This is done configuring their collective knowledge in new ways to support the creation of solutions to cross-cutting challenges and barriers to successful implementation of the SDGs.
The Ecosystem utilizes new thinking and innovative approaches like systems thinking, social change theory, foresight methodologies, and user-centered design to deliver solutions that enhance the work already happening in Geneva around the SDGs. This will make the collective knowledge within Geneva more accessible to and actionable for governments and other actors directly implementing the 2030 Agenda.
The vision is a dynamic organizational model that networks SDG actors in Geneva and brings them together to build partnerships and collaboratively create solutions to common challenges. It is a co-owned community that is supported by a few facilitating organizations who help move ideas to action.
A great deal of knowledge on sustainable development policy and practice exists within the organizations in Geneva; the challenge is getting it into the hands of those who need it, in forms that are relevant and timely to serve their individual objectives.
The Ecosystem works to translate the knowledge and expertise of Geneva-based actors into actionable knowledge products that can support SDG implementation.
The diverse composition of actors in Geneva working to achieve the SDGs makes it an ideal centre to innovate on policy and practice challenges. The Ecosystem utilizes the multidisciplinary expertise of Geneva-based actors to develop solutions to key challenges in policy and practice through design and systems thinking, foresight methodologies, multi-stakeholder dialogue, and coordinated research and analysis.
With hundreds of individual actors working directly on the 2030 Agenda there is a danger of duplication of effort and misalignment among Geneva-based actors. The Ecosystem connects and convenes diverse actors in Geneva to encourage collaboration, build partnerships, share lessons-learned, exchange information, and promote individual efforts more broadly. This creates the opportunity to build on each other’s work and advance the Agenda as a united front.
An ecosystem has a distinct ecological definition; it is a community of organisms and the network of their interactions among each other, and with their physical environment. While the Geneva 2030 Ecosystem is not biological it does build well on the analogy. Geneva is a community of actors that interact among themselves and with many global issues and processes. Just as the strongest ecosystems are well networked and rely on interactions between organisms to sustain itself, the Geneva community is strongest when there is a high degree of interconnectedness among the actors within it.
On one hand, the Ecosystem is carefully designed in its structure but on the other it is a constantly changing, emergent space for experimentation, innovation and action. This approach ensures that it drives towards tangible solutions while still allowing space for creativity. For this reason, a number of key operating principles are embedded into the DNA of the Geneva 2030 Ecosystem:
The Geneva 2030 Ecosystem is not owned by any one organization, it is a community of participants. Its activities are shaped by the input of a number of participating organizations. The Ecosystem is facilitated by the International Institute for Sustainable Development and the United Nations Office at Geneva's newly formed SDG Lab.
The International Institute for Sustainable Development's mission is to promote human development and environmental sustainability through innovative research, communication and partnerships.
Established in 1990, IISD is an independent, non-profit organisation that provides practical solutions to the challenge of integrating environmental and social priorities with economic development.
The SDG Lab is a multi stakeholder initiative, led by UNOG, that will contribute to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by supporting Geneva-based actors and beyond in further leveraging expertise and knowledge into policy, practice and action.
It creates space for interdisciplinary and multisectoral collaboration while consistently testing assumptions and asking questions about what is needed to achieve the 2030 Agenda.