SDG Lab Newsletter June 2023

Latest news from the SDG Lab! Have a glimpse into the SDG Lab's new vision and mission and check out what is on the horizon!
SDG Lab Newsletter June 2023

Latest from the SDG Lab

Opening reflections

Greetings from the SDG Lab!

A lot has happened since our last update in February. First and foremost, we are excited to share a glimpse into the SDG Lab’s new vision and mission, building on an ongoing listening and sensing exercise that we are doing with our network of partners, stakeholders, and members of the Geneva SDG Community and beyond. The insights and ideas we are receiving are helping us in shaping this new phase that we are calling SDG Lab 2.0.

Two impetuses are framing this endeavour:

The first is the notion of going back to the core of what sustainable development is about, as articulated in Our Common Future report of 1987, and what it means, ultimately, to be a laboratory for systemic and long-term sustainability.

The second driving force is responding to an aspirational question that we have framed as, “What if we build a world where everyone lives sustainably with no debts to the future?” Answers to that question are intrinsically connected to futures thinking—and to creating and pursuing greater accountability and incentives for long-term sustainability. It is also about exploring how we can take sustainability to the next level by looking at evolving sustainability frameworks. You will see this reflected in our strategic focus on new lenses to sustainability, including regenerative development (encompassing beyond GDP and alternative economic models), inter-generational impact and future generations, and culture, emotions and behaviour.

These new lenses will enable us to look more systematically into the future of sustainability—what it takes to prioritize and act on long-term policies and actions, a key pillar of the SDG Lab’s new strategic focus. We are already working on putting these new ideas into action, with exciting projects in the pipeline. More will be shared in the coming months.

To amplify our commitment to promoting greater inter-generational dialogue, we are dedicating the first of our new “So What’s Next” series to the topic of placing future generations at the centre of long-term sustainability. The event will take place in the form of an inter-generational discussion, organized in partnership with the Graduate Institute on June 12. Details of the event are immediately below.

We look forward to having you take part in this exciting conversation — and others to follow!

On The Horizon

So What's Next series event | June 12  

Join us for an exciting inter-generational dialogue on “Placing Future Generations at the Centre of Long-Term Sustainability” with:

  • Ms. Tatiana Valovaya, Director-General, UN Geneva;
  • Ms. Marie-Laure Salles, Director, Geneva Graduate Institute;
  • H.E. Mrs. Suphatra Srimaitreephithak, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Kingdom of Thailand;
  • Ms. Shef Nandhra, Development Studies MA Student, Geneva Graduate Institute, and Podcaster;
  • Mr. Quentin Knight, Climate Youth Delegate, Switzerland.

The event will kick off the SDG Lab’s new So What’s Next Series that aims to unpack new perspectives and insight on the SDGs and long-term sustainability. Register.

SDG Data Forum Workshop | June 26

This workshop on “Contextualizing Sustainability through Data Governance at the Local Level” will zero in on why local data is important to accelerate SDG implementation. It will also explore how localizing data can enable practitioners to embrace the complexities of sustainable development and speed up progress through locally designed policies and initiatives. Find out more.  

Briefings on the 2023 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development  

Each year, countries gather at the UN in New York for the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) to report on their successes and challenges in bringing the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs to life. SDG Lab, Cepei, and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) will host virtual briefings and question-answer sessions to help unpack the 2023 HLPF.

Briefing # 1. What to expect | July 6

This briefing will provide a deep dive on what participants and followers of the HLPF should expect at next month’s gathering in New York. It will also map how this year’s Forum connects to the upcoming SDG Summit and sets the scene for the 2024 Summit of the Future. Register

Briefing #2. Wrapping up | July 25

This briefing will summarize the main developments and proceedings of this year’s HLPF, with a panel of experts sharing their own takeaways and other key observations. Register

News Bites

Commentaries on Our Common Agenda Briefs

The Lab and IISD are jointly releasing commentaries to unpack the UN Secretary-General’s new series of Our Common Agenda Policy Briefs. They examine the key contents of the briefs and share perspectives on how these topics serve to inform the larger intergovernmental processes on sustainable development, including the SDG Summit in September and the 2024 Summit of the Future.

The commentaries published so far include:

Visit the SDG Knowledge Hub to keep abreast of forthcoming articles.

St. Gallen Symposium recap

At the beginning of May, the Lab team took part in the 52nd St. Gallen Symposium, which had as its theme “A New Generational Contract”. The Symposium served as a unique moment to exchange on such topics and other concepts aligned to the Lab’s new vision and mission. Together with Club of Rome, the team engaged with some 30 participants during a workshop focused on identifying key moral values that, if prioritized today, could hold significant positive impact for the future. Find out more.

Building Bridges: launch of 2023 programme

Mark your calendars! The programme of the next edition of Building Bridges will be released on June 15, highlighting the diverse talks, sessions, and workshops on sustainable finance that will be held between October 2-5 at the International Conference Centre in Geneva (CICG). Learn more about Building Bridges.

Geneva SDG Community

WhatsApp Group

Join the Geneva SDG Community WhatsApp group and stay in the know about the latest SDGs events and initiatives happening in Geneva and the surrounding region. This group is an informal peer-to-peer information sharing platform where subscribers share events, publications, resources, and news related to the SDGs.

SDG Lunch Collider

Do you want to meet individuals from around Geneva working on the SDGs? If so, the SDG Lunch Collider is a platform worth checking out, as it facilitates networking amongst individuals from the Geneva SDG Community. Register here.

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