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Letter from Jeffrey Sachs Introducing

Dear friends and colleagues,

The Sustainable Development Solutions Network is proud to present its new education initiative,, which brings together online courses on sustainable development created by experts from around the world!  We are rolling out several exciting courses throughout the Fall. Please join us in spreading the word!

We are kicking off with three courses:

  1. I am offering my course The Age of Sustainable Development again, starting September 9, 2014. There will also be a special bonus this Fall: all students that complete the course will receive the free e-book version of my new book, titled The Age of Sustainable Development.
  2. The two-semester course Climate Change Science & Negotiations, taught by myself and Emmanuel Guerin, will introduce the science and policies of climate change. The course includes a simulated UNFCCC negotiation during the second semester, in which students take on the role of country delegates. This course coincides with the broader SDSN Climate Change Call to Action.
  3. Planetary Boundaries and Human Opportunities, by Prof. Johan Rockström and his colleagues at the Stockholm Resilience Center, offers an outstanding overview of sustainability science and potential pathways for human well-being.

All three courses are free of charge and are now open for enrollment. Other courses are currently in development and will be announced soon.

The coming year and a half, till the end of 2015, will be a pivotal period in the history of sustainable development. Please join in mobilizing education for sustainable development by spreading the word among your friends and colleagues. If you have questions please write to our Education Initiatives team at

Kind regards,
Jeffrey D. Sachs

News from Regional and National SDSNs

Great Lakes SDSN Launched in Rwanda


 GL group photo

The Great Lakes SDSN was launched in Kigali, Rwanda on July 28, 2014. The University of Rwanda hosts the regional network, which will include members from Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo, and Rwanda. Over 80 high-level participants from academia and government attended the launch, which focused on priority areas for regional collaboration, including sustainable energy access, sustainable forestry management, and ending poverty and hunger. A follow up meeting was held in Kinshasa, DRC on August 21 to introduce Congolese institutions to the Great Lakes SDSN. Similar sessions are planned in Burundi and the Republic of Congo in the coming weeks.

Sahel SDSN Holds National Meetings

The Senegalese members of the SDSN met on August 7, 2014, in Dakar to discuss priorities for the Sahel regional network. A follow up meeting was held in Bamako, Mali on August 15 to introduce Malian institutions to the initiative.

Updates on the UrbanSDG Campaign

A series of articles from Citiscope explores the Open Working Group’s recent SDG proposals, examining the crucial role of the UrbanSDG campaign in securing Goal 11 on Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements, with particular praise for the role played by Aromar Revi and Cynthia Rosenzweig (Co-Chairs of the SDSN Thematic Group on Sustainable Cities). Read the articles at

2nd Annual International Conference on Sustainable Development Practice (Sept 17-18) Registration Deadline on Sep 10

The Global Association of Master’s in Development Practice Programs (MDP), in collaboration with the SDSN, will hold the 2nd Annual International Conference on Sustainable Development Practice (ICSDP) on September 17-18, 2014, at Columbia University in New York City. The conference will mobilize students, faculty, and practitioners to present and discuss sustainable development solutions. Register for the conference here by September 10 and send any inquiries to

Upcoming Meeting on Youth, Health and Development

SDSN is pleased to announce that the 3rd Global Youth Meet (GYM) on Youth, Health and Development will be held during November 16-19, 2014 in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India. GYM 2014 will bringing together nearly 300 youth from over 35 countries to discuss changing youth health priorities within the post-2015 agenda. The Global Youth Meet is organized by HRIDAY – SHAN (Health Related Information Dissemination Amongst Youth – Student Health Action Network) and supported by SDSN. View the event flyer here.

SDSN in the Media

Laurence Tubiana in New York Times – Obama Pursuing Climate Accord in Lieu of Treaty – August 27, 2014

James Hansen in State of the Planet – The Energy to Fight Injustice – August 25, 2014

Gordon Liu in The New Yorker – Under the Knife: Why Chinese patients are turning against their doctors – August 25, 2014

Helene Gayle in CNN – Cost of containing Ebola on the rise – August 24, 2014

Frances Beinecke in Huffington Post – ‘No Blue, No Green’ — New Sylvia Earle Film Shows Power of Protecting Our Oceans – August 16, 2014

Aromar Revi in Citiscope – Behind the push for an “urban SDG” – August 15, 2014

Jeffrey Sachs in Project Syndicate – Responding to Ebola – August 11, 2014

Andrew Steer in Huffington Post – The Plain Bad Economics of Today’s Energy Prices – August 5, 2014

Jeffrey Sachs in The Medical Journal of Australia – The G20, human health and sustainability – August 1, 2014

Frances Beinecke in Huffington Post – From the Heart: Americans Speak Out for EPA’s Work to Safeguard Health and Curb Climate Change – August 1, 2014

Upcoming SDSN Events

  • September 17-18 – 2nd International Conference on Sustainable Development Practice organized with MDP Consortium | New York, USA
  • September 19-20 – Fifth Leadership Council meeting | New York, USA
  • September 22 – Expert workshop on Financing for Development | New York, USA
  • September 22 – Special Event for World Leaders on Climate Change and Sustainable Development | New York, USA
  • October 22-24 – Sustainability Science Congress 2014 | Copenhagen, Denmark
  • November 4-11 – APEC meetings | Beijing, China
  • November 16-19 – 3rd Global Youth Meet (GYM) | Visakhapatnam, India

News from our Partners

  • Habiba Ben Romdhane, member of the Thematic Group on Health for All, would like to invite participants to the RESCAP-MED 2nd Regional Symposium entitled ‘Socio-political Challenges in the Mediterranean Region: Implications for Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) Prevention and Control’ to be convened Dec 3-4, 2014 in Beirut, Lebanon. Abstracts may be submitted until August 31, with more information available here.
  • The Penn Institute for Urban Research (IUR) has recently published two reports about rapid urbanization: Feeding Cities: Food Security in a Rapidly Urbanizing World and Place Matters. Part I of the Feeding Cities report is a concept paper by Eugénie L. Birch, Co-Director IUR and member of Thematic Group on Sustainable Cities, on the relationship between urbanization and food security.
  • Research teams from Vietmam National University and Japan’s Kyushu University will implement a project in the Vietnam’s Mekong Delta region to turn organic waste from industrial-agricultural activities into renewable energy. Learn more here.
  • The Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence (DCCE) received a Ford Conservation and Environmental Grant for a smartphone app, which helps users reduce energy use via home energy audits and usage data comparisons with peers. Learn more here.
  • Laurence Tubiana, Co-Chair of SDSN’s Leadership Council and Special Representative of the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Frances Beinecke, NRDC President and Leadership Council member, have been named among the 20 key women to watch ahead of UNFCCC’s 2015 climate summit. See the full list here.

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