The recent Sustainable Development Goals Action Weekend and the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA78) are significant milestones in the Agenda 2030. The event emphasized the importance of developing sustainable development pathways, by providing the platform to deliberate on the areas that require future efforts to accelerate progress towards the SDGs.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres highlighted the urgent necessity of a “global rescue plan” as only 15% of the SDG targets are likely to be met by 2030, and approximately 30% are experiencing stagnation or even regression.
Unlocking the Data Dividend and Harnessing System Dynamics
One of the takeaways from the SDG Action Weekend was the great potential of data in propelling the SDGs. As our world becomes more interconnected and complex, data has emerged as an invaluable asset, framing our understanding of global issues and providing insights into potential solutions. System Dynamics, a specialty of the Millennium Institute, offers an effective way to translate data into more effective policy. This method can ensure that the vast streams of data are utilized to their maximum potential, driving forward a sustainable future.
A Sustainable Path Exists
Matteo Pedercini, VP and COO, pointed out, that "most countries remain off-path in achieving the SDGs. However, significant advancements, like the rapid growth in global access to the internet and mobile networks, showcase that when public policy aligns with business interests and technology, transformation can be swift”. The challenges ahead are evident, but so is a clear, sustainable path. The objective moving forward is not just to recognize this path but to actively pursue it.
Science, Policy, and Nature: Foundations for Progress
Estee Miltz, Policy Analyst, insights from "Science & Academia: Catalyzing Transformative Change", emphasizes the event's focus on strengthening ties between businesses, academia, and government, and the significance of open science and diverse knowledge systems for the SDGs. From the "Nature Driving Economic Transformation" session, Miltz highlights the call for nature-based policies and the belief that sustainable economic growth should align with nature's boundaries for transformative impact.
Together, these events spotlighted the pivotal role of science-policy interfaces and funders in guiding science's trajectory for the SDGs, advocating for a mindful approach to nature and biodiversity in sustainable policy-making and investments.
Our Contribution and Way Forward
Drawing upon the discussions and insights from the events, several areas of focus emerge in the trajectory of Agenda 2030. Notably, the potential of data utilization offers a pragmatic method for enhancing policy effectiveness. The intersection of public policy with business interests and technology indicates potential efficiencies, while the interplay of science, policy, and nature defines parameters for sustainable decision-making.
In light of these remarks, our aim is to contribute to efforts targeting the advance of the SDGs. Our goal is to support governments and organizations in developing strategies that lead to measurable progress in well-being and sustainability transitions