SDSN Belgium

Hosted by:
  • University of Antwerp
    Antwerp, Belgium
  • Catholic University of Louvain
    Louvain, Belgium

Launched in 2018, SDSN Belgium is working on localizing the SDGs in the country through education and engagement of students and the general public on the issues of sustainability.

SDG Voice 2020

In 2020, SDSN Belgium was appointed by the Belgian federal government as an “SDG Voice 2020” and official ambassador translating the SDGs into concrete actions. SDSN Belgium actively works on creating a Youth Hub with and for students in Belgian higher education institutions. The Youth Hub and its committed members will inform students on the SDGs and help them transform their college’s or university’s teaching, research, services, and policies towards full alignment with the SDGs.

Holistic Approach to Sustainability

SDSN Belgium brings people together for the exchange of innovative and practical ideas on the SDGs and the best ways of achieving them. In particular, the Network is trying to place greater emphasis on sustainable development in research and education by taking a holistic approach to academic institutions.

Global Sustainable Technology & Innovation Conference

Technological innovation gets connected with decision making for sustainable development at the Global Sustainable Technology & Innovation (G-STIC) Conference in which all members of the network take part. This year, the G-STIC conference will be part of a special SDG week, co-organized by SDSN Belgium.

Antwerp’s SDG Transition

In 2020, SDSN Belgium also started the ‘SDG transition’ project. This project supports the Province of Antwerp in integrating the SDGs into their operations. A stakeholder co-creation process with the province administrative staff is ongoing, in parallel with the development of a methodology to assess and monitor implementation of the SDGs at subnational level.

SDG Barometer 2020

The network is a supporting partner of the SDG Barometer 2020 (led by the Antwerp Management School, member of SDSN Belgium), a research project which gives insights on the engagement of civil society organizations, companies, government, and educational institutions with the SDGs. The project also tracks the progress made, the challenges, success factors, and barriers for implementation. The results of this research will be compared with the data of the previous edition from 2018 to highlight best practices and showcase working strategies.

Looking ahead

In December 2020, SDSN Belgium, the Interuniversity Centre for Education Law and Policy (ICOR), and SDSN Great Lakes plan to organize an international conference on SDG 4 in the Great Lakes region. The Conference will explore the interlinkages between human rights, water management and treatment, and health care.

Responding to the growing need for long-term thinking and action in the post Covid-19 world, together with ICOR, SDSN Belgium will take the lead in establishing a Flemish Scientific Foresight Council.The Council, supported by a research department that focuses on the methodology and the foundation of future-studies, will work across sectors aiming at sustainable, integrated policies.

The University of Antwerp is a young, dynamic and forward‐thinking institution, and one of the Young Universities for the Future of Europe (YUFE). More than 20,000 students are enrolled, of which 20% are international students. Ecology and sustainable development are some of the frontline research domains. Specifically, SDSN Belgium is hosted by the Institute of Environment and Sustainable Development (IMDO). IMDO offers multidisciplinary research and education programs that aim to support the complex challenges of society, industry, and authorities on sustainability questions.

The Catholic University of Louvain (UCLouvain) is Belgium’s largest French-speaking university. It welcomes more than 30,000 students in seven locations in Brussels and Wallonia. The university offers courses in all disciplines, from bachelor’s degree to doctoral degree level, as well as many lifelong learning programmes. It is also a pioneer in the creation of massive open online courses (MOOCs), and the first French-speaking university in Europe to offer online courses on the edX platform. UCLouvain is amongst the top 1% universities worldwide.