Workshop on Implementing the SDGs
Geneva, Switzerland, 27 April 2016
A high-level workshop on "Implementing the SDGs: creating and sharing knowledge" was held at International Environment House in Geneva, Switzerland, on 27 April 2016. The workshop was organized and convened by IEF member Dr. Joachim Monkelbaan with the assistance of the University of Geneva Institute for Environmental Sciences and the support of the Swiss Network for International Studies, and brought together over 40 experts from the international organizations, academic community and civil society organizations in the Geneva area. IEF represented civil society organizations in the planning of the workshop.
The purpose of the workshop was to identify needs and opportunities in terms of research and education needed to implement the Sustainable Development Goals, considering the coherent framework that the SDGs offer together with deep interconnections and cross-cutting elements that require multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder engagement.
After opening remarks by Dr. Monkelbaan, the first session on knowledge creation was moderated by Prof. Lichia Saner-Yui, President of the Center for Social and Economic Development (CSEND). Prof. Hy Dao of the University of Geneva and colleagues presented on possibilities and challenges of the "data revolution" for the SDGs; Dr. Cecilia Cannon of The Graduate Institute discussed designing and implementing effective monitoring mechanisms for reaching the SDGs; Daniel Wermus of the Millennium Institute presented an integrated model for Sustainable Development Goal strategies derived from the World 3 model used for the Club of Rome studies on the Limits to Growth; and Dr. Andrea Bassi of KnowlEdge srl reviewed systems thinking.
IEF member Joachim Monkelbaan opening the workshop; part of the audience
The second session on knowledge sharing moderated by Peter Illig, Executive Director, Frontier 2050, included teaching methods such as SDG living labs from Dr. Alexandre Babak Hedjazi of the University of Geneva; Prof. Arthur Dahl, International Environment Forum, on values-based education and the SDGs describing IEF experience bringing in an ethical perspective; Leticia Saura of the University of Geneva on executive education in corporate social responsibility (CSR); and Dr. Elena Proden of UNITAR describing their training programmes relevant to the SDGs.
The third session on knowledge implementation, creating SDG coherence and effectiveness in practice, was moderated by Mark Halle, Executive Director, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). The panelists were Alice Tipping of the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Develioment (ICTSD) on trade and Agenda 2030; Luisa Bernal of UNDP on its approach to SDG implementation; Dr. Ralph Heinrich of UNECE on promoting innovation for sustainable development, and Ahmad Mukhtar of FAO on food security and the SDGs.
A set of brainstorming sessions produced suggestions on knowledge generation, capacity building and diffusion as a basis for a Geneve SDG knowledge agenda. Many networking opportunities were created, and the experts agreed to continue meeting to build more collaboration.
Last updated 30 April 2016