Technology/Innovation

A Nexus Approach: Enabling Self-Sustained Communities in Food, Water and Energy

Background There have been significant attempts for sustainable transformation of food systems (e.g. hydroponics), water systems (e.g. recycling) and energy systems (e.g. renewables). In these sectoral approaches, the interlinkages between the three systems are often overlooked. The interlinkages provide opportunities, and challenges, for simultaneous progress on various SDGs and for delivering cross-sectoral transformative impacts. Our lab will identify socio-technical innovations that maximise synergies and minimise trade-offs across the three systems for their sustainable transformation. The scope of analysis will be our university campus: what circular systems need to be established on the campus, and what fundamental changes in practices need to occur, in order to close the loops across the...

Millennials and Resilience: City, Innovation and Transformation of Youths Laboratory

Background Many cities in sub-Saharan Africa are vulnerable to climate change, progressive decline of biodiversity and ecosystem services, disappearing open and green spaces as well as collapse of institutions that helped in upholding, protection and conservation of such public commons in African cities. As an example, during pre- colonial and colonial times, European explorers and researchers were fascinated by the existing high level resilience that Kano city in Nigeria exhibited through its unique garden city features. Then, two-thirds of the city as seen in 18th century were open and green spaces and this situation only changed in the early 1980s. The city’s plant diversity, resilience to fire were also recorded...

Rural Systems Visioneering

Background We try to help rural off-grid villages to overcome their fundamental concerns: lack of resources (e.g., electrical power, storage for food), lack of infrastructure (for management and monitoring), lack of quality education and training, and lack of motivation, vision and its engineering (i.e., visioneering). These are related to the 14 SDGs such as #1 (No poverty), #2 (Zero hunger), #3 ( Good health and well-being, #4 (Quality education), #6 (Clean water and sanitation), #7 (Affordable and clean energy), #8 (Decent work and economic growth), #9 (Industry, innovation and infrastructure), #10 (Reduced inequalities), #11 (Sustainable cities and communities), #12 (Responsible consumption and production), #13 (Climate action), #15 (Life on land),...

The value of Design. Visualised.

Background More than 30 years ago, Charles Eames, the American multidisciplinary designer, was asked, ‘What are the boundaries of design?’. He replied, ‘What are the boundaries of problems?’. The boundaries of the problems humanity is facing  today are entangled and complex and the SDGs remind us that they are interconnected and rooted in the choices we make in our everyday lives: how we eat, how we consume energy, or form relationships. Designers can contribute to making the problems more serious or to making the solutions more transformative. Good design leads to systemic transformations but the process behind it can be invisible. Dan Hill, Associate Director at Arup, has drawn comparisons...

Immersive science for the SDGs

Background For large-scale societal transformation to sustainability worldviews must change from insular and nationalistic to cosmopolitan and global. People need to reconnect to Earth’s biosphere and one another. Immersive experiences, for example new developments in virtual reality and augmented reality, can leaving deep impressions, create new connections and fill an empathy gap. In addition, in a post truth society where science, the scientific method and facts established beyond dispute within science are dismissed as opinion by politicians and advocates we need to find new ways to connect people to science and instil a fact-based worldview. This is another non-negotiable for transformation to meet the SDGs.   References See Stanford Virtual...

BeerSustLab

Background The problem we are addressing are the multiple sustainability challenges related to the craft beer production processes in Scania (Sw. Skåne), Sweden.  The labs will concentrate directly on all HLPF themes through an increased understanding of the socio-ecological impacts involved in the brewing, distribution, and the consumption of craft beer. Furthermore, the craft beer movement is made up of many “frontrunners” in the food & beverage sector. Therefore, they are more open for the creation and adoption of a new generation of principles that move past traditional norms in the industry and target the multiple and interacting SDGs.   Describe the co-design process and the intended participants. What sectors...

Visualizing and Connecting Seeds of a Good Anthropocence

BACKGROUND Most news and discussions emphasis problems and challenge. We aim to highlight globally diverse solutions to encourage people to act to create a more sustainable future. We are interested in making people aware of diverse projects, initiatives, and creations that have managed to transform people’s connections with each other and ecosystems to simultaneously meet multiple SDGs.

Guyana: Forging the Transition to a Green Growth Economy

What is an SDG Lab The idea for global Sustainable Development Goals1 Laboratories (SDG Labs) emerged from the Transformation Labs (T-Labs) pioneered by the Stockholm Resilience Centre, an example of the ‘change labs’ concept pioneered by Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Design Labs, Stanford University’s ChangeLabs, and The Bridgespan Group and Waterloo Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience Social Innovation Labs. The concept is that for many complex and rapidly-evolving challenges, the usual ‘strategic planning’ model for problem-solving has not been very successful. In contrast, ‘Labs’ seek to provide a more flexible framework for diverse groups to work toward creative, imaginative solutions, and to test and refine them through iterative ‘prototyping’. The...

Collaborative design of an interdisciplinary collaboration platform to advance sustainability

BACKGROUND Greater progress in sustainability requires more open knowledge systems and improved tools for collaborating across disciplines and social barriers. In this lab, participants from diverse disciplines develop the design of a digital collaboration platform for sustainability – a shared space for connecting research with education and knowledge with action. The platform is based on a meta-framework of sustainability which visualises relationships among nature, society and the built environment across scales. It provides a common framework to build a connected community and transform how we think, communicate and collaborate on sustainability.   AIMS Recent advances in theory and digital technology converge towards clearer thinking and communication on sustainability. Combining these,...