Thursday, April 30, 2015

SDSN Newsletter

Welcome to SDSN's April Newsletter!
Vatican Symposium on Climate Change
On April 28, 2015, the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and Social Sciences, SDSN, and Religions for Peace organized a scientific symposium on "Protect the Earth, Dignify Humanity: The Moral Dimensions of Climate Change and Sustainable Humanity." Leaders from science, major religions, business, civil society, and governments, including the President of Italy, attended the one day event. Pope Francis met with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon before the Secretary-General gave the opening address at the symposium. read more »
World Happiness Report 2015 Launched
On April 23, 2015, the SDSN released the third edition of the World Happiness Report. The report explores how happiness differs by age, gender, and across regions; looks at how happiness and well-being metrics fit into the post-2015 agenda; and examines the neuroscience of happiness. On April 24, 2015, the SDSN hosted an all-day workshop on happiness and well-being data and research directions. The expert workshop was followed by a public launch event in New York. read more »
Updates on SDSN's Data for Development Initiatives
  • On April 17, 2015, SDSN launched a new report on Data for Development: A Needs Assessment for SDG Monitoring and Statistical Capacity Development, which was prepared jointly with more than 15 organizations. The report estimates a total of $1 billion per year is required to monitor the SDGs each year, with up to $200 million required in ODA on top of current commitments. The report was launched at a high-level event during the IMF/World Bank Spring meeting in Washington D.C. 
  • With the Bertelsmann Foundation, the OECD, Eurostat, PARIS21, and several National and Regional Networks, SDSN organized a technical workshop on tracking the SDGs in OECD countries.
  • SDSN and IUSSP co-hosted a meeting entitled "Harnessing the Data Revolution for Development: Issues in the design and monitoring of SDG indicators” at the Cartagena Data Festival. 
  • SDSN also presented its work on Data for Development at the Board meeting of PARIS21.
Release of “Financing Sustainable Development” Following Public Consultation
On April 8, 2015, SDSN released an extensive Working Paper on Financing Sustainable Development, which outlines the principal issues in the run-up to the Financing for Development conference in Addis. In particular, the paper focuses on how progress in key thematic areas can be accelerated. We are grateful to the many organizations who have submitted comments on this document. read more »
SDSN Joins Future Earth Governing Council
SDSN has joined the Governing Council of Future Earth, the global research platform for sustainable development. Several leading scientists involved with Future Earth serve on the Leadership Council of the SDSN. We look forward deepening our collaboration to promote science-based solutions for sustainable development. read more »
New NYC Sustainability Plan: OneNYC
On April 22, 2015, Mayor Bill de Blasio released New York City’s new sustainability plan, OneNYC, which builds on PlaNYC established under former Mayor Bloomberg and weaves in a strong focus on equity and social justice. The plan presents a roadmap for an integrated urban sustainable development strategy, aligned with the global SDG process. Professor Jeffrey Sachs served as co-chair of the Sustainability Advisory Board, overseeing the plan’s development. read more »
SDSN Participates in Earth Day Event in the Dominican Republic
On April 22, 2015, the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD) and Funglode organized a panel discussion entitled “It is our turn to be leaders: Climate Change and Sustainable Development” in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (DR) in honor of Earth Day 2015. Glenn Denning, Director of the New York Office of SDSN, presented on the SDGs and its implications for the DR. read more »
Registration Opens for 3rd Annual International Conference on Sustainable Development (ICSD)
The SDSN and the Global Association of Master's in Development Practice Programs (MDP) will hold the 3rd ICSD on September 23 & 24, 2015, at Columbia University, New York. Interested presenters are invited to submit abstracts by May 16, 2015; the conference is also open to observers (i.e. non-presenters). register now »
Climate Change Science & Negotiations Online Course
This ten-week course, led by Professor Jeffrey Sachs and Emmanuel Guerin, provides the science and policy context around the UN COP21 climate negotiations to be held in Paris in December of this year. Please email the education initiatives team if you are interested in using SDSNedu online course materials in your own programs and courses. enroll today »
Workshop on Nuclear Energy's Possible Role in Decarbonization
On the April 9, 2015, the SDSN’s Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP) hosted a workshop on “Nuclear Power's Possible Role in Lowering Global Carbon Output” at Columbia University. The event convened wide range of climate and energy experts to examine the advances, opportunities, and challenges of nuclear energy technology. read more »
SDSN in the Media

Scientists and Religious Leaders Discuss Climate Change at Vatican - New York Times, April 28

Vatican and U.N. team up on climate change against skeptics - Reuters, April 28

Swiss reign supreme in world happiness ranks - The Guardian, April 23

Get happy in the world's happiest countries - CNN, April 23

Johan Rockström: An Earth Day - Project Syndicate, April 22

Policy: Five priorities for the UN Sustainable Development Goals - Nature, April 20

Sunita Narain: Draw up aggressive road map for cleaner vehiclesThe Times of India, April 18

Feike Sijbesma: Climate Action Is Our Business Too - The Huffington Post, April 17

Christiana Figueres: A Paris Climate Agreement - Africa's Opportunity for a Sustainable Century - The Huffington Post, April 9

Interview: Jeffrey Sachs on the Future of Economic Development - Medium, April 9

Jeffrey Sachs: Why the Sustainable Development Goals Matter  - Project Syndicate, March 30
Upcoming SDSN Events
  • May 12-13 – Bonn Conference for Global Transformation | Bonn, Germany
  • May 18 – Asia Conference on SDSN Financing for Sustainable Development | Seoul, Korea
  • May 18 – The Age of Sustainable Development Public Lecture | Seoul, Korea
  • June 4-5 – Sixth SDSN Leadership Council Meeting | Paris, France
  • May 27-28 – Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP) Workshop | Paris, France
  • June 1-2 – Stockholm Food Forum | Stockholm, Sweden
News from Our Partners
  • SDSN's Thematic Group on Health For All Co-Chairs Irene Agyepong, Gordon Liu, and Srinath Reddy, with Lauren Barredo, SDSN Manager, have published an article in the latest UN Chronicle. “The SDGs and a Healthier 2030” examines at lessons learned from the MDGs in the health sector and how to improve global health under the SDGs. 
  • Lauren Barredo, Manager, and Achim Dobermann, Co-Chair of SDSN's Thematic Group on Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems, recently published an article on “Monitoring progress on agriculture and rural development” in Rural 21, which discusses principles for selecting SDGs indicators, gaps in data collection and access, and how to build data capacity. 
  • The Environment Research Center at the University of Technology in Baghdad, Iraq, has established a "Permanent Green-Tech Gallery" to provide an opportunity for the international green technology producers to showcase their products/ideas to the Iraqi private & public sectors. For more information, please email Professor Mukdad Al-Khateeb . 
  • The Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute with climate scientists from the University of Melbourne, has released a report entitled Appetite for Change, which outlines the impact of global warming on the six climate regions of Australia and how it will affect common household food items. 
  • Cambridge Centre for Climate Change Mitigation Research will work with Cambridge, UK, to leverage information technology to create a more sustainable "smart city."
  • On April 28, 2015, University of Queensland launched a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on “Making Sense of Climate Science Denial."

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