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The Sulitest Story 

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 Building a sustainable world together


 

In 2012, the idea that emerged in Rio at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development first led Sulitest to an experimental phase aligned with the commitments of the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) signatories.

Sulitest designed an initial platform to foster the mission to, “support expanded sustainability knowledge, skills and mindset that motivate individuals to become deeply committed to building a sustainable future and to making informed and effective decisions.“

In 2013, universities were the first to begin to experiment with Sulitest’s international tool through the pilot platform. It was also at this time that many regional committees were created and produced their first set of local questions. All of them were convinced, as much as we are, that in order to build a sustainable future, all current and future decision-makers urgently needed to improve their literacy on sustainable development.

Learning from the pilot phase, a new platform was launched at the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi (May 2016). In this new Phase 1, Sulitest presented a more user-friendly tool, both for users and for examiners, and questions built on a refined matrix and aligned with one or more of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the Global Agenda.

Sulitest was recognized in 2016 as one of the first featured initiatives of the UN Partnerships for Sustainable Development Goals, and in 2017 as a contributor to the review of the 2030 Agenda through the High-level Political Forum (HLPF).

 Sulitest now offers a variety of tools aligned with the SDGs. To date, more than 130,000 people have taken Sulitest’s best-known tool - the international test - of which more than 74% expressed that they felt this test was useful for them in an optional survey.

 From an intuition to various uses

The pilot phase of Sulitest served as a proof of concept and explored the ways which the tool might be most beneficial to society. The pilot phase (2013-2016) provided important opportunities for the experimentation and development of RNECs (Regional / National Expert Committees). Based on feedback from the worldwide Sulitest community and the results of the 44,000 tests taken during the pilot phase, Sulitest revised: (1) The foundational matrix on which the test questions were based (2); The test questions themselves; and (3) The web platform. Following these updates, the revised version of Sulitest was released in May 2016.

Phase 1: includes the currently available revised tools.

Phase 1 includes the currently available tools for “Mapping and raising awareness” among participants. Sulitest’s bestknown tool - the Test – is anchored by the International Core Module, with optional Locational or Topical modules (see page 10). This content is focused on the area of “Knowledge” and “Awareness”. The universal nature of these questions informs the global Sulitest findings presented in this report to the HLPF. Demographic data collected in this section (optional) also supports the research potential of Sulitest. The Quiz provides a shorter gamified module for live use. Customization and Explorer mode for users with specific content needs are provided for a fee.

 Phase 2: includes exciting new tools and initiatives requested by the community that are currently in development.

Phase 2 allows enhancing robustness and includes exciting new tools and initiatives requested by the community that are currently in development. Key tools include: (1) The Community Platform - which allows community members to co-create Sulitest questions and modules, through wiki-style editing and expert review (see p.19) and (2) Tools for Teachers - such as pedagogical interface, sample slide decks, case studies and curriculum examples that will clearly help to scale-up the initiative. Handson resources like these support the continuous improvement process, based on contributions and collaborations from the Sulitest community.

Initiatives to take Sulitest to the next level regarding research, robustness and the business model are also under way. The first International Collaborative Strategy Session with Sulitest researchers took place in June 2018, and kicked off a coordinated discussion of the international research community around Sulitest. Two of the pilot studies are focused on the rigor of the tools developed by Sulitest and how to sharpen the interpretation of the data collected. These studies will clearly help to scale up the initiative and to support a continuous improvement process based on collaboration and contributions from the community.

The objective is to move from a singular tool for measuring engagement to a more robust assessment tool that can support the growing body of sustainability knowledge, skills and mindsets (see page 21).

Scaling-up will also benefit the Sulitest business model. A working group is exploring funding opportunities to support the mission and financial sustainability of Sulitest. 

Phase 3: includes areas we would like to develop in the future.

Phase 3 includes areas that can be developed in the future. With the increased rigor expected from Phase 2, we look to the possibility of creating a Certificate in Sustainability Literacy. In addition, we may develop tools that includes not only a Knowledge, but also the Mindset and Skills components. Sulitest is also committed to creating culturally relevant tools which are relevant to those wishing to be active in their communities and across society. We look forward to establishing local committees that can create relevant modules for their areas, and to translating tools into more languages.

The Sulitest community is active and growing rapidly. The strength and the future of Sulitest and our global society will be thanks to the richness, diversity and engagement accross the worldwide community. Join us!

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