Beyond Cockpit-ism: Four Insights to Enhance the Transformative Potential of the Sustainable Development Goals
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) have the potential to become a
powerful political vision that can support the urgently needed global transition to a shared and lasting prosperity.
In December 2014, the United Nations (UN) Secretary General published his report on the SDGs. However, the final goals and targets that will be adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2015 risk falling short of expectations because of what we call "cockpit-ism": the illusion that top-down steering by governments and intergovernmental organizations alone can address global problems.
In view of the limited effectiveness of intergovernmental efforts and questions about the capacity of national governments to affect change, the SDGs need to additionally mobilize new agents ofchange such as businesses, cities and civil society. To galvanize such a broad set of actors, multiple perspectives on sustainable development are needed that respond to the variousmotives and logics of change of these different actors.
We propose four connected perspectives which can strengthen the universal relevance of the SDGs: "planetary boundaries" to stress the urgency of addressing environmental concerns and to target governments to take responsibility for (global public goods; "the safe and just operatin space” to highlight the interconnectedness of social and environmental concerns and its distributive consequences; "the energetic socety" to benefit from the willingness of a broad group of actors worldwide to take action; and "green competition” to stimulate innovation and new business practices.
To realize the transformative potential of the SDGs these four perspectives should be reflected in the focus and content of the SDGs that will be negotiated in the run up to Septe ber 2015 and its further implementation.
Research news | 2021-11-25
Nine ways to produce more sustainable and affordable blue food
Greater attention should be paid to improving the productivity and environmental performance of affordable and accessible aquatic species
Research news | 2021-11-24
Carl Folke awarded the Prince Albert I Grand Medal 2021
Praised for his pioneering work in resilience thinking and sustainability of the ocean
Research news | 2021-11-23
Resilient futures in the Bahamas
New study on Andros Island in the Bahamas shows the power of using scenarios for sustainable development planning
Research news | 2021-11-23
Why forest owners should consider mixed forests or continuous cover forestry
Increased resilience to storms comes at the expense of private economic return, but forest owners of highly vulnerable land may profit from mixed forests and continuous cover forestry
Research news | 2021-11-18
Helping design smarter urban green spaces
New climate platform offers residents in Stockholm suburb real-time access to how greeneries influence local weather conditions
Research news | 2021-11-17
Centre researchers among world's most cited again
Carl Folke, Johan Rockström, Reinette “Oonsie” Biggs, Thomas Elmqvist and Per Olsson on exclusive list of world’s most influential researchers