Satellite Initiatives Spotlight: The Dartmouth Initiative by Sue Mohieldin Blog, Global Initiatives, SDGs

Sue Mohieldin, a sophomore at Dartmouth University, talks about her engagement with Ideas4Action and her plans to increase the club’s reach to her campus. Sue has been involved with Ideas4Action since her senior year of high school, being among the pioneers of the Ideas4Action high school competition. As an engineer, Sue wants to bring a more technological perspective to the competition, as she believes that engineering and technology are key to advancing the 2030 Development Agenda. Learn more about her initiative at Dartmouth and her efforts to improve the role of women in STEM and in the development ecosystem here.

14358689_10154530205864441_4710986126424307385_n“The Ideas for Action (I4A) initiative invites hundreds of youths to share their ideas for financing solutions to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In 2016, the competition drew global interest with participants from 125 countries. Participants proposed innovative solutions to help achieve the goals of the SDGs. The proposals ranged from promoting economic growth to ensuring sustainable management of water and sanitation.

As a young woman pursuing a career in engineering and economics I was instantly inspired by the Ideas for Action initiative. I became involved with I4A midway through my senior year of high school as I believed in the initiative’s goals and its mission. Living in Washington D.C., I constantly saw how politics, economics, and ideas are irreversibly intertwined, and any attempt to effect change in one must include the others. I saw how vital my generation’s voice was in improving the world. Because of these experiences, I made it my mission to help achieve the SDGs.

With every passing month, I have become more and more involved with the I4A initiative. Last year, I assisted the review board. My role consisted of reading through the many proposals, ranking them, and providing feedback based on the creativity, significance, feasibility, and clarity. Innovative and moving, the proposals left me feeling inspired and yearning for more. For example, the first place winner was from Team DLVR from Nigeria—it proposed an unprecedented approach to a peer-to-peer service that seeks to tackle logistical challenges for low-income brackets in emerging market nations. As the winner, the team was offered a platform to share its idea and thereby encourage more youth to take ownership over implementation of the SDGs. I4A also provided them access to some of the leading professionals in the international development field including both the public and private sectors.

After I graduated from high school I wanted to continue my efforts with I4A and made it a priority to take I4A with me to Dartmouth. As I explored my passions at Dartmouth, my love for combining engineering and economics has become more prominent. As an engineer, I believe that I play an active role in advancing the post-2015 development agenda to help improve the quality of life, battle poverty and end hunger. Engineering is vital in addressing basic human needs and creating opportunities for sustainable prosperity on a local, regional, national and global level. I believe that addressing the SDGs requires innovative engineering and technology-based solutions and that more young people, particularly women, should take up STEM careers. We can be the bridge that links the people with the ideas, those working on the ground with the local knowledge of how it might work and the financers to back them.

As a result, I have gathered a few partners who share my same perspective and we are on the brinks of starting our own I4A club here at Dartmouth. Our organization will be more focused towards female empowerment in the STEM field. My aim is to create an I4A network across the Ivy League. The organization would create a global platform, where members reach out to local communities and youth entities to identify areas of work and thereby exchange ideas and apply a problem solving approach to the problems. There is a great opportunity for the youth to be part of the solution and contribute to all of these different dimensions of work. At the end the end of the day it is their future that is at stake here.”

— Sue Mohieldin, Dartmouth University