SDG Conference in Bergen

Background information about the conference

The annual SDG Conference Bergen brings together research and higher education communities, politicians, government officials, NGOs and industry to discuss the university sector's engagement with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Main content

The objective of the conference is to explore the role of research and education in creating new approaches to a sustainable global future. 

Universities have a crucial role to play in the implementation of the goals. The first conference in 2018 was organised as a result of a University of Bergen initiative at the 2017 workshop Universities and the SDGs. Since then, the conference has grown from being a national conference with 300 participants in Bergen, to becoming a global digital conference with over 2000 participants from over 100 countries.  

“I especially like the critical perspective that you have demonstrated in this conference.” Participant, 2022 conference 

The key to reaching the goals is cooperation and partnership, both nationally and globally. There is a clear need to establish dialogue across sectors in the effort to reach the SDGs, and the SDG Conference Bergen has become an important arena to do so.  

“Thanks for developing this beautiful arena to discuss sustainable development” Participant, 2022 conference 

Strengthening the role of universities in implementing the SDGs 

The National Committee for Agenda 2030 in the Higher Education Sector (SDG Norway) was formed to strengthen the role of the university sector as a relevant actor in the global debate on Agenda 2030. This was a direct result of the inaugural 2018 conference which focused on how the sector could develop stronger commitments to the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. The aim of the committee is to strengthen the universities' role as a relevant player in the global debate on the societal challenges that Agenda 2030 focuses on, both nationally and internationally. 

Universities as key SDG actors: A successful UNESCO collaboration 

UNESCO partnered with the University of Bergen as a part of the National Committee for the 2030 Agenda in Norway's university sector (SDG Norway) to establish the Global Independent Expert Group on the Universities and the 2030 Agenda (EGU2030). The finished report, which you can read here, was presented during Day Zero of the SDG Bergen Conference 2022 during the panel Knowledge-Driven Actions: Transforming Higher Education for Global Sustainability.