York University launches powerful resource to inspire action towards a greener future

New microlecture series features world-renowned academic experts

Toronto, March 07, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Canada’s third-largest university is building on its strong track record and bolstering its position as a leader in creating positive change toward a more sustainable and inclusive world, with the launch of a free, open-access Microlecture Series in Sustainable Living.

Designed to inspire people around the world to take tangible sustainability-focused actions, the Microlecture Series is the latest example of how York University is living its longstanding values of social justice, equity, and sustainability. Thanks to its innovative format, in less than an hour anyone can learn from six of York’s world-renowned academic experts on a diverse range of topics. Participants are then tasked with making positive, sustainability-focused changes in their daily lives based on tips from each professor. The six microlectures cover:

  • how microplastics journey through and impact our ecosystems
  • the relationship between energy and economic growth
  • why the most vulnerable amongst us often face the highest flooding risks
  • the difference between a hazard and a disaster in context of emergency management
  • how colonialism has impacted the way disasters impact Indigenous communities
  • why our lakes are rapidly warming

“These global challenges are critical inflection points in society and our response to them will irrevocably determine the future wellbeing of people and the planet,” says York University President's and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda Lenton. “At York, we recognize the importance of convening people and ideas for meaningful action, and this Microlecture Series in Sustainable Living is an example of that in practice.”

After completing the Microlecture Series, correctly answering test questions, and committing to putting their learnings into practice, participants will be recognized with a first-of-its-kind Digital Badge in Sustainable Living, becoming ‘Sustainable Living Ambassadors.’ Offered by York’s Research and Innovation Division, the digital badge can be added to LinkedIn to serve as a powerful tool for challenging others to do their part.

“By offering a chance to not just learn about sustainability, but to make a difference and inspire others, the Microlecture Series is a powerful resource in our collective quest for a better future,” says York University’s Vice-President of Research and Innovation, Amir Asif.

York’s vision is to offer a broad demographic of students access to a high-quality university, that is research intensive and that is committed to driving positive change. At the centre of the University Academic Plan, is a challenge to elevate York’s contributions to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The University is ranked 33rd in the world in the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings for contributions to advancing the SDGs.

Known for its innovative and interdisciplinary approach, York originally launched the first of the microlectures titled “The Macro Problem with Microplastics” last year as part of a physical installation on York’s Keele and Glendon Campuses. This Microlecture Series is one of the tangible outcomes of the University’s Sustainability Action Commitment, recently announced by Lenton. It includes ambitious new goals to achieve carbon neutrality by 2049, or sooner, pledging $1 million to support sustainable innovation and expand York’s sustainability office, as well as the hiring of a Chief Sustainability Officer.

“We have an opportunity to redefine how we interact with the planet, to explore transformative solutions to mitigate the threats facing people and the Earth, and to support a more equitable and sustainable world,” Lenton concludes.  “I look forward to seeing our Sustainable Living Ambassadors inspiring others in their own communities to make small changes that can inspire positive change and have a big impact.”


About York University

York University is a modern, multi-campus, urban university located in Toronto, Ontario. Backed by a diverse group of students, faculty, staff, alumni and partners, we bring a uniquely global perspective to help solve societal challenges, drive positive change and prepare our students for success. York's fully bilingual Glendon Campus is home to Southern Ontario's Centre of Excellence for French Language and Bilingual Postsecondary Education. York’s campuses in Costa Rica and India offer students exceptional transnational learning opportunities and innovative programs. Together, we can make things right for our communities, our planet, and our future.

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Microlecture Series in Sustainable Living features York University's world-renowned academic experts

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