SDG Conference Bergen

The workshop programme SDG 2018

There were 10 parallel workshops at the 2018 SDG Conference Bergen. Find listed a presentation of each and every one as well as the speakers in each workshop.

Photo from the 2018 SDG Conference Bergen in the University Aula, Thursday 8 February 2018.
Eivind Senneset for University of Bergen

Main content

1.    Independent evaluation and monitoring: Key contributions from the universities towards the achievement of the SDGs

SDG:  1, 2, 8, 10, 16, 17

Panel organiser: Comparative Research Programme on Poverty (CROP), University of Bergen (UiB)/International Social Science Council (ISSC)

In approving Agenda 2030 and the SDGs, the United Nations General Assembly clearly expressed its determination “to end poverty and hunger, in all their forms and dimensions, and to ensure that all human beings can fulfil their potential in dignity and equality and in a healthy environment.” This is a core objective of the most ambitious development initiative the international community has ever undertaken. The relevant question now is: How shall we achieve it and how shall we incorporate the lessons learned from past initiatives (such as the MDGs) in order to end poverty and leave no one behind?

Departing from the lessons offered by the MDGs process, the panel will focus on:

  • the monitoring system set in motion by the UN to evaluate the process towards achieving SDG#1 and the need for independent assessments that can be provided by universities;
  • critical evaluation of the progress made so far towards the achievement of SDG #1 and its targets, based on available data and documented trends;
  • the need to evaluate the multiple relationships between SDG # 1 and  SDG # 2(‘end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition …’), SDG # 8 (promote sustained inclusive growth, full employment and decent work), SDG # 10 (‘reduce inequality’), SDG # 16 (‘peace, justice and strong institutions’), and SDG # 17 (‘global partnership for sustainable development’), and their respective targets.

The panel discussion will look at how existing expertise in Norwegian universities can provide independent and critical evaluations that could be the cornerstone of a constructive monitoring process, which is key to the timely achievement of the SDGs. CROP will follow this up as a contribution to UiB’s priority area of Global Challenges.

Format:Round table with presentations followed by a Q&A session


  1. Alberto Cimadamore, Comparative Research Programme on Poverty (CROP), UiB/ISSC. Research focus: Poverty and Sustainable Development.
  2. Lars Bjarne Kristofersen, NOVA (Norwegian Social Research), Centre for Welfare and Labour Research, Oslo Metropolitan University. Research focus: Child Poverty and the SDGs.
  3. Gibrán Cruz-Martínez, Department of Global Development and Planning, University of Agder. Research focus: Social Policy and Welfare.
  4. Julia Kercher, UNDP Oslo Governance Centre, Expert Consultanton SDG 16.

Chair: CROP Coordinator Maria Sollohub, Comparative Research Programme on Poverty, UiB/ISSC


2.    Universities and the transformative shift in development policies

SDG: 4, 17

Workshop responsible: Jeanette de Silva, NORAD and Tor Halvorsen UiB

When presenting the Agenda 2030, the UN argued that these goals, if they are to be realized needs a transformative shift of our global development.

To achieve this necessary shift, autonomous universities and academic freedom, in research and teaching, is a precondition.

In this workshop, we will in particular combine goal 4 with goal 17. It is an important dimension of development aid to support collaboration between resourceful universities in the North and universities in the countries where higher education lack support, legitimacy and independence. 

The NORHED program of NORAD is one such program we will focus on, the different presenters will highlight others.

Academic cooperation where resources from the rich part of the world to those who cannot manage to implement the SDGs is a precondition for this transformative shift globally. Yet. Goal 17 is much criticized for being the least concrete in terms of  binding demands  on those with power, like big business, strong and rich states, or other important actors (from NGOs to large research centers).

Facilitator or the workshop: To be decided

Presenters (the order of presentation to be decided at the workshop)

  • Jeanette de Silva, Norwegian Aid Agency (NORAD): “How can aid agencies empower universities in implementing the SDGs”
  • Edward Kirumira, University of Makerere, Uganda: What cooperation works? The experience of NRHED and other programmes of academic collaboration (title to be confirmed)
  • Hilligje van‘t Land, International Association of Universities (IAU): "The role of networking in higher education to address the SDGs
  • Beathe Øgård, Norwegian Students and Academics' International Assistance Fund (SAIH): Academic freedom and the threats of the market.
  • Henk Van Den Heuvel, Director, Centre for International Cooperation CIS-VU, Netherlands: SDG Watch Africa and the EURORA network. 
  • Anna Norden, SDSN Northern Europe: Glocal networking and capacity building
  • Martin Paulsen, Centre for Internationalisation of Higher Education (SIU): The SDGs as our mutual responsibility: Norwegian priorities in international cooperation in education.


