G8 University Summit May 2009

In 2009, the Politecnico di Torino hosted the G8 University Summit, sponsored in the year of the Italian Presidency of the G8 Heads of State by CRUI (Conference of Italian Universities Rectors), Politecnico di Torino and the Italian National Commission for UNESCO.

TheSummitconcluded with the signing of the "Turin Declaration on Education & Research for Sustainable and Responsible Development”. The statement was addressed to the G8 Heads of State gathered atL’Aquila, with the commitment by each respectively to apply it in their home university and country, in a vision, which surpasses distinctions between developed and developing countries, all equally committed to sustainability on a global scale developed through local sustainability.

The two-day Turin Summit, in the setting of theCastleofValentino, brought together 41 delegates from 18 countries and 9 international university networks, representing a total of more than 3000 universities. The meeting included the G8 countries and those of Outreach 5, as well as other countries such asSaudi Arabia,Australia,South Korea,Egypt,JordanandIndonesia.

TheSummithighlighted the key role that universities must play in contributing towards the creation and dissemination of a culture of sustainable development and responsibility, both at a global and local level. A sustainability which involves economic, environmental aspects, ethical, social aspects and energy policies, and represents a paradigmatic example of an integrated approach to the problem.

The delegates focused on the question of education in particular, as the key element for the construction of a new model for a sustainable and responsible society, highlighting the duty universities have to encourage new paradigms and new cultural attitudes of a sustainable nature.