07 October 2016. On 21-22 September, ESPI Resident Fellow Dr. Stefano Ferretti presented the paper “Space as an enabler of sustainable development” at the International Conference on Sustainable Development, organized at Columbia University by Prof. Jeffrey D. Sachs, Director of Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

The conference, titled “Moving Forward: The SDGs in Practice” (http://ic-sd.org/), provided insights to identify and share practical, evidence-based solutions that can support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The ICSD 2016 was well attended by key stakeholders from government, academia, the United Nations, international agencies, NGOs, and grassroots organizers to share practical solutions towards the achievement of a more sustainable and inclusive society.

The speakers underlined the importance of thoughtful, conscious, directed and strategic common thinking to achieve the SDGs. Some expressed the view that all shall contribute by creating a knowledge based society, while enabling transparent, participative and inclusive mechanisms.

In this context building public awareness and political consensus around the SDGs is an essential step which goes along with the objectives of improving health, education and economic growth, among the other targets. It was questioned how different societies are developing and what lessons and best practises can be shared at global level. Dialogue among all the actors is therefore essential to identify common solutions and to put them in practice.

The key aspect which was touched upon was how to best deal with global challenges and complexity in open and innovative ways: the energy, mobility and connectivity transitions were addressed, including leapfrog approaches in developing economies, and various financial approaches and instruments for SDGs implementation were discussed.

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