3.    Transformative deliberation: How to balance participatory urban planning ideals with pragmatic implementation of sustainable energy solutions

SDG: 11, 7, 9

Convenors: Tarje Wanvik and Siddharth Sareen

Sustainable energy futures constantly challenge urban planners and policymakers. Energy is a negotiated and oft-contested commodity, its production and consumption reflected in socio-technical infrastructure and specific political and economic configurations (Huber 2013, Mitchell 2011). Transitions scholarship is in accord about an intrinsic link between approaches to energy production and consumption and to social organisation (Haarstad and Wanvik 2016). Hence, the drive to uphold and strengthen deliberative democratic societies is to some extent dependent on participatory planning and policymaking as societies move towards more sustainable energy futures. Steps are being taken to ensure participatory processes in sustainable urban planning, through invited spaces like living labs and institutionalised consultative processes. However, there is little evidence carried forward to show that deliberative, participatory planning and policymaking result in more sustainable energy solutions. Rather, it can be argued that the pragmatic realism of more top-down approaches to sustainability transformations, as instantiated by China and to some extent India, is justified by the urgency of combating climate change. Taking point of departure in contextualised cases, the challenge proposed in this workshop will be to develop, critique and co-create innovative and feasible ideas of stakeholder involvement and deliberative action that can help secure sustainable energy futures for urban areas.



Panel moderator: Ingrid Foss Ballo, PhD candidate, University of Bergen (https://www.uib.no/en/persons/Ingrid.Foss.Ballo)


4.    Sustainable Development Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all stages. How to prioritize?

SDG: 3


Overview of the Sustainable Development Goal 3 and the nine target indicators:

  • Target indicator 1: Maternal mortality, by Professor Thorkild Tylleskär, Centre for International Health, University of Bergen
  • Target indicator 2: Neonatal mortality, by Professor Halvor Sommerfelt, Centre for International Health, University of Bergen
  • Target indicator 3: Communicable diseases, by Professor Tehmina Mustafa, Centre for International Health, University of Bergen
  • Target indicator 4:Non-communicable diseases, by Professor Ingunn Engebretsen, Centre for International Health, University of Bergen
  • Target indicator 5: Substance abuse, by Ass professor Lars Thore Fadnes, Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care, University of Bergen
  • Target indicator 6: Traffic accidents, by Dr. Sven Young, University of Malawi
  • Target indicator 7: Reproductive health, by PhD candidate Andrea Melberg, Centre for International Health, University of Bergen
  • Target indicator 8: Universal health coverage, by Professor Bjarne Robberstad, Centre for International Health, University of Bergen
  • Target indicator 9: Environmental pollution, by Professor Magne Bråtveit, Occupational and Environmental Health, University of Bergen

The presenters will inform about the rationale for each the nine targets for health; 5 min each.

After each presentation, 1-2 questions will be asked about how the importance of the target, and the audience will prioritize by using clickers. The results will show on a screen, and at the end of the session, a general discussion will be held.

Chairs: Professors Bente E. Moen and Thorkild Tylleskär

Total time 90 min


5.    Access to knowledge for sustainable development: The contribution of (Norwegian) libraries to the SDG agenda

SDG: 4

Lars Egeland, Library of Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences; Trude Færevaag, Library of Western Norway University of Applied Sciences; Ane Landøy, University of Bergen Library.

In this workshop we will focus on how libraries, both public and academic, can support implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. We will especially focus on Goal 4 Quality Education, as education is key to the achievement of most other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Libraries of all kinds support quality education through developing literacies - from reading and writing to computer and media literacy. The library is a safe space for study, with access to computers, books and other information sources, and helpful, trained librarians. Here, students of all ages get access to information resources, and learn how to use them in an efficient and ethical way.

Libraries have a role in disseminating knowledge. In many ways the SDGs are a new enlightenment project, with a global perspective, needing citizens that are knowledgeable and can participate in society (democracy) with support from this knowledge.

