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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:

2020: Achieving the SDGs through a Sustainable and Just Transition

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

"Financial Markets, Institutions and Policies in the Context of Sustainable Development - Dimensions, Issues and Actors of an Emerging Arena" Brussels, 22-23 November 2012

Organizers: European Sustainable Development Network (ESDN), German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) & Vita Foundation Germany

The 8th ESDN Workshop took place in Brussels on 22-23 November 2012. In total, 53 participant from 14 European countries and Japan attended the workshop. Please find below a short introduction to the workshop topics. Moreover, you can also find below background documents to download.

The workshop intended to scope the mechanisms and operational design of financial markets, explore the functional and dysfunctional aspects in a SD perspective and, on this basis, develop concrete fields of action for SD policy related to financing, financial markets and finance governance. The outcomes of the workshop provide an orientation for SD policy-makers in the debate around the financial markets and future policy options in their administrations. In addition, it brought together actors from different fields to discuss and learn from their respective experiences to develop suggestions how the financial markets could better serve SD objectives. The workshop focused on questions such as: What are the conceptual frames, the framework conditions, mechanisms and recent developments of financial markets? What exact impacts does the current financial market system have on SD policy and practice? How can financial market reforms and additional instruments and institutions be designed in order to enhance SD? How are sustainable investing practices affected by other events and upheavals in financial markets, such as the financial crisis or the current Euro crisis? To what extent do (or should) investors reflect on SD objectives in their investment decisions?

Programme and documentation:

Case studies:


Keynote presentations Download presentation as PDF Watch video of the presentation
André Martinuzzi (ESDN Office Coordinator, Director of the Research Institute for Managing Sustainability, Austria): "Financial markets and sustainable development" PDF(PDF, 1.1 MB) (No video available)
Paul Welfens (Professor of European Economic Integration, University of Wuppertal/EIIW, Germany): "Double global sustainability: International macro-economic perspectives and long-term environmental modernization" PDF(PDF, 3.2 MB)
Richard Werner (Director of Centre for Banking, Finance and Sustainable Development, University of Southampton, UK): "Financial markets and SD: Clarification of concepts, major actors, current challenges and how the financial market is connected to SD" PDF(PDF, 954 kB)
Volker Abel (Senior Manager, Department for Strategy & Finance in zeb/, Germany): "Banking governance, financial crisis and structural challenges – the micro-level perspective of sustainability" PDF(PDF, 3.8 MB)
Akira Maeda (Professor, University of Tokyo, Japan): "Perspectives on double sustainability in Japan: Environmental aspects and long term economic dynamics" PDF(PDF, 250 kB)
James Vaccaro (Director, Investment Management at Triodos Bank & Global Alliance for Banking on Values, UK): "What could sustainable banking contribute towards a sustainable Europe?" PDF(PDF, 330 kB)
Guido Giese (Head of Indexes, SAM Group): "Indices, sustainability ratings and the Dow Jones Sustainability Index" PDF(PDF, 1 MB)
Ralf Frank (Secretary General, Society of Investment Professionals (DFVA) in Germany): "The German Sustainability Code: Transparency and benchmarking of a company’s sustainability performance" PDF(PDF, 502 kB)
Chiara von Gunten (Branch Director, Z/Yen Group Limited, UK & Programme Manager of the London Accord): "UK: Financial markets, institutions and policies in the UK – a sustainability perspective" PDF(PDF, 413 kB)
Dorothea Schäfer (Research Director Financial Markets, German Institute for Economic Research): "Germany: The German approach towards financial markets and its relation towards sustainable development" PDF(PDF, 908 kB)
Stefania Rossi (Professor of Macroeconomics, Department of Economics, University of Cagliari, Italy): "Italy: From the financial crisis to the public debt crisis – some considerations on the Italian Case" PDF(PDF, 173 kB)


Panel discussion Watch video
Ariane de Dominicis (DG Environment, European Commission)
Joost van Iersel (President of the Europe 2020 Steering Committee, European Economic and Social Committee)
Richard Burrett (Co-chair, UNEP Finance Initiative & Earth Capital Partners LLP)
Alessandro Vercelli (Professor at the Department of Political Economy at University of Siena, Italy & partner in FESSUD project on financialisation, economy, society and sustainable development, funded by FP7)





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

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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