RCE Southern Vietnam - 2023

Education for Sustainable Development among Youth through Innovation Activities
Basic Information
Title of project : 
Education for Sustainable Development among Youth through Innovation Activities
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Southern Vietnam
Contributing organization(s) : 
- International University (IU-VNUHCM)
- IU Youth Union
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Tran Thi Ngoc Diep
Organizational Affiliation: 
International University - Vietnam National University in Ho Chi Minh City
Le Nguyen Thuy Van
Organizational Affiliation: 
International University - Vietnam National University in Ho Chi Minh City
Nguyen Ngoc Dan Thuy
Organizational Affiliation: 
International University - Vietnam National University in Ho Chi Minh City
Format of project: 
manuscript, PowerPoint and audiovisual
Language of project: 
English, Vietnamese
Date of submission:
Tuesday, July 11, 2023
Additional resources: 
Supporting the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Ecosystem until 2025
At what level is the policy operating?: 
Geographical & Education Information
Ho Chi Minh City
Address of focal point institution for project: 
Quarter 6, Linh Trung Ward, Thu Duc City, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Target Audience:
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
Southeast Vietnam is the most highly urbanized and economically developed region in the country. It consists of Ho Chi Minh City and five provinces Dong Nai, Binh Duong, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Binh Phuoc and Tay Ninh. While Ho Chi Minh city serves as a key center for finance, logistics, tourism, healthcare, and education, its adjacent provinces focus on high-tech industries and agriculture. However, due to booming development, the region is dealing with many emerging social and environmental issues.
Entrepreneurship and Innovation have been keywords reflected in the National Development Strategy, government initiatives, ministries, departments, local authorities, international development activities, startup incubation, investment connectivity, investment attraction, universities, research, and teaching activities in Vietnam since 2016. Alongside innovation and entrepreneurship, the socio-economic development of the country aims for sustainable development based on three pillars: Economy, Society, and Environment.
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
Innovation is one of the key factors promoting sustainable social development. Youth are increasingly interested in activities towards the environment and sustainable development, but their awareness is not extensive. According to a survey conducted by ActionAid Vietnam and its partners, approximately 57% of young people expressed that lack of soft skills is one of the significant obstacles preventing their involvement in sustainable development. Therefore, through innovative activities including camping, startup competitions, workshops, short courses, etc. which integrate education on sustainable development, will raise the youth's awareness of their roles, responsibilities and practical actions to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
October, 2022
We have organized a lot of activities, for example camping, hackathon, startup competitions, workshops, training courses to promote the spirits of innovation and creativity for students in universities in Southeast Vietnam,which contributes to the realization of SDG 4, 9, 11, and 13. All activities integrate education on sustainable development in the organization, contents, and outputs. We have created a positive and active environment for youth to raise their voices, conduct ideas, and social projects that contribute to solving issues in the community; thereby, making a positive contribution to the sustainable development of society.
1) Create opportunities for youth to participate in innovative activities, which promote sustainable development and social business.
2) Change mindset and empower the youth to innovate and engage in sustainability-oriented initiatives.
3) Improve knowledge, skills, and spread the spirit of social entrepreneurship aligned with 17 SDGs of the United Nations.
Activities and/or practices employed: 
- Innovation Story Day:
Duration: 10/2022
The program included 4 main activities: 1) A showcase for students to display their innovative startup products; 2) Presentation of students about their projects of which implementation of SDGs were highlighted in front of a judge committee and investors toward social business creation. 3) Workshop "From Ideas to Business" to equip students with entrepreneurial mindsets and social business creation.
Format: Offline at campus
- IU Innovation Camp (Dec 2022):
Duration: 04th - 11th December 2022
The camp includes 4 main activities: Seminar “Entrepreneurship Journey”, Explosion Competition, Soft-Skill Training, Green Day and others (Campfire, BBQ, …).
Format: Online and Offline.
- IU Startup Demo Day (IU.SDD) Contest
Duration: 09th Feb - 27th May 2023:
competition to find potential start-up projects, realize and develop products from the laboratory to be closer to the market. The contest consists of 2 rounds, integrated with activities such as mentoring, training in startup skills and creating prototypes. Highlighting SDGs in implementation and outcomes has been required.
Format: Offline at campus
- Seminars:
Duration: during academic year
Inspiring seminars and training programs to stimulate the spirit of innovation, provide basic knowledge, and share startup stories for students and lecturers such as “Creativity and Innovation in Education: Where to start?”, “From an Idea to a Business”; “Artificial Intelligence in Research and Application”,...
Format: Online and Offline.
- Incubation and Connection:
Duration: July - October 2023
Connect projects with advisors/mentors, support the labs for projects to improve their products, seek commercialization and access to investment.