We will ask our panel: In what other ways can libraries contribute?

The workshop will contain a panel with representatives from school libraries, public libraries and academic libraries, kicking off a discussion about SDGs and the library contribution. The outcome will be twofold: a policy document, and a webpage with "best practices" to inspire libraries to participate in the implementation of SDGs, and to share good ideas.

In the panel will be:

  • Lars Egeland, Library of Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences and vice president of the Norwegian Association for Libraries
  • Mona Myrland, Vestre Toten Public Library
  • Ane Landøy, University of Bergen Library
  • Manuela Werler, Askøy Videregående skole


6.    Linking Local Responsible Research and Innovation for Global Sustainable Marine and Maritime research

SDG: 14

Student Centre, Seminar room B (3. etg)

Organizers*, Supporters & Affiliations:

Dorothy J. Dankel*, Department of Biology, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, UiB

Guttorm Alendal*, Department of Mathematics, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, UiB

Sigrid Schütz*, Law Faculty, UiB

Peter M. Haugan, Geophysical Institute, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, UiB and Chair of Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO

Jutta Dierkes*, Department of Clinical Nutrition, Faculty of Medicine, Haukeland University Hospital, UiB

Anders Goksøyr, Department of Biology, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, UiB

Workshop Abstract: The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #14 (Life Below Water) is to “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.” The increasingly adverse impacts of climate change (including ocean acidification), overfishing and marine pollution are jeopardizing recent gains in protecting portions of the world’s oceans. Much scholarly work is currently produced on these concrete issues, but how should we link the science to society?

The SDGs represent an opportunity for science to put “responsible” practices forward in academic work. For example, academics (under the new SDG regime) need to take more responsibility for the use of their knowledge, know more of its consequences for other fields of activity, and become more reflexive as to how knowledge is used.

Responsible Research and Innovation "refers to the comprehensive approach of proceeding in research and innovation in ways that allow all stakeholders that are involved in the processes of research and innovation at an early stage (A) to obtain relevant knowledge on the consequences of the outcomes of their actions and on the range of options open to them and (B) to effectively evaluate both outcomes and options in terms of societal needs and moral values and (C) to use these considerations (under A and B) as functional requirements for design and development of new research, products and services."

Most importantly, this workshop will show how cross-disciplinary work is necessary in relation to SDG 14. The central question for this workshop is: How can Norwegian universities harness the inter- and transdisciplinary methods in RRI to make universities a relevant actor for the solutions to this global Ocean challenge?

We solicit talks that discuss new or existing approaches for all activities at the university:

  • how to teach, curriculum changes
  • relations to society and how to engage and enlighten stakeholders
  • how to responsibly mediate new knowledge

The first part of this workshop will look in-depth at current marine and maritime (including marine biology, marine and maritime technologies, marine law, seafood products including nutrition and exports) projects at Norwegian universities.

The second part of this workshop will review and discuss existing RRI methods and how to create 1) new teaching curriculums and platforms and 2) new trans-disciplinary research projects which are supported, or sprouted, from these RRI methods. This workshop will attract a broad community of university marine educators and researchers who are curious about RRI as a coordinating framework for research and education.

Dorothy Dankel (Mat. Nat/UiB); introduction "What is RRI and how does it link to the SDG #14 and University teaching?"

Ketil Hylland (UiO) “Focusing research and education in marine ecotoxicology to facilitate interactions with society”

Sigrid Schütz (Faculty of Law/UiB) “Bridging marine science and policy through legal research”

Plenary discussion: moderator Sigrid Schütz, Faculty of Law/UiB

Anders Goksøyr & Guttorm Alendal (Mat.Nat./UiB) “The dCod 1.0 project experience: nurturing transdisciplinarity and RRI in marine science”

Jutta Dierkes (Klinisk Institutt 1/UiB)"How RRI could strengthen medical research: linking seafood nutrition, teaching and SDGs"

Plenary discussion: moderator Sigrid Schütz, Faculty of Law/UiB

Summary & way forward by Dorothy Dankel


7.    Critical approaches to gender, sustainability and futurity

SDG: 5, 11, 13

This workshop approaches the sustainable development goals through critical gender perspectives. Presenters will consider both the goal to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, and the relevance of critical gender perspectives to other SDGs (e.g. climate action, sustainable cities and communities). The aim is to offer a critical approach to sustainability and development policies and practice and the ways in which gender is understood in such policies. The presentations will address gendered understandings in topics related to the SDGs focusing in particular on futurity: How is the ‘future’ imagined in relation to ‘sustainability’ and ‘development’? Which gendered futures are mobilised in efforts at sustainable management of migration, climate change and urban communities? What are the effects of lawfare in the domain of gender and sexuality? How does the SDGs and the goal towards ‘gender equality’ evoke (post)colonial imaginaries?

