SDSN Switzerland

Hosted by:
  • Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) at the University of Bern
    Bern, Switzerland
  • Biovision Foundation
    Zurich, Switzerland

SDSN Switzerland brings together world-class science, impact-oriented civil society actors and responsible and innovative businesses to co-create and implement transformative solutions to achieve the 2030 Agenda, in Switzerland and beyond.

Exploring new ways to cooperate and develop joint activities

With almost 40 member organizations and several partners, SDSN Switzerland has become a well-known network. In order to explore each other’s projects and activities, members and partners were invited to participate with a stand in a marketplace in the second annual assembly. This setting brought the members´ work into the spotlight and the participants were invited to freely move around and interact with each other. As one of the participants called it, the marketplace provided a valuable space for ‘contextual networking’.

Furthermore, at the assembly, the members elected Prof. Dr. Janet Hering (Eawag: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology) to co-Chair the network with Océane Dayer (WWF Switzerland). Urs Wiesmann, the immediate past Co-Chair of SDSN Switzerland, highlighted the strategic priorities for the next stage of the working plan. The resulting composition of strategic and operational elements of the plan will make the network’s actions even more relevant and effective. The plan will continue to evolve and be shaped by the discussions led with members, partners and stakeholders.

Continuing the outreach activities despite the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many planned events of SDSN Switzerland to be rescheduled. Nevertheless, the network was able to organize a workshop at the World Biodiversity Forum in Davos Switzerland, to discuss how the biosphere supports the Sustainable Development Goals in their entirety. The workshop was a success and, together with a group of experts, the network will summarize the most important results into a factsheet for policy- and decision-makers.

The network decided to convert the SDSN Switzerland conference - jointly planned with the National Research Programme 73 “Sustainable Economy” (NRP73) - into a series of online workshops held in June and July 2020. The objective of the online workshops was to debate the preliminary research findings of selected projects of the NRP 73 and to elaborate calls to action to facilitate the transition to a sustainable economy and contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The topics of the 6 workshops were: Sustainable construction & housing, Digital innovation for sustainable agriculture, Spillover effects of sustainable behavior, Nudging and voluntary agreement in the private sector, Sustainable food systems, and Environmental monitoring.

Looking ahead

In 2020 SDSN Switzerland launched a “Call for Solution Initiatives” as a format to engage and support the members and partners to upscale and disseminate innovative solutions for sustainable development. The Network will continue using this format to actively engage and work with its members and partners.

Together with its members, SDSN Switzerland will continue to bring together all stakeholders in Switzerland, if needed virtually, to shape the dialogue and the calls for action made at the 2020 online workshops.

CDE is Switzerland’s centre of excellence for sustainable development. It is one of the University of Bern’s strategic research centres tasked with mainstreaming sustainability throughout the university’s research and teaching. Its aim is to chart pathways to sustainable development and to initiate transformations in line with the Agenda 2030.

Founded in 1998, Biovision combats hunger and poverty at their roots. Through its active participation in the negotiations, Biovision captures the transformative power of the Agenda 2030 and the political processes that will support such a transformation. In Switzerland and internationally, Biovision is known for conducting a constructive dialogue with different stakeholder groups.