Skip to content

Workshop: The Future of the Sustainable Development Goals

Bath, UK
Event start: 5 June 2023

Event description

Next week, the Earth System Governance (ESG) Research Centre Bath in collaboration with the ESG Taskforce on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will host a day-long workshop on the Future of the SDG’s.

The city of Bath, home to the newest ESG Research Centre

Background to the Workshop

Since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda in 2015, the 17 SDGs and 169 targets have received mixed feedback. While some praised this global agreement for its potential to guide governments and nonstate actors for promoting sustainable development worldwide, others pointed to potential tradeoffs between goals and challenges in evaluating the attainment of all targets. The recent published
impact assessment led by the GlobalGoals project shows that the SDGs have yet to make transformational changes in policies and institutions. Such limited impact and the debates around it have raised several important questions: What changes are needed now to improve progress towards existing goals and targets? What should replace them after 2030? Are more fundamental changes in governance needed to galvanise effort to protect people and planet?

2023 is an important year for the SDGs as we are now halfway through the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the second SDG summit will take place in September in New York. Therefore, it is timely for researchers and practitioners to reflect on the lessons learned in the past seven and half years and to anticipate the future of global sustainability governance. The purpose of this workshop is twofold: first, we want to codevelop an agenda to study the impact of the SDGs and the future of this governance mode; second, we will discuss policy proposals that can feed into upcoming political events, including the HighLevel Political Forum in July and the SDG Summit in September.

This workshop will gather researchers and practitioners to brainstorm key questions for future research on the SDGs as well as political messages that need to be sent to policymakers around the world. It will be in the format of a world café.


Time (BST) Theme
8:45 9:00
Arrival & Welcome
9:00 9:15
9:15 9:45
The political impact of the SDGs
Presentation by Prof Frank Biermann followed by Q&A

9:45 10:30
Worldcafé 1: What are the important research questions on the SDGs?
10:30 11:00
Coffee break
11:00 11:30
Network analysis of SDG interlinkages
Presentation by Prof Jonathan Dawes followed by Q&A

11:30 12:15
Worldcafé 2: What approaches are needed for the SDG research?

12:15 13:30 Lunch break
13:30 14:00
Recent trends in the global governance of the SDGs
Presentation by Prof Pamela Chasek followed by Q&A

14:00 15:00
Worldcafé 3: Political recommendations for the upcoming UN events
15:00 15:30
Coffee break
15:30 16:00
Challenges in the local implementation of the SDGs
Presentation by Dr Aurelie Charles followed by Q&A

16:00 17:00
Worldcafé 4: Governance through goals in the post2030 era
17:00 17:30
Wrapup & Next steps

If you would like to join this meeting last minute, please get in touch with Yixian Sun at to receive a zoom link.


Workshop organiser: Dr Yixian Sun

You might like these events too

Exploring Planetary Justice: Views from Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean
Exploring Planetary Justice: Views from Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean

On Tuesday, April 23rd, 2024, (8:00 to 9:30 Denver time, 10:00 to 11:30 Santiago time, 16:00…

Exploring Planetary Justice: Views from Western Europe
Exploring Planetary Justice: Views from Western Europe

On Tuesday, January 23rd, 2024, (8:00 to 9:30 am Denver time, 12:00 to 13:30 pm Santiago…

Exploring Planetary Justice: Views from South America
Exploring Planetary Justice: Views from South America

On Wednesday, December 6th, 2023, (8:00 to 9:30 am Denver time, 12:00 to 13:30 pm Santiago…

Recent publications

Building Capabilities for Earth System Governance

This Element develops a new Strategic Capabilities Framework for studying and steering complex socio-ecological systems. It is driven by the…

Trade and the Environment: Drivers and Effects of Environmental Provisions in Trade Agreements

The mushrooming of trade agreements and their interlinkages with environmental governance calls for new research on the trade and environment…

The Politics of Deep Time

Human societies increasingly interact with processes on a geological or even cosmic timescale. Despite this recognition, we still lack a…