ESDN | European Sustainable Development Network
You are here: Home > ESDN workshops > Workshop documentation

ESDN Workshops

Since 2007, the ESDN is organizing thematic workshops in order to facilitate informal exchange of standpoints and experiences between the ESDN Members. This section of the website provides a one-stop-shop documentation of all ESDN Workshops so far. Please click on one of the workshops for more details:

Berlin 2019: Transformation towards Sustainability in Times of Rising Populism

Berlin 2018: Communication of Sustainable Development and the SDGs: Strategies and Good Practices

Berlin 2017: Implementation of the 2030 Agenda and SDGs at the sub-national level: Practical experiences and governance needs

Berlin 2016: Developing the ESDN peer learning approach to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for SD and the SDGs

Paris 2015: Strengthening environmental and sustainable development dialogue in Europe in the context of the 2030 SD Agenda

Brussels 2015: Monitoring and reviewing sustainable development goals (SDGs) in Europe: current debates in EU Member States and on the European level

Berlin 2014: Transformative environmental and sustainability policy: new thematic issues, actor constellations and governance modes

Brussels 2014: Fostering Urban Sustainable Development: Potentials and Challenges for National and European Policy

Brussels 2013: The Future of the EU SDS - Expectations and Possible Contributions from the ESDN

Brussels 2012: Financial Markets, Institutions and Policies in the Context of Sustainable Development - Dimensions, Issues and Actors of an Emerging Arena

Berlin 2011: Perspectives for European SD Policy & Governance in the context of recent EU policy strategies and Rio+20

Berlin 2010: Reforms for Measuring Welfare and Wealth in the Context of Sustainable Development

"From Green Growth towards a Sustainable Economy?", Madrid, 25-26 March 2010

For the past two centuries, economic growth has been the engine of modern societies, markets have become their central organizing principle and GDP has been used as the main measuring instrument of economic activities. The ‘limits to growth’ approach in the early 1970s and the sustainable development (SD) discourse over the last two decades, have put an exclusive orientation towards traditional growth into question. The recent financial and economic crisis has mainstreamed this discussion and fostered a very intensive debate among policy-makers, researchers and the media about the future of our economic systems and which kind of growth should be promoted. Due to the fact that SD has become a guiding policy objective on the different political levels and that the challenges to tackle climate change receive broad attention, much of the current debate centres around how to link SD and growth as well as how growth can be reoriented to better address environmental and social issues. Linking SD and growth has been addressed by the UN (Green Economy Initiative) and the OECD (Green Growth Declaration) as well as by the EU (“EU 2020” strategy) and on the national level (e.g. “Growth in Transition” initiative in Austria, Smart Economy Strategy in Ireland, “Prosperity without Growth” in the UK).

The debate has also been taken up by the ESDN in its recent Quarterly Report of December 2009. The workshop took up this debate by focussing on questions such as: What kind of growth should be promoted to achieve SD? Is ‘green growth’ sufficient to move into the right direction from an SD perspective? What can be learned from existing strategies, initiatives and activities that link SD and growth? Which criteria, governance mechanisms and policy tools should be applied to achieve a sustainable economy?

The workshop was aimed at reflecting on the link between SD and growth and at a stock-taking of the various strategies, initiatives and activities on this link that exist on the international, EU and national level. Moreover, the results of the workshop and working group discussions will provide input to the ESDN Conference 2010 and to the development of a “tool box” on moving from green strategies towards an economy compatible with SD principles.

Programme and documentation:



Brussels 2009: New Driver for Sustainable Development Strategies - The Power of Smart Linkages

Brussels 2008: Post-2010: The Future of the EU SDS and its Interface with the Lisbon Process

Berlin 2008: Experiences with Participatory Tools and Mechanisms

Cascais 2007: Sustainable Development Indicators at the EU level


This website is maintained by the
ESDN Office Team at the WU Institute for Managing Sustainability
Imprint | Privacy statement