The aim of this event is 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 take place at the Stockholm Environment Institute to coincide with Stockholm+50. It will also be streamed online.

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.

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.