4th Station – Think Global – Act Local


You need to be online (with audio) to watch some video clips and do some online research. Have a pen and paper to hand to capture your thoughts. You will also need the Making it Real Resource Sheet and five different pen colours.

Download resource here>


Most of the biggest health, social, political, environmental and economic challenges faced by our communities today are issues of global magnitude and international concern. Tackling, and potentially finding solutions to, those problems generally requires co-operation amongst nations. This can also bring strength and international unity in times of need.

Adopted by world leaders in September 2015, at a historic UN Summit, the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a set of targets relating to future international development. They were created by the United Nations and promoted as the Global Goals for Sustainable Development.

Use the short films that follow to explore some of the themes that are addressed within the of the SDGs including;

Watch and Learn:

Choose one of the international development themes below and watch the three short films for that theme. As you browse the talks consider the following questions (and make notes):


UN Sustainability Goal 1: No Poverty (Read more: https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/poverty/)

More than 700 million people, or 10% of the world population, still live in extreme poverty and is struggling to fulfil the most basic needs like health, education, and access to water and sanitation, to name a few. The majority of people living on less than $1.90 a day live in sub-Saharan Africa. Worldwide, the poverty rate in rural areas is 17.2 per cent—more than three times higher than in urban areas.

World Vision Australia: What is Poverty?

This animation explores the nature of poverty and its relationship to human well-being. Students identify the different dimensions of poverty and recognise that it is much more than a low income.

Teva Sienicki: We can end poverty, but this is why we haven’t?

As the president & CEO of a non-profit, Teva Sienicki has experienced first-hand the devastating, cyclical nature of intergenerational poverty. In this inspiring talk, she argues that in order to end poverty once and for all, we need to treat the root causes of the problem, not just the symptoms. Teva is passionate about building equity and closing the achievement gap for low-income kids. She transformed Growing Home, which began as a small shelter, into an anti-poverty organization that serves over 4,600 families annually.

Mia Birdsong: The story we tell about poverty isn’t true

As a global community, we all want to end poverty. Mia Birdsong suggests a great place to start: Let’s honor the skills, drive and initiative that poor people bring to the struggle every day. She asks us to look again at people in poverty: They may be broke — but they’re not broken.


UN Sustainability Goal 2: Zero Hunger (Read more: https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/hunger/)

It is time to rethink how we grow, share and consume our food. If done right, agriculture, forestry and fisheries can provide nutritious food for all and generate decent incomes, while supporting people-centered rural development and protecting the environment.

Let’s Change: 2030 SDG 2 – Zero Hunger – TED Talks

A selection of Ted talks to understand how we can end hunger in the world. The second sustainable development goal for 2030.

Jasmine Crowe: What we’re getting wrong in the fight to end hunger

In a world that’s wasting more food than ever before, why do one in nine people still go to bed hungry each night? Social entrepreneur Jasmine Crowe calls for a radical transformation to our fight to end global hunger — challenging us to rethink our routine approaches to addressing food insecurity and sharing how we can use technology to gather unused food and deliver it directly to people in need.

Beating Global Hunger – Think Less, Do More | Neel Ghose

Did you know that 40% of the food produced in India is wasted and thrown away? Neel Ghose shows how the problem has never been the lack of food – but the access to food. In his free time, along with his friend Anand, Neel has set up the Robin Hood Army – a volunteer based organisation which collects excess food from restaurants and distributes it to the less fortunate. In a little over two years, the RHA has served over 1.5 million people through over 8000 Robins across 12 countries. He likes to believe that the RHA is just ‘1% Done’.


UN Sustainability Goal 3: https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/health/

Ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being at all ages is essential to sustainable development. Significant strides have been made in increasing life expectancy and reducing some of the common killers associated with child and maternal mortality, but further improvements are needed in skilled delivery care. Achieving the target of reducing premature deaths due to incommunicable diseases by 1/3 by the year 2030 would also require more efficient technologies for clean fuel use during cooking and education on the risks of tobacco.

The Lancet – What is Global Health?

Richard Horton and Pam Das introduce The Lancet’s contribution as a platform for global health and explain how its publications can be used as instruments for change.

Alanna Shaik: Why COVID-19 is hitting us now — and how to prepare for the next outbreak

Where did the new coronavirus originate, how did it spread so fast — and what’s next? Sharing insights from the outbreak, global health expert and TED Fellow Alanna Shaikh traces the spread of COVID-19, discusses why travel restrictions aren’t effective and highlights the medical changes needed worldwide to prepare for the next pandemic. “We need to make sure that every country in the world has the capacity to identify new diseases and treat them,” she says.

