Hosts and Sponsors

Hosts and Sponsors


Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Utrecht University

The Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development develops high-quality knowledge on sustainable development issues in order to support the global transition to a sustainable society. Given the integrated nature of sustainable development challenges, multidisciplinary research is key. The Copernicus Institute integrates knowledge especially from four fields: Energy and Resources, Environmental Governance, Environmental Sciences, and Innovation Studies, while contributing to improved knowledge related to all 17 SDGs. The Institute is part of the Faculty of Geosciences at Utrecht University.

Founded in 1636, Utrecht University is one of the oldest universities in the Netherlands. Various venues throughout Utrecht’s historic city centre and the modern science park ‘De Uithof’ turn the university into an integral part of the cityscape. Over 30,000 bachelor and master students are enrolled in the university’s seven faculties and three teaching institutes. For sixteen years, Utrecht University has been listed as the best Dutch university in the Academic Ranking of World Universities. In ‘Environmental Sciences’, Utrecht University is ranked as the 13th best university world-wide.


The ambition expressed in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is unprecedented. Scientific evidence on whether the SDGs can live up to the exceedingly high expectations, however, is lacking. The GlobalGoals Project has been designed to bridge this knowledge gap. Within this five-year study programme, funded by an ‘Advanced Grant’ from the European Research Council, we investigate how and under which conditions ‘global governance through goals’ can nonetheless be effective. In deploying a unique set of cutting-edge methodologies, GlobalGoals assesses and explains the steering effect of the SDGs through detailed investigations of their institutional arrangements and actor networks. The research will offer the first and most comprehensive data compilation, network mapping and comparative institutional analysis of the evolution, effectiveness and future prospects of ‘global governance through goals’. It will provide crucial contributions to both the theory of global sustainability governance and the successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development.


The German Development Institute (DIE)

The German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) is one of the leading think tanks for global development and international cooperation worldwide. It is located in the United Nations City of Bonn. DIE’s work is based on the interplay between research, policy advice and training. DIE is building bridges between theory and practice. Research at DIE is theory-based, empirically-driven and application-oriented. It provides the basis for the consulting activities of the institute. DIE develops policy-relevant concepts, advises ministries, governments and international organisations, and refers to current policy issues. The training programmes of the institute for university graduates and young professionals are integrated into the research and advisory process.

Monash Sustainable Development Institute, Monash University

Monash University, established in Melbourne in 1958, currently counts over 80.000 students on campuses in Australia, Malaysia, China, India and Italy. Following the motto ‘Ancora Imparo’ (I am still learning), the university is a valuable contributor to new scientific knowledge generation. Monash University is committed to playing a fundamental role to achieving the SDGs. Across its ten faculties, the university has a wealth of sustainable development expertise, with the Monash Sustainable Development Institute providing an important platform to share that expertise with industry and government.

Southern Voice

Southern Voice is an open platform for think tanks that contributes to the global dialogue on the Sustainable Development Goals. It aims for the removal of the existing ‘knowledge asymmetry’ and ‘participation deficit’ in intergovernmental relations on the SDGs by empowering think tanks from the Global South, embedding Southern research in the global discourse on the SDGs, promoting space for deliberative evidence-based policymaking and ensuring that governments are held accountable for it. Since its creation in 2012, Southern Voice has evolved into a vibrant network of over 50 think tanks from Africa, Latin America and Asia that demands a world in which people’s rights and needs are met and sustainable development is achieved.

Sussex Sustainability Research Programme (SSRP)

The Sussex Sustainability Research Programme (SSRP) represents a collaboration between the schools of Business Management and Economics; Global Studies; Law Politics and Sociology; and Life Science of the University of Sussex, and the Institute of Development Studies. With its focus on possible trade-offs among SDGs, and solutions that avoid these trade-offs, the SSRP is one of the leading research organisations in the field, hereby integrating natural science, social science, and the humanities. The SSRP has funded 20 interdisciplinary research projects focusing on trade-offs among SDGs. These are grouped in six clusters: Biodiversity and Food, Climate and Food Insecurity, Global Health and the Environment, the Peri-Urban Environment, Sustainability Perspectives, and Trade Debt and the SDGs.


European Research Council (ERC)

The European Research Council (ERC) is the flagship for the European Union’s Research Framework Programme. Through competitive funding, the ERC encourages the highest quality research in Europe and supports investigator-driven, bottom-up frontier research across all fields. In the long-term, the ERC aims to substantially strengthen the European research system and make its research base more prepared to be able to respond to the needs of a knowledge-based society. Moreover, it supports universities and research institutes in establishing themselves as more effective global players.

The ERC supports the GlobalGoals Project through an Advanced Grant, the highest personal award by European Union institutions.

Pathways to Sustainability
pathways logo

What is needed to enable the transition towards a more sustainable society? Pathways to Sustainability, one of the four interdisciplinary research foci at Utrecht, contributes to a sustainable future by means of transdisciplinary research. Excellent researchers from the humanities, social and natural sciences work together with external partners to develop a more sustainable society.