Science Platform Sustainability 2030

Research is crucial to sustainable development: Germany’s Sustainable Development Strategy of 2016 proposed the establishment of a science platform to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This proposal was taken up by the scientific community and the platform was subsequently launched at an inaugural session of its steering group on 8 May 2017. While the platform focuses on the role of science and its contributions to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in, with, and through Germany, its working processes include representatives of science, civil society, the business sector, and politics. It is governed by a high-level steering committee and supported by three organising institutions: the research networks Sustainable Development Solutions Network Germany (SDSN), the German Committee Future Earth (DKN Future Earth), and the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam.

Supporting Germany’s Sustainable Development Strategy

The platform seeks to support sustainability policymaking at the domestic and international levels and to foster sustainable development in Germany and beyond through the generation, collation, and strategic dissemination of knowledge. Drawing on the insights of science, the platform develops policy recommendations, strategies, and actionable options for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the achievement of its Sustainable Development Goals. The platform provides a scientific perspective on both the progress towards and obstacles to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in Germany, with Germany, and through Germany. The sustainability challenges that are addressed through its research activities will be identified in consultation with the steering committee, policymakers, and civil society.

The science platform complements ongoing research by offering insights into challenges faced in the implementation of sustainability policies, as well as providing thematic and administrative coordination services and communicating the existence of knowledge deficits to the scientific community. By addressing knowledge deficits and development objectives identified by actors in policymaking, business, and civil society, the platform contributes to the development of knowledge resources to support transformations towards more sustainable societies.

Bringing together actors and activities

As a key component of the German Sustainable Development Strategy, the science platform is part of the new architecture for sustainable development. A steering committee, co-chaired by IASS Scientific Director Patrizia Nanz, Dirk Messner (co-chair of SDSN Germany), and Martin Visbeck (chair of DKN Future Earth), supervises the platform’s activities. The group’s members are drawn from civil society and the scientific and business communities.

Members of the steering committee

The platform is supported by a cross-ministerial process with the participation of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), and the Federal Chancellery.

IASS hosts platform’s secretariat

A secretariat is currently being established at the IASS to coordinate the platform’s scientific and administrative activities. Inquiries can be directed to the team at the secretariat.

Head of the Secretariat: Dr Falk Schmidt

Research Associate: Steffen Neumann

Co-chair of the Steering Group: Prof. Dr Patrizia Nanz

Team Assistant: N.N.