1. Expert Panel on Sustainable Development

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    1. Five spearheads for...

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      Realisation of the UN's Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development requires both universality (working to achieve all goals everywhere) and strategic...



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      1 month ago by Eeva Furman, Eva Heiskanen, Heikki Hiilamo, Tuuli Hirvilammi, Eeva Hellström, Janne Hukkinen, Jaakko Kiander, Anne Birgitta Pessi, Juho Saari

Sustainable development is still too often perceived as an abstract phrase. We lack the ability to apply it to our everyday lives or to grasp its opportunities. However, sustainable development is fundamental to decision-making in our society. Germany, for example, has gained positive experiences from using expert panels in support of political decision-making. An expert panel with renowned names can also “raise its voice” when necessary.

The Expert Panel on Sustainable Development, hosted by Sitra, ensures that the voices of academic and internationally recognised experts make more of an impact in society. The panel was established in December 2013 to inspire action on sustainable development, by giving science a voice on the Finnish political scene. The panel contributes to public discussions and supports the Finnish National Commission on Sustainable Development. The expert panel is tasked with preparing, challenging and evaluating the commission’s work and promoting sustainable development in Finland. In its round-table discussions, the panel can consider any sustainability issue. It convenes around six times a year and interacts with key players in society.

Sustainable development means decisions and action

The key purpose of sustainable development is to find economically and socially sustainable solutions that take due account of our planetary boundaries. Societies and economies cannot function in a polluted environment. This is also the basic premise of The Finland we want by 2050 – Society's commitment to sustainable development.

Sustainable development goals should be embedded in the decision-making, action and routines of everyone in Finland, including companies, households and the government. Encouraging everyone to engage in sustainable development, Commitment 2050 is a Finnish social innovation, which is being further developed by the Finnish National Commission on Sustainable Development and the Expert Panel on Sustainable Development. All organisations operating in Finland – and private individuals – can commit to pursuing one or more goals and publicly monitor their progress in doing so. The concept has already attracted plenty of interest in Finland and abroad, with more than 100 commitments having been pledged.

The new global sustainable development goals were set in September 2015, upon the publication of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The agenda is a universal action plan for the creation of well-being in all corners of the world far into the future, while preventing the recurrence and worsening of global crises. The universal nature of this agenda makes it unique: each country committing itself to the agenda must diligently pursue the related goals both within and beyond its borders. Finnish society has already adopted many of the sustainable development goals set by the UN and is continuing to do so. Much remains to be done in achieving some of the goals and Finland must not miss its opportunities to act as a trailblazer.

Panel composition

The members of the expert panel on sustainable development are as follows:

  • Director of the Environmental Policy Centre, Professor Eeva Furman, Finnish Environment Institute (chair)
  • Research Director Eva Heiskanen, Consumer Society Research Centre
  • Professor of Social Policy Heikki Hiilamo, University of Helsinki
  • Postdoctoral Researcher Tuuli Hirvilammi, University of Jyväskylä
  • Professor of Environmental Policy Janne Hukkinen, University of Helsinki
  • Associate Professor of Economics, SVP Jaakko Kiander, Finance & Governance and Pension Policy, Ilmarinen Mutual Pension Insurance Company
  • Professor Anne Birgitta Pessi, Faculty of Theology, University of Helsinki
  • Professor of Sociology Juho Saari, University of Eastern Finland.

Sitra's co-ordination of the work of the expert panel is led by Senior Lead Eeva Hellström.

 

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Publication Five spearheads for sustainable development

Realisation of the UN's Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development requires both universality (working to achieve all goals everywhere) and strategic ability (selection and phasing of focus areas). Since all the 17 Agenda 2030 goals are interlinked, some key clusters of goals need to be identified in order to tackle the complex whole. The Finnish Government has been drafting a national...

Eeva Furman, Eva Heiskanen, Heikki Hiilamo, Tuuli Hirvilammi, Eeva Hellström, Janne Hukkinen, Jaakko Kiander, Anne Birgitta Pessi, Juho Saari

Publication Scientific support for sustainable development policies

In an ever more complex world, we are in dire need of integrative tools to solve widespread societal and sustainability concerns. The development of science-policy interfaces is often omitted in sustainable development policy documents both nationally and globally. Does the scientific support for sustainable development policies really work well enough to warrant this indifference, or are we...

Roope Kaaronen

Publication Scientific support for sustainable development policies

In an ever more complex world, we are in dire need of integrative tools to solve widespread societal and sustainability concerns. The development of science-policy interfaces is often omitted in sustainable development policy documents both nationally and globally. Does the scientific support for sustainable development policies really work well enough to warrant this indifference, or are we...

Roope Kaaronen

Blog Is an expert panel agile?

Time challenges the decision makers and researchers of sustainable development to adjust their interaction to new levels, professor Janne I. Hukkinen writes.

6 months ago by Janne Hukkinen

Blog Limits of growth cannot be exceeded

Experts in the 70s expected us to have exceeded our planetary limits by now. So how long have we got until we actually do?

11 months ago by Jaakko Kiander

Article Getting things done in sustainable development

The recently appointed Finnish National Commission on Sustainable Development started its activities with a forward-leaning approach. At an intensive workshop on the first Monday morning of February, Finland’s current strategy for sustainable development was mulled over and developed further. The idea for the workshop was born last year from the Expert Panel on Sustainable Development, which...

1 year ago by Tuula Sjöstedt

News Expert panel welcomes two new faces

The Expert Panel on Sustainable Development hosted by Sitra has welcomed two new expert members and a new chair. The new members are Tuuli Hirvilammi and Anne Birgitta Pessi.

1 year ago

Blog Germany's Energiewende – Switzerland creates sustainable development model

Like Germany with its radical Energiewende project, Switzerland has decided to make an energy transition – moving away from fossil fuels towards a sustainable economy built on renewable energy. The Swiss have already managed to successfully integrate the objectives and implementation of sustainable development into their federal political system. The country's Sustainable Development...

3 years ago by Jukka Noponen


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