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Taking Stock and Moving Forward: Lessons Learned from an Assessment of the Political Impact of the SDGs

Event start: 2nd June

Event description


As an Associated Event to the Stockholm +50 Conference, the Global Goals Project and the Earth System Governance Project will host a launch event to highlight key findings from the SDG Impact Assessment and host an ensuing science-policy dialogue on crucial implementation pathways to realize ongoing political and societal transformation towards sustainable development.

The event will hosted in-person by the Stockholm Environment Institute in association with Stockholm+50. It will also be streamed online.

Time: 13.30-15.00 CEST

Location: SEI Lounge, Stockholm Environment Insitute, Linnégatan 87D, 104 51 Stockholm

and Microsoft Teams:

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The SDG Impact Assessment features the first meta-analysis of the available scientific knowledge about the steering effects of the SDGs since 2015 and involves a global representation of 61 researchers. It finds that the effects of the SDGs are so far mainly present in the political discourse, with little substantial effects on the (re-)allocation of resources by governments, and moreover points to a lack of incentive structures that guide public and private funding towards sustainable pathways. Overall, the SDG Impact Assessment suggests that the SDGs are not (yet) leading to fundamental and transformational changes and that the voluntary nature of the 2030 Agenda makes it easy for actors to implement the SDGs in a way that benefits their self-interests.

The session will be focused on SDG implementation at multiple levels and will take stock of the assessment’s findings, before concluding with a high-level discussion on how the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development can move beyond political discourse and galvanize solutions in all societal sectors to lead to fundamental and transformational change.

Speakers include:

Frank Biermann is a research professor of Global Sustainability Governance with the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development at Utrecht University and a widely cited scholar of global institutions and organizations in the sustainability domain. He pioneered the ‘earth system governance’ paradigm in global change research in 2005, and was founder and first chair of the Earth System Governance Project, a global transdisciplinary research network of sustainability scholars. He has authored or co-edited 18 books and published more than 200 articles and book chapters, along with more than 100 policy contributions.

Louis Kotzé is Research Professor of Law at the Faculty of Law, North-West University, SA, and Senior Professorial Fellow in Earth System Law at the University of Lincoln, UK. His research focuses on human rights, socio-ecological justice and environmental constitutionalism; law and the Anthropocene; and Earth system law. He has over 170 publications on these themes. He is assistant editor of the journal Earth System Governance; a Senior Fellow of the Earth System Governance Network; member of its Scientific Steering Committee; and co-convenor of the Network’s Taskforce on Earth System Law.



Khaled Emam is a Young Human Rights lawyer and the Executive Director of Justice Call, a

former Co-Chair of The United Nations Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development (UN IANYD), and Co-Chair of Youth, Peace, and Security at Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) Khaled is currently serving as organizing Partner of the Major Group for Children and Youth (MGCY). H His work focused on building a modern democratic state that protects human dignity by promoting civic for young people and build suitable peace.


Andrea Ordóñez is the Director of Southern Voice and has been part of the initiative since inception in 2012. She leads the implementation of the network strategy and programmes. She co-edited the book “Southern Perspectives on the Post-2015 International Development Agenda” with Debapriya Bhattacharya. Her work focuses on better fostering better knowledge systems to support sustainable development. Andrea has developed research projects for the public sector and numerous international organizations.

Prakash Kashwan is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Co-Director of the Research Program on Economic and Social Rights, Human Rights Institute, University of Connecticut, Storrs. He is the author of the widely reviewed and acclaimed book Democracy in the Woods: Environmental Conservation and Social Justice in India, Tanzania, and Mexico (Oxford University Press, 2017) and a Co-Editor of the journal Environmental Politics. He also serves on the editorial advisory boards of Earth Systems GovernanceProgress in Development Studies, Sage Open, and Humanities & Social Sciences Communications.

The event will be moderated by Gustav Thungren, Managing Director of the Earth System Governance Project.


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