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Welcome to SDSN’s March 2017 Newsletter!


Fifth World Happiness Report 2017 Ranks World’s Happiest Countries 

On 20 March, International Day of Happiness, SDSN and the Ernesto Illy Foundation proudly launched this year’s ranking of 155 countries by happiness levels. This year’s report also includes chapters on Social Foundations of World Happiness, Happiness in China, Happiness in Africa, Happiness Over the Life Course, Happiness at Work, and Restoring American Happiness.

The U.S. Cities Sustainable Development Goals Index- Open for Public Consultation

This new Index provides a comprehensive assessment of the sustainable development challenges faced by US cities. Results show that all US cities, even those at the top of the index, have a long way to go to achieve the SDGs. The report will be open for public consultation until 20 April.

The SDG Academy Launches Agriculture Course

Feeding a Hungry Planet: Agriculture, Nutrition and Sustainability is a new 7-week course that explores the key challenges to ensuring a healthy and sustainable diet for our growing world population, as well as the central role of agriculture in achieving the SDGs. Open enrollment until 21 May.

UNSC Formally Adopts IAEG Indicator Framework for Monitoring SDG Progress

At the 48th Session of the UN Statistical Commission, from 7-10 March, the SDG indicator framework proposed by IAEG-SDGs was agreed upon as the final piece of architecture for implementing Agenda 2030. The Statistical Commission will now submit this initial framework to ECOSOC and the General Assembly for official adoption.

T20 Policy Briefs Make Expert Research Available to All

The new G20 Insights Platform is set to unify government, academia, and the general public with research-based policy recommendations on ten threads of the G20 work agenda in sustainable development

How Do Cities Localize the SDGs?

As part of SDSN’s USA Sustainable Cities Initiative, Baltimore, San José, and New York have produced invaluable new case studies on designing data and monitoring systems and engaging communities and stakeholders


SDSN in the Media

Johan Rockström et al.: A roadmap for rapid decarbonization, Science Magazine – 24 March, 2017

Patricia Espinosa: Climate action and sustainable development as one agenda: Simple truth, complex task, Eco-Business – 23 March, 2017

Hallie Kapner: Mobilizing Scientists for Global Sustainability, The New York Academy of Sciences – 21 March, 2017

Siamak Sam Loni: Economic Growth Doesn’t Generate Happiness, Huffington Post – 21 March, 2017

Dejing Kong, Yuan Zhou, Yufei Liu, Lan Xue: Using the data mining method to assess the innovation gap: A case of industrial robotics in a catching-up country, Technological Forecasting & Social Change – 18 March, 2017

Jeffrey Sachs: The ethics and practicalities of foreign aid, Boston Globe – 12 March, 2017

Molly Anders: “Charlotte Petri Gornitzka on female leadership in development”, Devex – 11 March, 2017

Jeffrey Sachs: The high costs of abandoning international law, The Boston Globe – 5 March, 2017

Ingolf Dietrich (video interview): Global Festival of Ideas for Sustainable Development (Bonn 2017), UN Web TV – 3 March, 2017

Richard Layard and John Appleby: Head-to-head: Is it time for a dedicated tax to fund the NHS?, BMJ Publishing – March 2017

Ajay Chaudry, Taryn Morrissey, Christina Weiland and Hirokazu Yoshikawa: Cradle to Kindergarten: A New Plan to Combat Inequality, Russell Sage Foundation – 17 February, 2017


Upcoming SDSN Events

Green Infrastructure for more Livable Cities: Assessing urban ecosystem services to promote nature-based solutions
7 April | Milan | Italy

Ethics in Action: Police-Community Relations in NYC
13 April, 6:30 PM EST | New York and live-streamed @UNSDSN

View full list of Events


Other News and Events

  • The Global Festival of Ideas took place from 1-3 March in Bonn, Germany. The event gathered experts and SDG practitioners to participate in discussions, workshops, a playable policy app, and more, to stimulate ideas for 2030 Agenda implementation.
  • Barbara Kux, Emeritus member of SDSN’s Leadership Council, talks about how success factors within green technology can help companies rise above it all (in German).
  • The new SDSN Youth Solutions Report website is more navigable than ever. Whether you’re looking to invest, donate, or learn, you’re sure to find a solution you believe in.
  • Facilitated by SDSN Spain, Professor Jeffrey Sachs motivated two of Spain’s largest public universities, Universidad Complutense and Universidad Politécnica, to play an active role in the national implementation of the SDGs.
  • At its annual gala on 1 March, Audubon awarded a prestigious environmental award to SDSN Leadership Council member Frances Beinecke for her work protecting natural resources. The event raised over $1.1M for conservation.
  • The SDG Academy is pleased to announce that applications are open for its new University Partnership Program. Learn more here.
  • On 24 March, the President of UNGA, Peter Thomson, convened a high-level event titled ‘Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Agenda‘. Discussions focused on the possibilities for changes in the energy sector, financing sustainable development, and the role of big data and information in accelerating change.