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SUNY COIL Global Commons

SUNY COIL Global Commons

Welcome to the SUNY COIL Global Commons Program

Global Commons Meeting - Lessons Learned graphic

The inaugural cohort of the SUNY COIL Global Commons recently completed the program and their final storytelling projects are now available to view. Check out their videos, podcasts, graphic novels, and more at the Project Showcase site above!

About the Storytelling Projects

Students worked with a community based or nonprofit organization based in Africa or the Middle East that is working to address one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.  Students and representatives of these organizations discussed their work, their cultural context and their needs. Students then applied what they learned in the Intercultural Storytelling and Sustainable Development Goal focused courses to develop story-based materials for these organizations.  These projects are available on the Project Showcase website.

Program Description

During this six-week, six-credit program, SUNY students from across the system join together to take action on one of six selected Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in partnership with a community based or non-governmental organization (CBO or NGO).

CBOs and NGOs are doing important work with communities around the world, often operating with few resources. In this time of global pandemic, these resources are being stretched even further. The projects you complete with these organizations will help tell their story, from their perspective, and give them materials they can use in their work, right now. Here are two example videos of organizations you may work with, and the kinds of projects they would like your help with:

Kibbutz Lotan, Center for Creative Ecology
Friends of Brakenhurst Forest CBO

Students gain skills in storytelling, intercultural communications, and collaborative project development by telling the story of one of these partner organizations. Coursework on intercultural storytelling and international perspectives on one of the six SDGs listed below will provide concepts and knowledge that students apply to the project.

Registration for the program includes two courses: Intercultural Storytelling for Sustainable Development and one of the SDG-focused courses::

  1. International Perspectives on Poverty
  2. International Perspectives on Gender Equality
  3. International Perspectives on Climate Action
  4. International Perspectives on Sustainable Cities and Communities
  5. International Perspectives on Reducing Inequalities
  6. International Perspectives on Good Health and Well-being

Program Timeline

At the beginning of the program, participants learn about the partner organizations and the final projects. Students work on these projects with peers from other SUNY campuses along with contacts from our international partner organizations around the world. Projects are conducted and presented in English.

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Full Program Description


Students work on a storytelling project based on the needs of the community based or nonprofit organization with whom they are assigned. Participants interact with staff at the partner organization, having the opportunity to hear them talk about their work, their culture and their needs. The goal is to apply lessons learned from the Intercultural Storytelling course and to analyze the actions taken by the organization in relation to the SDG being studied in the International Perspectives course.

During the first week of the program, students will be introduced to and learn much more about the organization to which they have been assigned. Here are two example videos of organizations you may work with, and the kinds of projects they would like your help with.


Program FAQs

If you have general questions about the program, please contact


Office of Global Affairs