportunities in SDGs. If the SDGs are met by 2030, 80 million new jobs will be generated, and €10 trillion in new business opportunities will be unlocked.

We are determined to take the bold and transformative steps which are urgently needed to shift the world onto a sustainable and resilient path. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets demonstrate the scale and ambition of this new universal Agenda."

says the United Nations

Nelson Mandela stated, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. While the word "weapon" is unsuitable, his statement rings true. Education can indeed change the world by helping people rise out of poverty, decrease disease and death, and promote gender equality. According to data compiled by Global Partnership for Education (GPE), educating women prevented over 30 million deaths in children under five years old, and 100 million deaths in adults 15 to 60 years old.

And then you combine education with technology. Technology in education is critical for the project’s success, and a learning management system (LMS) such as itslearning partners with institutions to structure curriculum and provide hundreds of teachers and students with essential training and courses.

What is Knowledge Alliance for Business Opportunities in SDGs (SDG4BIZ)?

SDF4BIZ logo


It is an EU Erasmus+ Knowledge Alliance Project that started in 2021. According to the UN, SDG4BIZ manages the training efforts of UN Sustainability Development Goals, focusing on building awareness, business opportunity recognition and economic development. This project counts on 9 partners to co-create courses to achieve the Sustainability goals for higher education institutions and companies.
itslearning is working alongside Metropolia University in Finland, which is coordinating the project, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences in Finland, Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava, Yasar University in Turkey, Brainplus in Austria, FENICE Green Energy Park in Italy and Tknika in Spain.

"Metropolia University has made a strategic commitment to embedding sustainability into all of its activities, including its degree programmes. As a result, this project substantially supports this strategic commitment. It also encourages cross-disciplinary collaboration within Metropolia because we all have to join forces with colleagues from various academic fields, and this has been extremely helpful in promoting more collaboration and cooperation across disciplines"

Michael Keaney, Metropolia University in Finland

Consequently, the partners are responsible for designing and piloting a multidisciplinary, cross-border curriculum and training material for Sustainability Development Goals’ business opportunity recognition.

The project is also designed to enhance the awareness of potential business growth in SDGs and serve the innovation capabilities of EU companies and the competence needs of the European Higher Education Institute (HEI).

Additionally, the training material targets both European Higher Education Institutions and companies. It is delivered via the project partners’ viable learning platform, itslearning, which supports mobile and micro-learning.

One of the project partners, Annariikka Rosendahl from Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences in Finland (responsible for managing the curriculum co-creative process) mentions that being part of this project means the university, partners, and the UN initiative, are doing their part to help this planet head down the right path.

"No matter how big or small, each step in the right direction is a way towards helping the world to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development"

Annariikka Rosendahl, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences in Finland

The training addresses the most relevant business opportunities inherent in SDGs within its 5 Modules:

  • 1. Business Opportunity Recognition
  • 2. Food and Agriculture
  • 3. Cities
  • 4. Energy and Materials
  • 5. Health and Well-Being

The image below summarises the consortium's approach and methodology for addressing the stated needs and achieving the anticipated results.

SDG4BIZ strategy illustration

Summary of the strategy and methodology that will be adopted by the consortium. Source: Metropolia University

80% of the teaching staff of HEIs partners (1500 teachers) and 350 enterprises will be trained during the SDG4BIZ project (up to 2023). These Massive Online Open Courses, or MOOCs are self-paced, available in seven different languages, awarded with a certificate once each model is completed.

We had the opportunity to listen to Hye Jung-Majasen from Metropolia University describe how they develop these MOOCs at the itslearning Innovation Summit in London in March. Click here to watch the full presentation.

The publicly open course is available via self-registration from the SDG4BIZ website for anyone interested.

itslearning as one of SDG4BIZ’s partners

Screenshot of itslearning learning platform, with an overview of courses.


As the project's learning platform, we are more than a platform provider; we are partners and collaborate closely with other institutions to create the best learning experience possible.

The piloting of the modules in the SDG4BIZ curriculum will be done this Spring. Each HEIs in the consortium has formed a teacher/academic committee to evaluate the curriculum as well as the learning objectives, techniques, and activities using our Planner Tool, which is a critical tool for course structuring.

Besides, the cohort will include those responsible for delivery and assessment in addition to suitably qualified academics with expertise in the specific area related to the module content. They will focus on integrating curriculum materials into the course syllabus for the purpose of producing a validated and verified pedagogical design.

Henrik Paajanen, the educational consultant of the itslearning team in Finland, is working closely with the HEIs to ensure that the platform meets all the needs of these modules.

Paajanen notes, “The incredible takeaways from this project will be beneficial to all parties involved. Furthermore, with the expansion of lifetime learning courses and MOOCs in the Higher Education sector, itslearning is helping meet the pedagogical needs to deliver the best experience for teachers and learners. It's great to have a customer who is eager to use itslearning because we can clearly see how we are progressing towards the main objective and how we are supporting each other in various ways. The itslearning team ensured that all educators involved in the curriculum-creation process were properly trained to make the best use of the learning system.”

"This is a wonderful partnership between us and the other project participants, as we are all working towards the same objective. It is a learning process from all sides and this experience helps us improve usability, teaching and learning experience"

Henrik Paajanen, Educational consultant at itslearning

Sustainable Development Goals

Sustainable Development Goals provide a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At the heart are 17 SDGs which are an urgent call to action by all countries - developed and developing - in a global partnership.

  • 1. No Poverty
  • 2. Zero Hunger
  • 3. Good Helth and Well-being
  • 4. Quality Education
  • 5. Gender Equality
  • 6. Clean Water and Sanitation
  • 7. Affordable And Clean Energy
  • 8. Decent Work And Economic Growth
  • 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrasttucture
  • 10. Reduce Inequalities
  • 11. Sustainable Cities and Communitiesy
  • 12. Responsible Consumption and Production
  • 13. Climate Action
  • 14. Life Below Water
  • 15. Life On Land
  • 16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institution
  • 17. Partnerships For The Goals

To learn more about the SDG4BIZ Project, check their official website.

Want to discover how itslearning can help you enhance the learning experience at your institution? Talk to our experts and ask for a free demo.