Systemic Solutions for Wicked Challenges – EU Projects’ Contributions to the EU’s Leadership on the SDGs

ARSINOE, IMPETUS, & TRANSFORMAR Projects’ Contributions to the EU’s Leadership on the SDGs

On April 4th, the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) hosted a joint hybrid workshop in Brussels, Belgium. With over 600 participants, the workshop focused on EU leadership on implementing the 2030 Agenda and achieving its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by all nations in 2015. Participants discussed major priorities for accelerating SDG progress in the EU and around the world, and exchanged views on how to strengthen structured engagement with civil society over the next seven years. The session moderated by Phoebe Koundouri, Co-Chair of SDSN Europe, focused on academic contributions to implementing the SDGs, in particular through systemic solutions. 

Lydia Vamvakeridou-Lyroudia, Programme Director at KWR, introduced the ARSINOE Project, which focuses on examining climate-resilient regions and implementing systemic solutions and innovations. It brings together Systems Innovation Approach (SIA) and Climate Innovation Window (CIW). The project  is developed by 41 partners and encompasses 9 case studies conducted across Europe and combines social sciences, social engagement, and the modeling of future climate scenarios. Its objective is to collaboratively develop innovation packages with the regions to enhance their resilience to climate change. During the panel discussion, Lydia Vamvakeridou-Lyroudia underscored how important it is to not only possess knowledge and resources for implementation, but also to effectively integrate them.

Hannah Arpke, European Projects Coordinator at Fundacio Eurecat, introduced the IMPETUS Project. This project focuses on developing a unique approach called the “Resilience Knowledge Booster.” By combining digital technologies with human interactions, IMPETUS aims to assist communities and policy makers in making informed decisions. With a consortium of 32 partners and 7 demonstration sites, IMPETUS facilitates stakeholder participation in the co-creation, implementation, and testing of various strategies to address the challenges posed by climate change. It emphasizes the importance of adapting to the changing climate and influencing decisions that safeguard homes, businesses, nature, and lives.

Hannah Arpke elaborated on the integration of the human dimension, involving stakeholders, with the digital dimension, which relies on data. This integration allows for the generation of localized and specific models that can be further adapted to diverse situations. 

Lastly, Kirsten Dunlop, CEO of EIT Climate-KIC, presented the role of Climate-KIC, a knowledge and innovation community dedicated to accelerating the transition to a zero-carbon, climate-resilient society. She also introduced the NetZeroCities Project, aiming to assist cities in overcoming existing structural, institutional, and cultural barriers to achieve climate neutrality by 2030, as well as the Pathways to Resilience Project, supporting European regions in attaining climate adaptation and resilience in a sustainable manner by 2030.These two projects serve as examples of how to apply the principles of the SDGs and address the intricate requirements of implementing the Agenda 2030 in practical settings. By employing frameworks, pathways, and portfolio thinking, it becomes possible to bridge the gap between these principles and real-world practices. This approach allows for reflection on the shape of research and innovation required to support SDG implementation. Kirsten Dunlop concluded by emphasizing the need for explicit calls to transform our innovation practices. Kirsten Dunlop also underlined the importance of place-based work starting on the ground, as well as the need for flexible, long-term partnerships, funding, resources and capability building. 

TransformAr Project was presented by Margaretha Breil, Senior Researcher at the Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change (IT). This initiative, involving a consortium of 22 partners across 11 countries, aims to develop and test products and services that facilitate large-scale transformative actions in water management for European regions and communities. Margaretha Breil emphasized the importance of an integrated approach to implementing the SDGs by involving multiple disciplines and stakeholders. By engaging stakeholders in a structured manner, tailored guidance can be provided for each specific context. Additionally, receiving scientific feedback on the local strategies being implemented is crucial. Scientific partners of the project utilize economic, methodological, and climate modeling tools to assess the potential consequences of proposed solutions. The TransformAr project enables the localization of interventions, comprehension of local frameworks, and collaborative design of pathways for change.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

See More...