Format: Online and Offline.
- Support student projects to participate in national and international entrepreneurship programs:
Duration: July 2023 - March 2024
Supporting information and encouraging projects to participate in national and international innovation competitions. The typical projects selected to represent the university in the competition will be supported with a part of the participation fee.
Format: Online and Offline.
Size of academic audience: 
1.Innovation Story Day (12th Oct 2022): It was the event for alumni and students to show their prototype and marketable products at 12 exhibition booths. There were 08 outstanding research projects presented for 10 national and international experts and investors. The event attracted the participation of more than 1,000 students and the media attention. The program has successfully introduced to the community outstanding projects which have strong social impacts, contributing to improving the reputation and image of the university in the field of scientific research and creative entrepreneurship.
2. IU Innovation Camp themed “Green Innovation'' (04th - 11th December 2022): Following the success of IU Innovation Camp 2021 which has been awarded RCE Award 2022 by United Nations University in the category “Honorable Mention”, the IU Innovation Camp 2022 was organized with the theme “Green Innovation”. There were about 140 students, 15 national experts and 02 international experts participating in the camp. The student presented more than 100 ideas for new products and services which meaningfully contribute to social sustainable development and for a green environment. The Camp has created a useful playground and an environment to promote the creative spirit of students, and spread to many other universities in the area, helping students have a more in-depth view of the common and urgent issues of society, especially of Ho Chi Minh City.
3. IU Startup Demo Day (IU.SDD) Contest (09th Feb - 27th May 2023): attracted 32 projects that have significant social impact and contribute clearly to sustainable development goals. Some notable projects among them include the application of 3D bioprinting in the medical field, the development of devices to restore mobility and independence for individuals with limb paralysis (the winner of IU.SDD 2023), contributing to SDG 3; Some others contribute to SDG 12 such as utilizing banana peels to make biscuits, producing organic fertilizer from by-products of the food processing industry. These projects have the potential to move towards a circular economy.
4. Seminar (during academic year):Organizing an average of 5 seminars and 10 trainings per year, attracting more than 15 national and international experts, with a total of nearly 700 participants.
5. Incubation and connection (July - October 2023): Supported many projects participating in the startup program, and get many remarkable achievements such as Second Prize of ASEAN at China-ASEAN Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition 2022; Consolation Prize at SV-STARTUP (MoET); 100+ students joining Google Professional Certificates 2023 (Google and National Innovation Center); 20+ students participating in Global Startup Hackathon (Ngee Ann Polytechnic); 04 projects participating in Social Business Creation 2023 (Hec Montreal Canada); …
Lessons learned: 
Through our program series, we've learned that integrating SDGs into entrepreneurial and innovative projects is more effective than solely educating youth about them. By incorporating SDGs into ideas and projects, young people gain a deeper understanding of their significance and the values they contribute. It emphasizes that anyone, regardless of background or field of study, can contribute to sustainable development.
Key messages: 
The innovation activities will promote the sense of social responsibility, improve skills and empower youth to conduct their ideas and community projects, thereby contributing to the regional innovation ecosystem and sustainable growth of society.
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
As an annual program, it is expected to open more international boards with the participation of foreign students and experts, in order to increase integration and demonstrate the unit’s strengths.
Innovation Story Day: ~5,500 USD
Iu Innovation Camp: ~8,000 USD
IU Startup Demo Day Contest: ~10,000 USD
Seminars: ~2,000 USD
Incubation and Connection: ~2,000 USD
Support student projects to participate in national and international entrepreneurship programs (experts, accommodation, transportation, …) : ~3,000 USD


File Name Caption for picture Photo Credit
Image icon GREEN DAY.jpg (605.34 KB) Green Day Thuc Tran
Image icon Green planet.jpg (496.52 KB) Green planet Nhat Truong
Image icon Save the Earth.jpg (500.29 KB) Save the Earth Nhat Truong
Image icon green innovation camp 2022.jpg (592.73 KB) Green Innovation Camp 2022 Thuy Van
Image icon highlighting SDGs in project.JPG (5.84 MB) Highlight SDGs in the project Nhat Truong
Image icon independence mobility.JPG (9.01 MB) Independence mobility project - The winner of SDD 2023 Nhat Truong
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 
SDG 9 - Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, and foster innovation 
SDG 11 - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable 
SDG 12 - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns 
SDG 13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 
SDG 17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development 
Curriculum Development 
ESD for 2030-Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 1 - Advancing policy 
Priority Action Area 2 - Transforming learning and training environments 
Priority Action Area 3 - Developing capacities of educators and trainers 
Priority Action Area 4 - Mobilizing youth 
Priority Action Area 5 - Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level 
I acknowledge the above: