Six Transformations to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

plus 6 marbles illustrating 6 transformations

“Six Transformations to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals” is the name of a new scientific paper, recently published in Nature Sustainability by Jeffrey D. Sachs and Guido Schmidt-Traub from the global SDSN together with four prominent sustainability researchers. A shared understanding of the operationalization of the 17 SDGs is the goal.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change call for deep transformations in every country that require complementary actions by governments, civil society, science, and business. Yet stakeholders lack a shared understanding of how the 17 SDGs can be operationalized. Drawing on earlier work by The World in 2050 initiative, we introduce six SDG Transformations as modular building-blocks of SDG achievement:

  1. Education, Gender, and Inequality;
  2. Health, Wellbeing, and Demography;
  3. Energy Decarbonisation and Sustainable Industry;
  4. Sustainable Food, Land, Water, and Oceans;
  5. Sustainable Cities and Communities; and
  6. Digital Revolution for Sustainable Development.

Each Transformation identifies priority investments and regulatory challenges calling for actions by well-defined parts of government working with business and civil society. Transformations may therefore be operationalised within the structures of government while respecting the strong interdependencies across the 17 SDGs. The paper also outlines an action agenda for science to provide the knowledge required for designing, implementing, and monitoring the SDG Transformations.

Download the full article from the global SDSN resources web page.

Authors: Jeffrey D. Sachs (Columbia University, New York, USA), Guido Schmidt-Traub (Sustainable Development Solutions Network, Paris, France), Mariana Mazzucato (University College London, UK), Dirk Messner (United Nations University, Bonn, Germany), Nebojsa Nakicenovic (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg, Austria) and Johan Rockström (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Potsdam, Germany)

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