An Aristotelian Perspective on Sustainable Development
The inauguration of the Greek Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) in Greece kicked off on September 6th, 2017 with a meeting between Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Prof. Jeffrey D. Sachs, Director of the UN SDSN Global network. This was followed by an Executive Dinner of the Leadership Council of SDSN Greece, where the co-chairs of the network Prof. Phoebe Koundouri and Prof. Andreas Papandreou introduced the prominent members of the Leadership Council of SDSN Greece to the distinguished guests of the wider SDSN Greece community. Guest of honor Prof. Sachs was the keynote speaker at the event and shared his inspiring reflections about sustainability and its connection to Greece’s rich and profound history.
On September 7th & 8th, the 3rd Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Mediterranean Conference & Official Launch of SDSN Greece took place at the premises of the National Bank of Greece and the University of Athens. Both SDSN Greece events were co-organized by ICRE8 – International Centre for Research on the Environment and PESD Laboratory on Political Economy of Sustainable Development, of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA), in collaboration with the Athens University of Economics and BusinessLaboratory on Research on Socio-Economic and Environmental Sustainability (ReSEES/AUEB) and ATHENA Research Center. ICRE8, ReSEES/AUEB, ATHENA RC and PESD form a cluster of leading research institutes with a strong commitment to research on sustainable management of natural capital and technology, with an exceptional record in attracting research funding, completing influential projects and producing numerous academic and other publications, all with explicit policy interventions. The conference received nationwide coverage by communications sponsor Skai Media Group.
During the two-day conference, SDSN Greece Co-Chairs Prof. Phoebe Koundouri and Prof. Andreas Papandreou, as well as distinguished speakers from Greece and abroad, including Prof. Sachs and former Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, spoke on topics ranging from climate change, sustainable development, and environmental policy, to ecosystems and biodiversity, renewable energy, clean technology and greening of the economy. There was also a special emphasis on the need to better incorporate and expand the role of sustainability issues within research activity and teaching of the Greek educational system, which was addressed by the Hellenic Universities Rectors’ Synod. Synchronous to the SDSN Mediterranean Conference was the Inaugural Annual SDSN Greece Youth Event, held at the Cultural Centre of Athens, and aimed at encouraging the younger generation to become informed and take action on issues of sustainability.
Building on the success of these events and encouraged by the broad support across the political spectrum, the Strategic Management Board of SDSN Greece is now shaping the way forward. Special focus will be placed on SDSN Greece’s three cross-cutting issues and a connection will be established with the following four thematic priorities: 1) Sustainable Shipping & Marine Resource Management, 2) Sustainable Tourism, 3) a Sustainable Food-Water-Energy Nexus and 4) Training and Education in Sustainable Development. Structured deliberations with selected members of the Leadership Council (LC) will be initiated to identify, refine, confirm and detail the list of thematic priorities. The extended network of SDSN Greece and global will then work towards bringing science-driven integrated technology/socio-economic-governance solutions to the identified problems. Another round of consultations with the LC and other members will follow, with the ultimate aim of direct implementation or/and policy intervention. SDSN Greece is also working on enriching and expanding its inland and international network, thus responding to the significant interest for action-oriented engagement by the academic and research community, the business sector, civil society, public policy makers and the media.
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Download the Conference Agenda to access individual presentations from each session.