About Us


We are the Nordic chapter of the global United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN).

Visit the global SDSN

Our network consists of universities and knowledge institutions in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

Our members

Our Leadership Council comprises eminent experts on sustainable development from the SDSN Northern Europe member organisations. The Co-chairs of SDSN Northern Europe meetup with the council members once every year.

To our Leadership Council

From Knowledge to Action for the Sustainable Development Goals.

To achieve a sustainable society, we need change, and change requires knowledge. We at SDSN Northern Europe connect Nordic knowledge institutions to communicate what sustainability is all about and to promote joint learning and sustainable solutions.

More below down

About us

"The Nordic countries are amazing when it comes to making things happen, and because of this you have a fantastic global voice."*

The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Northern Europe links knowledge to action in order for society to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement. The network connects Nordic knowledge institutions to localize, teach and promote the SDGs, and support their implementation by generating, applying and disseminating knowledge.

Each person matters in the work to achieve a sustainable society. Yet sustainability can be a complex and overwhelming task. Luckily, academia has the role of understanding the complexity of sustainability. We firmly believe the strength of our network lies in its members. The SDSN Northern Europe secretariat aims to support our members to address the sustainability challenges that lies ahead in the Decade of Action.

* Guido Schmidt-Traub, Executive Director of the global SDSN


“By 2030, the SDSN Northern Europe has been instrumental for the knowledge-based implementation of the SDGs in the Nordic countries and in the rest of the world.”


“The SDSN Northern Europe localizes, teaches and promotes the SDGs, and supports their implementation by facilitating the utilization of knowledge. Together with the private sector, policymakers and civil society, we act as change agents at the local, regional and global level to support the implementation of the SDGs.”


The general aim of the network is to enable members to exchange information, insights and experiences, give each other support and feedback, and to collaborate to fulfil the following aims:

• Identify and promote Solutions that contribute to sustainable development

• Identify and fill knowledge gaps relating to sustainable development

• Support the implementation of the SDGs, and identify sustainable policy options, at regional, national and sub-national levels

• Suggest knowledge-based pathways to reach the SDGs at all levels

• Stimulate high quality education for sustainable development

• Encourage and facilitate member organizations to bring their operations into alignment with the SDGs

The secretariat

The mission and aims of the SDSN Northern Europe secretariat are to promote and help the members to fulfill the mission and aims of the network.

In addition, the SDSN Northern Europe secretariat aims to:

• Provide well-functioning infrastructure for communication among members

• Facilitate collaboration among our members

• Act as a link between our members and the global SDSN community

• Support communication and collaboration with private sector, policymakers and civil society

• Develop concepts and tools that make it easier for members to fulfill the mission and aims of the network.

Get to know the people at the secretariat >>

Part of a global network

Despite a long tradition of research, education and innovation for sustainable development, only a fraction of the results of these activities are utilized to steer society in a more sustainable direction. Therefore, the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) was established in 2012 under the auspices of former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to mobilize global scientific and technological expertise to promote practical problem-solving to reach the SDGs.

The secretariats of the global SDSN is located in Paris, New York, and Kuala Lumpur.

SDSN Northern Europe was launched in February 2016 as a regional network to support the Nordic knowledge institutions.

You Find us Here

SDSN Northern Europe includes all SDSN member institutions in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The network is hosted by Gothenburg Centre for Sustainable Development at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Leadership Council

The SDSN Northern Europe Leadership Council comprises 8-10 eminent experts on sustainable development from the SDSN Northern Europe member organizations. The council oversees the direction of the work of the SDSN Northern Europe and acts in an advisory capacity for SDSN decision-making. The council also provide intellectual stewardship, give advice on the network’s strategy, vision and mission, stimulate dialogue within the network, support external communication from the network, participate in network activities, and source and mobilize human and financial resources.

Scroll down to get to know the members in our Leadership Council.

Professor, Network Co-Chair Jan Pettersson janp@chem.gu.se

Jan Pettersson is professor of environmental atmospheric science and is Director of the Gothenburg Centre for Sustainable Development at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg.

Contact me
Professor, Network Co-Chair Katherine Richardson kari@science.ku.dk

Katherine Richardson is professor of Biological Oceanography, and director of the Sustainability Science Centre at Copenhagen University.

Contact me

SDSN Northern Europe Leadership Council Members

Leadership Council
Council Member Annik Magerholm Fet

Annik Magerholm Fet is professor of Environmental Management, Systems Engineering and Life-cycle Analysis, and vice rector of NTNU in Ålesund.

Council Member Katarina Gårdfeldt

Katarina is the Director-General of the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat, affiliated Professor in Inorganic Environmental Chemistry at Chalmers University of Technology, Chair for the National Committee for Environmental Global Change at the Royal Academy of Sciences, and board member of the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research. As the previous Director of the Gothenburg Centre for Sustainable Development, she initiated and Co-Chaired the SDSN Northern Europe.

Council Member Tarja Halonen

Tarja Halonen is a Finnish politician who was the 11th President of Finland, serving from 2000 to 2012 – the first female head of state in Finland.

Kaisa Korhonen-Kurki
Council Member Kaisa Korhonen-Kurki

Kaisa Korhonen-Kurki, PhD, Adjunct Professor in environmental policy. She works as Program Director of the strategic research programmes “Keys to Sustainable Growth”,  “Changing Society and Active Citizenship” , “Adaptation and Resilience for Sustainable Growth” at the Academy of Finland, and as Research Coordinator at Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science, HELSUS.

Göran Tomson
Council Member Göran Tomson

Prof. Göran Tomson is Co-founder and a Senior Advisor at the Swedish Institute for Global Health Transformation and UN Agenda 2030 counselor at the President’s office at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm,  Sweden.

Michael Søgaard Jørgensen
Council Member Michael Søgaard Jørgensen

Dr. Michael Søgaard Jørgensen is Associate Professor at Center for Design, Innovation and Sustainable Transitions at Aalborg  University in Denmark.

Thorvaldur Gylfason
Council Member Thorvaldur Gylfason

Prof. Thorvaldur Gylfason is Professor of Economics at the University of Iceland and Research Associate at Center for Economic Studies at the University of Munich.

Åsa Ström Hilderstrand
Council Member Åsa Ström Hildestrand

Åsa Ström Hildestrand is the Head of Communications at the International Research Centre Nordregio in Stockholm, Sweden. Her areas of expertise include many aspects of sustainable development: local and regional development; social inclusion/integration of immigrants; green transition (bio economy); gender equality (women’s economic empowerment); and international co-operation.

Maria Figueroa
Council Member Maria Figueroa

Dr. Maria Figueroa is Academic Director of the Copenhagen Sustainability Initiative and Associate Professor in Sustainability Management at Copenhagen Business School in Denmark.

SDSN logotype