Notes #6

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Global Forum for National SDG Advisory Bodies

Proud to present the Global Forum for National SDG Advisory Bodies, a new initiative I am involved with as the executive director of Stakeholder Forum.

The Global Forum founded by the German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE), The Finnish National Commission on Sustainable Development, the United Nations Office of Intergovernmental Support and Coordination for Sustainable Development of UN DESA, and Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future.

United Nations SDG Summit 2019 – SDG-Media Zone to announce the Launch of The Global Forum for National SDG Advisory Bodies, 25 September 2019 – 15:00 to 16:00 EDT (New York), Programme schedule. Live coverage on UN Web TV.

Interviewer: Aida Cama, Deutsche Welle. Participants: Ms. Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter, Parliamentary State Secretary, German Federal Environment Ministry; Ms. Annika Lindblom, Secretary-General of Finland’s National Commission on Sustainable Development, and Head of Unit, International and EU Affairs, Ministry of the Environment, Finland; Ms. Cristina Gallach, High Commissioner for the 2030 Agenda of Spain; Mr. Charles Nouhan, Chair of the Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future

See the Global Forum’s website for more information and follow @GF_SDGadvisory for frequent updates.

GSDR Spin-off

Shortly after the release of the 2019 Global Sustainable Development Report (see also Notes #2 and Notes #3), the authors – the Independent Group of Scientists – published a comment in Nature Sustainability: Expansion of sustainability science needed for the SDGs. This comment briefly outlines some of the institutional and structural challenges in providing the best scientific knowledge to advancing the Sustainable Development Goals.

Inherent to the format of a comment, the text does not go into a level of detail satisfactory to those who are working on that interface of scientific knowledge production, research management, and science-policy. Nevertheless, it is a concise and important contribution to bring the challenges to the fore.

Side-note: This article uses the term sustainability science as synonym to science for sustainable development (e.g. Future Earth often does the same). In my view this is not helpful. Sustainability Science is a particular scientific discipline (or a highly interdisciplinary domain), with a specific epistemic community. Science for sustainable development also includes countless other disciplines and research areas. Some of those are closely related to sustainability science, for instance earth system governance research; most of those however are not. That sustainability science has concepts like co-design, co-production, and transdisciplinarity at its core, and that these concepts are now hyped as the way forward in science for sustainable development, of course does not help to make the necessary distinction between the terms.

Based on anecdotal evidence, I would even argue that conflating the two, hampers the necessary maximal utilization of scientific knowledge for the SDGs. Mono-disciplinary or fundamental research is important too!

Stumbled over …

An interesting blog post on Enabling frameworks: What universities need in the age of open innovation by Thomas Estermann and Thomas Jorgensen on the European University Association’s website. The post points to the importance of institutional autonomy:

Universities need the freedom to look beyond the boundaries of the traditional three missions of research, education and service to society to really integrate the latter into the first two, while connecting research and teaching by developing problem-based learning.

and to the need for sufficient and sustainable core funding:

Real disruptive innovation comes from curiosity-driven research, which often takes considerable time and cannot be confined in short-term market logics.

#Co-Design#European University Association (EUA)#Finnish National Commission on Sustainable Development#German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE)#Global Forum for National SDG Advisory Bodies#Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR)#Interdisciplinarity#Research Funding#Research Policy#Stakeholder Forum#Sustainability Science#Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)#UNDESA#University Management