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SDSN Northern Europe was formally launched in February 2016 in Gothenburg, Sweden, with a major public event that gathered around 400 top leaders from academia, business, finance, and politics. During the two days of the launch, high-level figures such as Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, SKF CEO Alrik Danielson or Johan Rockström, Director Stockholm Resilience Centre, emphasized the need for urgent action and the need for the Nordic network to foster cooperation with industry, science, and policymakers for the implementation of the SDGs. “Science-based transformations 2030” serves as the leading principle for the network’s future work, while it is currently exploring four initial areas for concrete Solution Initiatives: oceans, connecting cities and regions, environment for development in low-income countries, and academia as a host for immigrants. So far, the network has been focused on strengthening its contacts with existing and potential members and presenting the network in various national and international forums. With participation both in the First Danish future Earth Summit, ‘SDG Challenges for the Nordic Countries’, the development of a “sustainability atlas”, and the planning of future so-called Solution Initiative Forums, the network is working along the lines of its action areas. Besides Solutions Initiatives, Conferences, Strategic Dialogue and Policy Interface, the network is pursuing activities around Education for Sustainable Development, and Financing for Development.
In July 2016, SDSN Northern Europe arranged a seminar during the Almedalen Week (Sweden’s biggest political meeting place), on what it will take to achieve the 2030 Agenda and how the space between various actors can become as functional and productive as possible. During that week, the network, together with Future Earth, also participated in a seminar with the title “Swedish research on global environmental science” which was arranged by the Swedish Secretariat for Environmental Earth System Sciences and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. For early 2017, the network is planning a Solution Initiative Forum, emphasizing the role of Oceans, Shipping, Food and Energy, in support of the Swedish and Fiji bilateral conference on Sustainable Oceans to be held later in 2017.