Canisius Alumna Participates in Vatican Youth Symposium

November 8, 2016


BUFFALO, NY – Molly Burhans ’14 was among 50 young leaders from more than 30 countries who participated in the Vatican Youth Symposium from October 30-31 at the Casina Pio IV in Vatican City.

Burhans, executive director of the Goodlands Project and Catholic Geographic System, presented about how her programs lay the foundation for mapping the Catholic Church and create a platform that helps Catholic organizations, research institutes, and leadership share information. She emphasized that a good mapping platform and spatial data infrastructure that drives it can save organizations potentially millions of dollars each and make their programs more efficient.

Hosted by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (PAS), in collaboration with the Sustainable Development Solutions Network and its Youth  Initiative (SDSN Youth) the two-day conference brought together individuals from a variety of disciplines to co-generate solutions for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are a set of 17 goals included in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was launched at UN Headquarters in September 2015 and adopted by 193 member countries of the UN. The conference included a series of interactive workshops focused on sharing knowledge, generating ideas and operationalizing solutions to the SDGs.

The Vatican Youth Symposium represented a powerful platform where young leaders, critical agents of change, channeled their capacities toward the creation of a better world. The Pontifical Academy of Sciences, founded in Rome on 17 August 1603, is the only supranational academy of sciences in the world. Its headquarters are in the Casina Pio IV, a 16th century Renaissance villa in the Vatican Gardens. Its mission is to honor pure science, ensure its freedom and encourage research.

SDSN Youth is focused on empowering youth globally to create sustainable development solutions. SDSN Youth educates young people about the challenges of sustainable development and creates opportunities for them to use their creativity and knowledge to pioneer innovative solutions for the sustainable development goals. SDSN Youth creates platforms for young people to connect, collaborate and integrate their ideas and perspectives within the public policy field.

For more information about the Vatican Youth Symposium, click here.

Canisius is one of 28 Jesuit universities in the nation and the premier private university in Western New York.