Solutions Initiative Forum: Facilitating sustainable innovation | SDSN Northern Europe
Several small groups of people networking at SIF Oceans
Networking is an important part of the action-oriented Solutions Initiative Forum.

Solutions Initiative Forum: Facilitating sustainable innovation

Solutions Initiative Forums is a concept developed to tackle a challenge connected to the SDGs and highlights peer reviewed solutions in a report and at an event.

Welcome to the Solutions Initiative Forum (SIF), a dynamic platform where diverse stakeholders, including businesses, policymakers, civil society, and academia, converge to advance sustainable solutions. SIF is a catalyst for change, focusing on addressing challenges related to the SDGs. Through our Solutions Reports, we provide in-depth insights into innovative solutions that drive progress towards these global objectives.

About SIF

At SIF, our mission is to foster collaboration and inspire action by showcasing Nordic solutions for sustainable development. Our one-day event gathers leaders from various sectors to present innovative solutions and their profound impact on the SDGs. Through the collaborative effort of stakeholders, we identify the impediments and drivers for implementing these solutions, culminating in actionable points that can drive meaningful change. SIF demonstrates that sustainable development is not just a vision but an achievable reality.

We invite members of SDSN Northern Europe to take part in organising their own SIF events. Here's an overview of the procedure for hosting a Solution Initiative Forum:

Organising your SIF: A step-by-step guide

Welcome to the Solutions Initiative Forum (SIF) Guide, designed to help you create your own one-day event aimed at promoting innovative solutions for a more sustainable society. Whether you're an entrepreneur, policymaker, researcher, or enthusiast, this guide will assist you in organising a successful SIF. Our approach is action-oriented, focused on driving real change in alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Step 1: Defining your SIF

Purpose: SIF is all about addressing pressing challenges related to the SDGs through innovative solutions. Start by defining the problem or challenge you want to tackle.

Identify Innovative Solutions: Research and identify existing innovative solutions that align with your chosen theme. These solutions should have the potential to drive sustainable development.

Stakeholder Mapping: Identify potential investors, customers, and other stakeholders connected to the solutions you plan to showcase.

Action Plan: Develop a clear plan on how you intend to translate the outcomes of the SIF into concrete action. What changes or initiatives do you hope to kickstart?

Step 2: Gaining approval

Leadership Council approval: Seek permission from the Leadership Council (LC) of your regional SDSN chapter (e.g., SDSN Northern Europe) to proceed with your SIF. Contact your Network Manager.

Step 3: Assembling your advisory panel

Formation: Collaborate with the SDSN secretariat to form an Advisory Panel. This panel should primarily consist of researchers or experts in the field relevant to your SIF.

Responsibilities: The Advisory Panel's responsibilities include:

  • Creating a background document outlining the problem and specifying solution requirements.
  • Evaluating contributions from entrepreneurs/innovators and providing feedback.
  • Ensuring the solutions you invite align with the SDGs and exhibit qualities like being transformative, holistic, and scalable.

Step 4: Engaging entrepreneurs/innovators

Invitations: Extend invitations to entrepreneurs and innovators whose solutions align with your chosen theme.

SDG Impact Assessment: Tell participating entrepreneurs/innovators to complete an SDG Impact Assessment in the SDG Impact Assessment Tool.

Step 5: Inviting stakeholders

Identify Key Stakeholders: Identify and invite various stakeholders critical to the success of your SIF, including potential investors, customers, policymakers, representatives from the business sector, academia, research institutes, and NGOs.

Step 6: Event logistics

Venue and Meals: Secure a suitable conference facility and arrange for meals.

Financial Support: If available, explore financial contributions from your regional SDSN chapter to support the event.

Invitations: Send out invitations to all stakeholders well in advance of the event.

Step 7: Implementing your SIF

Event Day: Conduct your SIF meeting, fostering rich discussions, and collecting valuable insights.

Post-Event Evaluation: After the meeting, perform a brief evaluation to assess the impact and gather feedback.

Step 8: Transforming results into action

Collaborate with Stakeholders: Collaborate with stakeholders to determine how the insights and outcomes from the SIF can be translated into tangible actions or initiatives.

Initiate Follow-Up Activities: Initiate follow-up activities with support from your regional SDSN secretariat to drive the implementation of solutions presented at the event.

Share Results: Share the results and discussions with a broader audience, such as by publishing them on your regional SDSN chapter's website.


By following these steps, you can create your own Solutions Initiative Forum, contributing to the advancement of innovative solutions for a more sustainable society and helping us all move closer to achieving the SDGs. We wish you success in your SIF journey!