For the third year running, at this year’s World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, Salesforce.org showcased the educational opportunities and possibilities that can be created through community partnerships. Davos Codes, a year-round program, teaches young people computer programming skills and highlights the power that technology can bring when used for social good.   

At WEF on Wednesday, 45 students aged 14-16 from Davos Middle school  learned about Sustainable Development Goals, their importance, and why it is so vital that young people embrace them. The program of learning and coding had several tracks:

  • The students completed a Sustainable Development Goals Trailhead Module (Trailhead is an online learning platform developed by Salesforce) from which they learned the “what, why and how” of the SDGs.

  • The children were encouraged to show visitors to the lounge and share their learnings on what the SDGs are.

  • Themed learning modules taught the students about social good they can focus on in the communities where they live.

Through a project called “Life Below Water,” students brought together environmental activism and coding while conducting experiments on water samples from the local lake. After completing the project, the students were able to explain the fundamentals of environmental protectionism, what the Life Below Water goals are and why they are important.

Doug McCauley, an assistant professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, as well as the board of the Benioff Ocean Initiative, was on hand for the event. “The students learned about something that is near and dear to my heart, which is life in the water,” he said in an interview. “For example, they used 3D microscopes to study just how much plastic there is in the water right here in Davos.”

Last year, Davos Codes highlighted refugees. Students from the Middle School navigated a series of challenges to fundraise for and then design sustainable shelter solutions for displaced people.