GlobalGoals Webinar Series
Five years after the introduction of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we brought together 61 scholars to assess whether the SDGs facilitated a transition towards a more just and sustainable society. Guided by the questions whether, to what extent, and how the SDGs have brought about any behavioural change of political, economic, or societal actors since 2015, the GLOBALGOALS team has reviewed more than 3.000 scientific articles published between 2015 and 2020. The resulting meta-analysis, The SDG Impact Assessment , was published in July 2022 and is available as Open Access via Cambridge University Press. This GLOBALGOALS Webinar Series presents the key insights from the book’s six assessment areas.
Table of Contents
The GLOBALGOALS Webinar Series offers eight webinar sessions, in which authors of the SDG Impact Assessment and guest speakers discussed key insights from the book’s six assessment areas, plus an introductory and concluding episode. Click the block of the episode you wish to watch!
Marking the launch of the Earth System Governance Taskforce on the SDGs, this webinar featured a roundtable of experts to discuss the role of the SDGs in leading the way out of the global Covid-19 pandemic. Panelists Frank Biermann (Utrecht University), Andrea Ordóñez Llanos (Southern Voice), Åsa Persson (Stockholm Environment Institute), and Joseph Alcamo (University of Sussex) discuss how the SDGs may bring the shared transformative vision and provide much-needed guidance for rebuilding infrastructures, reforming the global economic system, and revitalizing global cooperation. The first chapter of the SDG Impact Assessment “Assessing the Impact of Global Goals” sets the stage for examining the conditions by which the global goals steer an inclusive, cooperative, and sustainable global recovery. Co-authors of this chapter along with Frank Biermann include Thomas Hickmann and Carole-Anne Sénit.
This webinar explored the question whether the SDGs had had any impact in global sustainability governance. Leading authors Marianne Beisheim (SWP Berlin) and Steven Bernstein (University of Toronto) of the second chapter of the SDG Impact Assessment, “Global Governance,” presented key findings. Javier Surasky of Centro de Pensamiento Estratégico Internacional (Cepei) contributed his professional expertise as coordinator of the Global Governance Unit at Cepei. The author team for this chapter also includes Frank Biermann, Pamela Chasek, Melanie van Driel, Felicitas Fritzsche, Carole-Anne Sénit, and Silke Weinlich.
In this webinar, co-lead author of Chapter 3 – “Implementation at Multiple Levels” Rob Raven and contributing author Yixian Sun illustrated whether and how the SDGs have influenced the actions and discourses of actors on the national and sub-national level, as well as those of the private sector and of civil society actors. The discussant of this webinar was Anne-Sophie Stevance, senior science officer at the International Science Council (ISC). Next to Rob and Yixian, the author team of this chapter also includes co-lead author Andrea Ordóñez Llanos, Magdalena Bexell, Brianna Botchwey, Basil Bornemann, Jecel Censoro, Marius Christen, Liliana Díaz, Thomas Hickmann, Kristina Jönsson, Imme Scholz, Michelle Scobie, John Thompson, John Thwaites and Abbie Yunita.
This webinar is dedicated to the topic of ‘”Interlinkages, Integration and Coherence” – the fourth chapter of the SDG Impact Assessment. In this chapter, the author team analysed to what extent the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs have been successful in the ambition to break down silos in order to strengthen institutional integration and policy coherence at national level. The distinguished panelists Måns Nilsson (Stockholm Environment Institute) and Marjanneke Vijge (Utrecht University) present key findings of the chapter. Their presentation is followed by a reflection from Ernesto Soria Morales, Senior Analyst for Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Other chapter authors include Ivonne Lobos Alva, Basil Bornemann, Karin Fernando, Thomas Hickmann, Michelle Scobie, and Sabine Weiland.
This session is dedicated to the topic of “Inclusiveness,” the fifth chapter of the SDG Impact Assessment. In this chapter, the author team analysed to what extent and under what conditions the SDGs have fostered a better inclusion and support of poor and vulnerable communities within countries, and of the least developed countries internationally. The distinguished panelists and lead authors Chukwumerije Okereke (Alex-Ekwueme Federal University) and Carole-Anne Sénit (Utrecht University) present key findings of the chapter, followed by a reflection from Madina Guloba from the Economic Policy Research Centre. The chapter was co-authored by Lorena Alcázar, Dan Banik, Mairon Bastos Lima, Frank Biermann, Rongedzayi Fambasayi, Ibrahima Hathie, Annica Kronsell, Hanna Leonardsson, Navam Niles, and Karen M. Siegel.
This webinar hosted a discussion on key findings on the SDGs and “Planetary Integrity,” the sixth chapter of the SDG Impact Assessment. In this chapter, the author team analysed to what extent and under what conditions the SDGs have advanced planetary ecological integrity, that is, strengthened policies towards the preservation of global commons at various levels of governance. Lead authors Louis J. Kotzé (North-West University) and Rakhyun E. Kim (Utrecht University) present key findings of the chapter, with reflections from Michelle Lim from Macquarie University. The author team for this chapter includes Peter Burdon, Louise du Toit, Lisa-Maria Glass, Prakash Kashwan, Diana Liverman, Francesco S. Montesano, Salla Rantala, Carole-Anne Sénit, Sébastien Treyer, and Paola Villavicencio Calzadilla.
This session was dedicated to the topic of “Methods for Analysing Steering Effects of the SDGs,” the seventh chapter of the SDG Impact Assessment. In this chapter, the authors have conducted a review of the multi-faceted landscape of methods used to study the steering effects of the SDGs and provide a meta-level and interdisciplinary perspective on these methods. The distinguished panelists and lead authors of the chapter Prajal Pradhan (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research), Detlef van Vuuren (PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency), and Birka Wicke (Radboud University) present key findings of the chapter. Their presentation is followed by a reflection from Fernando Cantu, Chief Statistician at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). The chapter was co-authored by Maya Bogers, Thomas Hickmann, Agni Kalfagianni, Julia Leininger, Lorenzo di Lucia, Heleen van Soest, Anne Warchold, and Caroline Zimm.
This final session of the GlobalGoals Webinar Series presents and summarises key lessons from the SDG Impact Assessment. The event involves lead authors of all six thematic chapters and their presentation is focused on main messages and future avenues for research and policy. The assessment finds that the effects of the SDGs are so far mainly present in the political discourse, while we do not see any substantial effects on the (re-)allocation of resources by governments. The assessment moreover points to a lack of incentive structures that guide public and private funding towards sustainable pathways. In a nutshell, 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.