SDG Lab 2022 Year in Review

The SDG Lab reflects on key moments in 2022 that contributed to advancing the Sustainable Development Goals.
SDG Lab 2022 Year in Review

In 2022, with much of the globe in a post-COVID period, the SDG Lab was able to reengage the Geneva SDG Community towards in-person convening and tap into a renewed energy for physical meetings. It continued to leverage its role in mobilizing Geneva-based actors to develop ideas, approaches, and potential solutions to key SDG opportunities and challenges.      


Supporting the Geneva SDG Community to put SDGs at the Centre of COVID-19 recovery

To put the SDGs at the centre of COVID-10 recovery, the SDG Lab and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) launched, inmid-2021, a call for locally-driven projects that did so in a concrete and tangible way. Five projects were selected and received a micro-grant to implement their project ideas. The winners were announced at the start of2022. 


Mapping the Origins of the SDG Lab

The start of 2022 marked five years since the inception of the SDG Lab, and with the imminent departure of the Lab’s co-founding Director, Nadia Isler, the time had come to interview her and a representative of IISD on the Lab’s origins. A full-length Q&A between Ms. Isler and Lynn Wagner was published to give readers insight into how the Lab came into existence and to capture institutional knowledge on this SDG start-up within International Geneva.


New UN Geneva Podcast Looks at SDG Progress in Light of COVID-19

During the first four months of 2022, the SDG Lab and UN Library & Archives Geneva co-produced a monthly podcast mini-series focused on SDG implementation in times of global upheaval. With the COVID-19 pandemic as its backdrop, “It Takes A Global Crisis” featured four episodes touching upon some of challenges and lessons learned the international community can take forward to supercharge delivery of the SDGs during this decade of action.


SDG Lab Annual Report 2021

On May 3, the SDG Lab released its2021 annual report, summarizing its main activities and accomplishments of the previous year. The report divides the Lab’s accomplishments into five key areas: Engaging the 2030 Ecosystem; Supporting Country SDG Challenges; Positioning Sustainable Finance for the SDGs; Communicating for the Goals; and Management and Operations.


“All You Need to Know” webinar on the 2022 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

An important activity of the SDG Lab is helping SDG practitioners prepare for and unpack the annual UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. On July 18, the SDG Lab, Cepei and IISD, in partnership with UN DESA and the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies(IGES), hosted its annual briefing webinar focused on discussing the key issues on the agenda for this global SDG review, exchange and accountability platform.


‘Building’ up to Building Bridges 2022

The SDG Lab, in conjunction with the Building Bridges team, published two ‘primers’ in the lead up to the 2022 edition of Building Bridges Week. The first focused on providing answers to many of the most commonly questions asked regarding sustainable finance, and the second looked at some key themes and issues on sustainable finance through the lens of the United Nations.


Geneva SDG Community Annual Meeting: Mobilizing Networks for the SDGs

On 15 September, just before Global Goals Week, which mobilizes communities around the world for the SDGs, the Geneva SDG Community was convened for the first in-person gathering since the start of the COVID pandemic. Held at Building H of UN Geneva, the Annual Meeting focused on demonstrating how to enhance effective collaboration to accelerate SDG progress. Participants mapped the different roles they play in enabling SDG implementation and underlined the utility in identifying “missing” actors in the community to strengthen collaboration for the Goals.


Pipeline Builder Interviews

In the lead up to Building Bridges Week 2022, the SDG Lab conducted a series of interviews looking at sustainable finance from the perspectives of four people involved in the Pipeline Builder pilot, a joint initiative of the Lab and the Ground_Up Project. The Pipeline Builder seeks to streamline and boost financial flows to projects aligned with national sustainable development strategies, and it has been kickstarted in Ghana.

· Charles Abani

· Brindusa Burrows

· Yofi Grant

· John Hendra


Going Beyond the Sustainable Finance Trend – Mobilizing the Financial Sector for the Sustainable Development Goals

The third edition of Building Bridges was held in October against a backdrop of a growing sense of urgency to accelerate progress towards the fast-approaching 2030 deadline. As a founding partner of Building Bridges, the SDG Lab contributed to this premier sustainable finance conference by organizing two workshops, one focused on helping demystify sustainable investing on the African continent and one unpacking the role of digitalization as an enabler of sustainable finance.


Space Matters: New Study Underlines Need for Physical Collaboration Space in Geneva

The SDG Lab and IISD in collaboration with ImpactHub conducted an analysis of how a physical collaboration space in the Nations district in the city of Geneva could strengthen existing efforts to build a more inclusive and connected ecosystem. The results of this study were introduced at a community event hosted by ImpactHub. It is hoped the report will provide more insight for actors interested in furthering scenarios on a potential collaboration space for the SDGs in Geneva.


Launch of Geneva SDG Data Forum

On November 11, the SDG Lab and IISD, in collaboration with the Geneva Graduate Institute and Deloitte, launched the "Geneva SDG Data Forum", a series of workshops to facilitate dialogues on utilizing data more effectively towards the SDGs. The Geneva SDG Data Forum will provide an inclusive and cross-sectoral take on looking at SDG data challenges and opportunities as governments and organizations shift towards a more collective data approach and emphasizing a focus on "Leaving No One Behind".


Digital Transformation for the SDGs:  An Ecosystems Approach

Building on the belief that digital tools and technologies can act as a catalyst for advancing SDG implementation and help deliver global, local and people impact at scale, the SDG Lab convened on December 1st the workshop “Digital transformation for the SDGs: an Ecosystems Approach”, facilitated by Nadim Couchair, founder of the 2030Cabinet. Participants received new and relevant insights and connections related to the topic, and expressed shared interest to work towards tangible, co-created outcomes of discussions.


The Power of Coffee: Convening Geneva’s SDG Actors in 2022

During 2022, the SDG Lab convened nine SDG Community Coffees, bringing together some 180 participants and guest speakers from International Geneva’s vast network of organizations focused on bringing the Sustainable Development Goals to life.

Sustainable Cities and Communities
Responsible Consumption & Production
Partnerships For the Goals
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