By Andreea Gatman, Act On Learning

Friendship and SDGs


Joy in doing something

Aristotle defined friendship as “two or more people having the best intention towards one another that share: common interests, joy in doing something, commitment for doing good”. He also adds, to make matters challenging as philosophy sometimes invites before matters clear the way, that all three aspects should be present. Our making jewelry with SDGs session with Jackie Hansom Social Innovation Program manager, Sarah Saeed Climate Innovation Program Manager, and Lauren Carnahan Communication Strategist and dear person behind the camera.

An Open Heart-led process

Zooming in, one might notice Sarah is working with SDG 13 “Climate Action”, Jackie (as former k-12 teacher, an educator, and presently a Student-led process Mentor) and I work with SDG 4 “Quality education”.

This speaks for our values and what we think our work is, from a more embodied sense. It is an Open Heart-led process, as Arawana Hayashi and Otto Scharmer (MIT) would say- we come, and let the process unfold from a place of compassion to ourselves and the ones around us and with an Open Mind- curiosity.

As our good friend and FABLAB coordinator prof. Alex Sargent where we are conveying the activity says “Let your hand lead for a while, give your head a rest”; we follow that insightful learning prompting and share from the heart issues we thought are important for the future good of the nearby community, and mostly we listen.

At the end, with no script whatsoever we said thank you for taking this time to relax and do creative work together and very much just be together. Backed with scientific thinking and critical thinking everyday moments of friendship advance our innovation around climate challenges and once more invites us to see that 21st century intelligence is WEQ- collectively thinking and imagining.


* Place: Wond’ry Innovation Center, Vanderbilt University, April 2025, practices inspired by Ecological leadership in the Classroom Online teachers program, part of Oddience2030.