SDSN France

Hosted by:
  • CY Cergy Paris Université
    Cergy-Pontoise, France
  • Kedge Business School
    Marseille, France
  • PSL University
    Paris, France

SDSN France was launched to federate and mobilize scientists and experts who focus on practical solutions to achieve the SDGs. Four themes have been prioritized: education, sustainable finance, media, and best practices. Held in January 2020 in Paris, the annual conference was dedicated to scaling up solutions that contribute to the SDGs and presented the first tangible results of the working groups across these four themes.


The Education working group, co-hosted with Sulitest, identified two key projects that are taking shape: 1) promoting the sustainable development and social responsibility label (DD & RS) beyond higher education, and 2) extending digital platforms of sustainable development and social responsibility resources for higher education.

Sustainable Finance

The Sustainable Finance working group is focused on developing: 1) the content of teaching and research in economics and finance, 2) the consideration of SDGs by the specialized financial press and decision-makers, and 3) the capacity of research to integrate socio-economic actors in order to produce relevant solutions to achieve the SDGs. With the Alliance for Post-Crisis Finance, the finance working group aims to aggregate and connect existing initiatives. In 2020, the working group will develop a new sustainable finance textbook, numerous research conferences, and actions in connection with civil society.

Media and the SDGs

The working group on Media and the SDGs is organized in partnership with the United Nations Regional Information Centre (UNRIC) and the Elyx Foundation. It started from the observation that outside specialized media, the press rarely talks about the SDGs or the 2030 Agenda. The working group, which includes many actors from a variety of media houses, identified the “complexity” of the 17 Goals as well as insufficient quality content as barriers. The group is now working on developing a comprehensive information tool that will be distributed to editorial offices. This tool will be based on a more exhaustive study of the press through the SDG grid and the creation of an SDG media barometer.

Best practice

What are the most common mistakes for a CSR or project manager to ‘mess up’ the transition to sustainable development? By posing the question in this way, the working group focuses its attention on the frequent errors made in this area to help spurt progress on their elimination. During the annual conference, a brainstorming session was held and the results were summarized in the form of an infographic, which is an accessible and playful way to present the substantive material. By disseminating this infographic, the working group hopes that stakeholders can identify with some of these mistakes and consider ways to stop committing them.

Looking Ahead

SDSN France was deeply engaged in the yearlong development of the French government’s new SDG roadmap, which was formally launched in September 2019 and which explicitly names SDSN France as an important partner for SDG implementation in France. The network is now considered a key player in the French SDG ecosystem and will continue to support the government in its deployment of the national roadmap. In the coming months, SDSN France will also focus on consolidating its organization and communications, as well as setting up a local SDSN Youth network. The 2021 conference will continue in this direction and develop partnerships with the various French organizations engaging with sustainable development issues.

CY Cergy Paris Université is a French public university and a leading center of teaching and research, which welcomes 17,700 students and 1,500 international students interested in studying abroad. UCP is a cultural, scientific and vocational institution that has decided to put the issues of societal transition at the heart of its priorities and to commit itself more resolutely to an approach of social responsibility and sustainable development.

Kedge is a French management school with four campuses in France (Paris, Bordeaux, Marseille and Toulon), and three abroad (two in China, and one in Senegal). KEDGE is recognized as a key player in the field of sustainable development and CSR which focuses on coherence between research, pedagogy, campus social and environmental management, and governance.

PSL is a French collegiate university that was formed in 2010 and is made up of nine member institutions in Paris. PSL offers an education based on research and interdisciplinary instruction, and its 20,000 students have access to a broad range of disciplines in science, engineering, humanities and social science, and the arts. PSL runs cross-cutting flagship programs such as the Scripta Interdisciplinary and Strategic Research Initiative (IRIS), the PSL Mathematics program, and the Q-Life Institute.