Vanessa Kerry: Global Healthcare Revolutionary

How can training new doctors and nurses in resource-limited countries cure more than people? With all the investments made in global health over the last decade, why are we still struggling to deliver care? Do we in fact have the model right? Beyond infrastructure and medicines, we need people to build sustainable robust country-led health systems. We can change the status quo by creating a pipeline of highly trained health professionals who will train generations to come. Seed Global Health partners with the Peace Corps to pair US clinicians with public sector teaching institutions in resource poor countries to help nurture the future caregivers and educators in these countries of great need.


UN Sustainability Goal 4: Quality Education (read more)

Over 265 million children are currently not receiving formal schooling and 22% of them are of primary school age. Obtaining a quality education is the foundation to creating sustainable development. In addition to improving quality of life, access to inclusive education can help equip locals with the tools required to develop innovative solutions to the world’s greatest problems.

World Economic Forum: Education for All

Education can transform the lives of millions of children around the world, yet 61 million children are not in primary school and 25,000 girls are forced into marriage and taken out of the education system each day. This video calls on the international community to help close the education gap.

UNESCO: The Power of Education

The 2021 Pandemic showed that education is the most powerful tool to face challenges and create change.

Bernd Roggendorf: How can we provide quality education for all by 2030?

Bernd Roggendorf and his team at EIDU are driven by a belief that every child in the world deserves equal opportunity, including the 800 million children who live on $2 or less per day and who, despite going to school, often lack fundamental skills like reading, writing, and math. EIDU is working with 3,000 preschool children and their parents in an African slum to develop a learning platform that will enable children to teach themselves those and many other fundamental skills using the cheapest smartphones.


UN Sustainability Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (read more)

Today, 20 million people are refugees, over 41 million people have been internally displaced, and at least 4 million people are stateless. The threats of international homicide, violence against children, human trafficking and sexual violence are important to address to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development. They pave the way for the provision of access to justice for all and for building effective, accountable institutions at all levels.

Benedetta Berti and Evelien Borgman: What does it mean to be a refugee?

Around the globe many people have been forced to leave their homes to escape war, violence and persecution. The majority have become Internally Displaced Persons, meaning they fled their homes but are still in their own countries. Others, referred to as refugees, sought shelter outside their own country. But what does that term really mean? Benedetta Berti and Evelien Borgman explain.

David Miliband: The refugee crisis is a test of our character

Sixty-five million people were displaced from their homes by conflict and disaster in 2016. It’s not just a crisis; it’s a test of who we are and what we stand for, says David Miliband — and each of us has a personal responsibility to help solve it. In this must-watch talk, Miliband gives us specific, tangible ways to help refugees and turn empathy and altruism into action.

Luma Mufleh: Don’t feel sorry for refugees — believe in them

“We have seen advances in every aspect of our lives — except our humanity,” says Luma Mufleh, a Jordanian immigrant and Muslim of Syrian descent who founded the first accredited school for refugees in the United States. Mufleh shares stories of hope and resilience, explaining how she’s helping young people from war-torn countries navigate the difficult process of building new homes. Get inspired to make a personal difference in the lives of refugees with this powerful talk.

Consolidate with a task:

Consider what your chosen issue looks like in your national and local communities. What practical problems does it create in daily life? Do you think it would cause the same problems in other countries and communities? What impact does it have?

Carry out some online research to identify what Public Service Organisations, charities, Non-Government Organisations (NGOs), community action, social media, community and campaign groups exist both nationally and locally to address the issue? What action are they taking? What opportunities exist for people to involve themselves in support of the work of those groups, networks and organisations?

Write the title of your topic on the top line (i.e. Poverty or Health or Education etc) and then type a short paragraph to complete each of the following:

  1. At a global level this issue is about …
  2. At a National Level the main challenges created by this issue are …
  3. The organisations that already address these challenges at a national level are undertaking work such as …
  4. At a local level the problems faced in relation to this issue in my nearby communities are …
  5. The organisations that tackle these problems locally are undertaking work such as …

If you are working as a class or in a group online you might want to discuss this with your classmates. Try connecting-up in a group with fellow students that are working on different topics and help one another to think through each particular issue.

If you conclude that the issue you chose is not present in your local environment, you will need to go back and pick a different one. Alternatively, you could add a topic of your own that is not covered here. Start by finding some sources online that explain what the issue is and at least one example of an individual or organisation that is working to address an aspect of the overall issue.

Now find your Making it Real resource sheet

Download resource here>

On the sheet you will find examples of real service-learning projects from Round Square schools across the world. Mostly they are projects carried out in support of local communities, but with 85,000 students in Round Square schools across the world all engaging in community service each year it soon adds up to a global impact.

Look at the projects briefly described on the sheet and, using a different colour for each, mark-up which you think may have made a contribution to tackling issues related to (1) Poverty (2) Hunger (3) Health and wellbeing (4) Quality Education and (5) Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.

Did you circle any more than once? Did you circle each example on the sheet at least once? What do you think that demonstrates in terms of the connectedness between local action and global problems? If you are working in a group online, make this the basis for a discussion with your fellow students.

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