The 2nd annual ‘Catalyzing Change Week 2021’ was held from 3rd-7th May through 120 online sessions, during which 1600 organizations from different countries participated. Catalyst 2030 is a global movement of social innovators and social entrepreneurs working to achieve United Nation’s sustainable development goals (SDG) by 2030. The interactive sessions were structured around the themes of ‘Connect, Celebrate, and Accelerate’. President SASTA Dr. Rana Dajani actively participated in the week long virtual event, sharing her vision and experience on the change the social innovators can bring to the society.
President SASTA Dr. Rana Dajani took part in several sessions discussing the role of social change makers in attaining a sustainable future for all. During her conversation in session held on 3rd May, ‘Hallmarks of Successful Networks’, Dr. Rana talked about the networks she is a member of and how these groups are working and helping the society. She mentioned the agenda of SASTA as a network of senior scientists from Arab countries working together to stimulate the status of science and technology in the Arab countries. Discussing further, she shared her opinion on making sure that members in any network are empowered through focusing on individuals. She said that those social networks work best where one person is not the hub but each member is involved in the activities. She gave the example of the nature of networks in Biology in which elements are linked together to make a strong and supportive web of diverse components. According to her in order for social-change networks to be more successful it is important to foster a sense of belonging in the members. The speakers exchanged ideas on technology and its use in today’s world especially in COVID-19 scenario where there is a need to work together in teams across the globe through communication platforms and the challenges we might face.
On 5th May the session on ‘Inspiring Global Womxn: a call to action’ was held. Speaking at this online session, Dr. Rana put emphasis on the need to make women see themselves as change makers. She elucidated that it could be achieved by talking about stories of other women and helping them to celebrate their actions. Providing women with inclusive environments at networks or organizations is a major step towards achieving the 5th SDG of Gender Equality.
During the session ‘Innovative Solutions for Vaccine Inequity’ held on 6th May, Dr. Rana elaborated the efforts of SASTA to disseminate the information to the Arab speaking citizens around the globe through the use of Arab language for networking and communication. She explained that awareness is the innovation needed to administer vaccines to the public. This can be achieved by educating people in their own languages through social media or connections. To the question as how innovatively the governments can build the trust, Dr. Rana shared that the trust can be built if the higher level officials endorse the administration of vaccines by sharing their own experiences with the general public.
The Inaugural Session of the Catalysing Change Week 2021 featured Former Prime Minister of Jordan Dr. Omar Razzaz, and the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Finland Ms. Krista Mikkonen. During his inaugural talk, His Excellency Dr. Omar Razzaz talked about how social innovators could convince governments to take steps for the pursuit of objectives catering the development of the nations. He emphasized on the importance of working and documenting the model, and then taking that pilot project to the governments to help them draft national policies around SDGs. Dr. Razzaz spoke highly of the social change makers who work passionately, for example, for physically challenged people, remote areas, health care and home care systems. Her Excellency Krista Mikkonen emphasized on the importance of this year’s themes ‘Connect, Celebrate, and Accelerate’ on achieving the sustainable development goals. Other social entrepreneurs shared their experiences to co-create impact among the societies throughout the week long sessions. Our readers can click on the link to watch full sessions of ‘Catalysing Change Week 2021’.