Science as a leverage point for sustainable development

On 9 October 2019, participants from diverse European and international research institutions, civil society organizations as well as from different Directorate Generals of the European Commission gathered in Brussels for a workshop to discuss the role of science and science policy for sustainable development with members of the international group of scientists who recently issued the 2019 Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR).

As part of its mandate to support the GSDR’s dissemination, the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) convened the event in cooperation with UNDESA, the University of Bern’s Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), the German Environment Agency (UBA), the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the International Science Council (ISC).

Taking the GSDR’s chapter on science for sustainable development as a starting point, participants in the workshop engaged in lively discussions about science as a leverage point for sustainable development in the European Union (EU) and beyond, particularly about the role of science policy, about international cooperation and about stakeholder integration in sustainability-oriented research. In addition, the workshop provided an arena for a science-policy interface in view of Horizon Europe, the EU’s upcoming framework programme for research, science and innovation. Given that the EU is one of the world’s largest funding bodies for science, the participants seized the opportunity to discuss its strategic orientation.