Academy for Sustainable Development

Registered in the United Nations Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (UN HESI) as an SDG Partnership #SDGAction43794.

Through the Academy, we develop innovative and practical curricula for higher and vocational education institutions to support their role as drivers of sustainable socio-economic development. In collaboration with universities, we design advanced programs and courses that bridge the educational sector with civil society and SMEs, promote an entrepreneurial mindset and inclusive digital literacy, increase youth employment, and enable digital and green transition in the European Union. It contributes to the Next Generation EU, The Digital Agenda for Europe, The strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training 2020 (ET2020), the European Skills Agenda.

Programs in collaboration with Universities

Advanced Blue and Circular Economy Program

Delivered by the academic network of the Blue KmC² Living Labs, this educational program is designed to equip students and professionals with the knowledge and skills to make a positive impact in the evolving landscape of sustainable development. Click to learn more and how to apply

Sustainable Actions Design and Delivery

We believe that the best way to trigger change at scale is to enable present and aspiring Action Leaders to make a difference. The goal of this program is to equip you with innovative concepts and proven best practices in sustainable development and social impact and show how they can be applied to your own project or cause. Click to learn more

Lockdown Economy Challenge

The program was tailor-made and run in universities in Europe and Latin America. It allowed them to increase the remote engagement of students and their participation in social impact innovation while being completely safe for all people involved. SDSN is featuring it as a program Accelerating Education for SDGs at Universities. Click here to learn more

Young System Thinkers

It is a collaborative program for young graduates of vocational and tertiary education. It is aimed to amplify the chances of success in the world of work. It equips them with a new systemic approach to goal setting, problem-solving, ideation, solution design, project planning, and personal or business development. The initiative is registered as SDG Acceleration Action at the United Nations. Click here to learn more

EU Projects on Education

ERASMUS+ Grant 2023-2027: AI4VET4AI

Think Tank AlterContacts is part of the consortium that in June 2023 was awarded the ERASMUS+ grant for Centres of Vocational Excellence (COVE). The project "AI-powered Next Generation of Vocational Education Training" (AI4VET4AI) is dedicated to equipping VET students with digital skills and allowing them to choose their career path. It will continue until 2027. The consortium consists of 26 partners. Among others, the University of Amsterdam, Technische Informations Bibliothek Leibniz, Universita degli Studi di Napoli. It is coordinated by the English University College Algebra, Croatia. Click here to learn more

ERASMUS+ Grant 2022-2025: PREVIEW

Think Tank AlterContacts got awarded the ERASMUS+ Grant for KA220-HED with the project PREVIEW - Promoting Resilience and Employability in uniVersity. The implementing consortium includes the University of Sassari, Bucharest University of Economic Studies, University of Salamanca, Nevşehir Hacı Bektaş Veli University, Mediterranean Pearls, and Asociaţia de Dezvoltare Intercomunitară Harghita. It is led by the National Research Council of Italy. Click here to learn more

Programs for Companies

Sustainability Training Workshops

Gain unique insights into What does Sustainable Development mean and how does it affect your business? What is the United Nations Agenda 2030? What is the difference between SDG, ESG, and SBT? How do they apply to what your company and its geographic footprint? How can you put this knowledge into practice? Click here to learn more

Sustainability for Industry Leaders

Welcome to the Executive Impact Mastery Program: Navigating Sustainable Futures. As industry leaders, your strategic decisions shape not only the trajectory of your organizations but also leave a lasting imprint on society and the environment. This exclusive program is crafted to elevate your understanding and proficiency in orchestrating sustainable projects that seamlessly align with your organization's long-term strategy and global benchmarks. For information, contact

Mapping What You Do to Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2030

In this hands-on session on Dec 6, the participants learnt how their activity, project, initiative or business contributes to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and its targets; how to explain the sustainability contribution of their activities in a clear, simple, and impactful way; how to leverage their sustainability story when they pitch or apply for funding.

