January brings us a new year, and the first edition of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network Newsletter! Following its initial launch in September 2012, the Solutions Network has been gathering speed. Please find below a summary of the main highlights.

Leadership Council Confirmed

The Leadership Council was constituted in late 2012. It is co-chaired by by Laurence Tubiana (IDDRI, France) and Lan Xue (Tsinghua University, China) and comprises some 60 leaders from the research community and academia, the private sector, civil society, national governments, and international organizations. All members serve in their personal capacity. The full list of Leadership Council members is available online.

Twelve Thematic Groups Announced

The Leadership Council decided to form twelve Thematic Groups covering the full range of sustainable development challenges. The Co-Chairs of the Thematic Groups have also been confirmed.

Draft Framework Document Available for Public Comment

The Leadership Council has prepared a draft Framework Document for Sustainable Development to guide the work of the Solutions Network. We plan to improve this document further and welcome comments and suggestions.

Background Papers for the High-Level Panel Completed

The SDSN has been working to support the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Background documents have been submitted on extreme poverty, hunger, agriculture, human rights, and the role of business. Other background papers are in preparation. As the work of the High-Level Panel continues through to May 2013, we welcome comments and suggestions on these documents.

First Regional SDSN Centers Appointed

Last week the SDSN appointed the University of Siena (Italy) a Regional SDSN Center focusing on the Mediterranean region. Monash University in Melbourne (Australia) will be the first Regional SDSN Center for the Australia/Pacific region. Both universities are mobilizing universities, research centers, civil society organizations, and businesses around practical problem solving for sustainable development.

Earlier this week the SDSN also announced that Nairobi would become a regional hub for the East Africa region. The SDSN was also presented at the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.

Other Regional SDSN Centers will be announced soon.

SDSN Invites Institutions to Join as SDSN Centers

The SDSN now welcomes universities, research centers, civil society organizations, and businesses around the world to join the Solutions Network as SDSN Centers. SDSN Centers should be organizations with a strong track record in teaching, research and/or project work on sustainable development in the respective region and have a desire and ability to play an active role in problem solving for sustainable development. Expressions of interest should be sent to info@unsdsn.org.

First Solutions Initiatives Announced

The SDSN has announced a first Solutions Initiative supported by eni that will promote access to energy in rural areas in Africa. A second Solutions Initiative, supported by the Novartis Foundation, will promote ICT-enabled Community Health Workers. More details on these initiatives will be available soon on our website. We are also preparing other Solutions Initiatives and will announce them shortly.

Upcoming Events

  • Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS): Delhi, 31 January – 2 February
  • Monrovia meeting of the High-Level Panel: Monrovia, 29 January – 1 February
  • France launch: Paris, 18 March
  • Germany launch: Berlin, 19 March
  • Bali meeting of the High-Level Panel: Bali, 24-27 March
  • Second meeting of the SDSN Leadership Council: New York, 9-10 April
  • Mediterranean Solutions Conference: Siena, 3-4 July

Questions or Comments?

We welcome your questions or comments on our work. Please get in touch with us by writing to info@unsdsn.org.

Guido Schmidt-Traub, Executive Director, SDSN