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To what extent will the COVID-19 pandemic affect the delivery of the SDGs?

last modified Mar 10, 2021 12:55 PM
Dick Fenner and Tom Cernev address this question in a new paper recently published in Futures in March 2021 (which can be accessed at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.futures.2021.102726)

They focus specifically on four “foundational” SDGs: SDG 1 No Poverty; SDG 3: Good Health and Wellbeing; SDG 14: Life Below Water; and SDG 15 Life on Land as well as the overarching SDG 13 Climate Action. These are critical in maintaining  a healthy human and environmental  resource base on which progress towards all goals  can be built.  The performance of these goals  is discussed under 4 scenarios which may emerge as a response to the pandemic: Global Well-being Prioritised b) World Trade Recovers c) Poverty  Gaps Widen c) Earth Systems in Danger. Dick and Tom  conclude that opportunities to refocus efforts on delivery of the SDGs exist but may be hampered by the competing interests of a new geo-politics.

Course Overview

Context

The need to engage in better problem definition through careful dialogue with all stakeholder groups and a proper recognition of context.

Perspectives

An ability to work with specialists from other disciplines and professional groups acknowledging that technical innovation and business skills also must be understood, nurtured and combined as precursors to the successful implementation of sustainable solutions.

Change

An understanding of mechanisms for managing change in organisations so future engineers are equipped to play a leadership role.

Tools

An awareness of a range of assessment frameworks, sustainability metrics and methodologies such as Life Cycle Analysis, Systems Dynamics, Multi-Criteria Decision making and Impact Assessment.