Trainings in collaboration with the UN

UN ECOSOC 2024 Partnership Forum - Side Event

On Jan 30, 2024, together with UNCTAD, Think Tank AlterContacts hosted a virtual side event  "Circular Economy for SDGs: Inspiring Transformations Towards Sustainable, Resilient, and Innovative Solutions". It presented the circular economy as a holistic framework that reinforces the principles of the 2030 Agenda, addressing poverty eradication, resilience, and innovation in the face of multiple crises. During the event, the new initiative - Kilometro Circular - was officially launched. Press here for full details

2023 HLPF SDGs Learning, Training and Practice

On July 13, 2023, together with UNCTAD, Think Tank AlterContacts hosted a Round Table on Urban Entrepreneurship. It was part of the 2023 edition of the SDGs Learning, Training & Practice – a series of capacity-building sessions held annually as a Special Event for the United Nations High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. More details here


Recognized as contributors to Education for SDG

Lockdown Economy Challenge: Sustainable and Innovative Entrepreneurship for Students has been recognized as a case study for Accelerating Education for the SDGs in Universities by SDSN. The program facilitates a successful school-to-work transition. It has been implemented in six universities, involving 400 students across Europe and Latin America. More about the case study here

Registration as a Partner for UN HESI

AlterContacts Academy for Sustainable Development was registered as a partner of the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative. HESI was created in the run-up to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). The partners of the initiative are UN-DESA, UNESCO, UNEP, UN Global Compact's Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) initiative, UNU and UN-Habitat.

Our Educational Partners

Thesis Fellowships

Bachelor Graduation Project at Epoka University 2020-21

In July 2021, two Bachelor students of Operations Management at Epoka University completed their graduation project based on the Lockdown Economy. On the side of the university, their work was supervised by Dr. Alba Kruja. As a result two graduation projects were produced:

The Effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic On Albanian MSMEs And the Coping of Albanian MSMEs with the Situation by Rexhina Tare

Lockdown Economy: What was the Impact it had on the Food & Beverages Sector In Europe? by Kleida Sharra

This and more interviews from the field research you can find here.

Master Thesis at Erasmus University Rotterdam 2020-21

From January to July 2021, an MSc student in Global Business & Sustainability at Rotterdam School of Management from the Erasmus University Rotterdam was analyzing field data of Lockdown Economy to see how female entrepreneurs were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Master's thesis produced:

I am Not a Female Entrepreneur, She Said: Contextualising Female Entrepreneurship in Crisis and Leveraging Diversified Networks by Karen R.

Impact on Sustainable Development Goals

SDG 4: Quality Education

Target 4.4: Increase the number of youth who have relevant skills for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship.

Target 4.5: Eliminate all discrimination in education

Target 4.7: Education for sustainable development and global citizenship

SDG 8: Sustainable Economic Growth

Target 8.3: Promote entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation

Target 8.6: Promote youth employment, education and training

SDG 17: Global Partnership for Sustainable Development

Target 17.6: Knowledge sharing and cooperation for access to science, technology and innovation

Target 17.16: Enhance the global partnership for sustainable development

Target 17.17: Encourage effective partnerships

Supporting Global Youth

Across the globe, young people are being disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in the world of work. Recent graduates are struggling to enter the labor market. We want to give young people opportunities to develop their potential to shape the future of the world. 

Through AlterContacts Academy, we aim to 

Making University Education More Dynamic

Programs of AlterContacts Academy for Sustainable Development enable Educational Institutions to 


The Academy program is organized and coordinated by Think Tank AlterContacts. It is carried out through collaboration with local and regional partners, primarily universities and schools. There is no toll on partner resources. 

Think Tank AlterContacts provides step-by-step guides and supporting materials on how to set it up and run it in any educational institution to assure the quality of the execution is consistent across geographies and different partnerships.

The Think Tank plays the role of integrator, connecting schools, universities and facilitating social innovation involving partners from a wide network of experts in the entrepreneurial and academic world. It involves local foundations, NGOs, government institutions, private organizations, and associations.