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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

"Reforms for Measuring Welfare and Wealth in the Context of Sustainable Development", Berlin, 2-3 December 2010

The recent financial and economic crisis and the challenges posed by various sustainable development issues (e.g. climate change, natural resource consumption, poverty reduction, etc.) led to a questioning of conventional approaches of economic growth and of traditional means of measuring progress, wealth and prosperity in our societies only in terms of growth domestic product (GDP). Since several years, international, European and national institutions have engaged in developing measuring systems for progress and wealth that aim to go “beyond GDP” and that increasingly take into account sustainable development. Among them are the EU’s initiative “Beyond GDP – measuring progress, true wealth and the well-being of nations”, the work of the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress which was established by the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, and led by the Nobel prize winner, Joseph Stiglitz, as well as a global project on “Measuring the Progress of Societies” which is hosted by the OECD and run in collaboration with other international and regional partners. All these initiatives and their work have not only found their way into statistical offices but have also spurred lively political debates. Generally, the ways and means of how to measure progress, wealth and prosperity play a crucial role in the concepts and implementation of national sustainable development strategies and strategies that aim at linking economic growth and sustainable development (e.g. Europe 2020 strategy, OECD’s Green Growth Strategy, UNEP’s Green Economy Initiative). The workshop contributed to current discussion on “beyond GDP” by focussing on questions such as:  What are the linkages and challenges between sustainable development policies and measurement? What is the current status of international and national reform processes to measure welfare and wealth? Which options for concrete actions are possible on the national level and in cooperation among countries?

Programme and documentation:


Country "islands":



Madrid 2010: From Green Growth towards a Sustainable Economy?

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


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