Chair: Christine M Jacobsen (Professor and Director, SKOK, UiB)

Tomas Salem (Research Assistant, SKOK): How to integrate gender perspectives in research towards the SDGs.

Bjørn E. Bertelsen, (Professor, Department of Social Anthropology UiB): Sustainability in urban development/security politics

Randi E. Gressgård (Professor, SKOK, UiB) The future trope in the SDGs

Camila Gianela (Post Doc, Centre for Law and Social Transformation): Gendered Lawfare in pursuit of SDGs

Kari Jegerstedt (Associate Professor, SKOK, UiB): De-colonial critique and SDGs


8.    Life on land, life in water – how can we use UNESCO Biosphere areas as model areas for the 2030 Agenda?

SDG: 4, 9, 11, 14, 15

Convener: Inger Elisabeth Måren

Steering our research and actions toward new solutions through a holistic approach is necessary to achieve sustainable development as imbedded in the 2030 Agenda (UN 2015). Nordhordland is proposed as Norway’s first Biosphere Area under UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) programme. This programme aims to set a scientific basis for improving relationships between people and their environment by combining natural and social sciences, economics and education. The very nature of the Biosphere areas makes them particularly suitable as strategic areas to learn from, support and invest in when implementing the 2030 Agenda.

Open science in collaboration and participation with all societal actors shall point the way towards a new quality of knowledge. Specifically, we focus on producing knowledge that is fit-for-purpose, where we compile, connect and integrate knowledge to paint a broader picture that can provide orientations on our way towards sustainable development. We propose using the Nordhordland Biosphere Area as an arena for UiB, the UNESCO network and associated partners to generate knowledge in a transdisciplinary environment to inform evidence-based policies.

Through the NORHED project “Water and Society” UiB researchers are involved in similar trans-disciplinary research in Africa and Asia. The participants are building competence in water related studies spanning from engineering to social science. Looking at Nordhordland in Norway and Uganda in Africa, we see that local knowledge may be relevant for solving global challenges.


  • Dr. Inger E. Måren, UNESCO Chair on Sustainable Heritage and Environmental Management, UiB – "Why Nordhordland Biosphere area? Opportunities for the future"
  • Dr. Lisen Schultz, Researcher, Stockholm Resilience Centre, Sweden – "Learning to live with social-ecological complexity"
  • Dr. Matthias Kaiser, Head of Department, Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities, UiB – "Developing futures that we want – a post-normal perspective"
  • Dr. Martin Price, UNESCO Chair in Sustainable Mountain Development and Director of the Centre for Mountain Studies, University of Highlands and Islands, Perth, Scotland – "Research partnerships in UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme and its biosphere reserves"
  • Dr. Edward  Kirumira, Principal for School of Humanities and Social Sciences  Makerere University, Uganda, and Dr. Tore Sætersdal, Academic Coordinator, Global Challenges, UiB - "Agenda 2030: Challenges and opportunities for universities in Eastern Africa"

9.    Sustainable energy for all - SDG7 - leave no one behind

SDG: 5, 7, 8, 9, 13

The workshop will address the global distribution of renewable energy resources, social structures and their role and the opportunities and challenges renewable energy poses for the universities. The universities’ role in critical evaluation of the proposed energy solutions in light of sustainable development goals will be discussed.

There will be brief introductions followed by discussions.

Chair: Kristin Guldbrandsen Frøysa and Hans-Kristian Ringkjøb

Renewable energy resources in the world, professor Finn Gunnar Nielsen, UiB

Profitable pathways to sustainable electrical systems. Conditions for change in 3 countries, associate professor Thor Øivind Jensen, UiB and associate professor Tom Skauge, HVL

Sustainable energy transition and the role of Universities. Challenges and opportunities, experiences from UiO:Energy, