In the ESDN Spotlight video series, the ESDN features individual experts, coming from academia, research institutions, international organizations or networks. The videos showcase the knowledge and perspective of these different members of the SD community.
In the interview, Leena-Kaisa describes how Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund, involved all stakeholders in establishing a roadmap towards a sustainable Finland. She explains the different dimensions of circular economy that Sitra works on, including those that go beyond natural resources. One of the core mechanisms to promote a circular economy is legislation. Leena-Kaisa identifies the key regulatory mechanisms that are necessary to make the circular economy more competitive.
The biggest challenge of multi-stakeholder councils is to find a consensus between up to fifty members with different perspectives and visions. The different structures, tasks and capacities of councils around Europe make it so their agenda setting ability is different and not all councils are taken equally serious by the governments they are advising.
The SDGs are global in their outlook so they have to be localized to be integrated into cities’ strategies. Jasmin Miah argues that when change happens at a local level it is more effective in changing people’s beliefs and attitudes, as they can see the impacts more directly. Yet, there is a lot of room for improvement for the European Union in terms of integrating cities and other sub-national stakeholders into their sustainable development strategies. Jasmin Miah calls for a proper framework to include all levels of governments and stakeholders.
According to James Gomme, there are huge opportunities for businesses who embrace the SDGs and sustainable development. He predicts that those businesses that adopt principles of sustainable development into their business strategy and practice right now will be more successful in the long run. Business as usual is no longer an option.
Finnish scientist Eeva Furman was part of a group of fifteen scientists who co-authored the Global Report on Sustainable Development for the UN. This report aimed at bringing together the knowledge about sustainable development from different regions and disciplines. While the situation is serious, the report finds that from a scientific perspective, a sustainability transformation is still possible.
In his interview, Guillaume discusses many topics relating to sustainable development, the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, such as the Science Policy Interface, the role of businesses in implementing the SDGs, the SDSN Sustainable Development Report 2019, sustainability as the EU’s new narrative, the Six Transformations for a sustainable future, and the vision for the next 10 years of the 2030 Agenda.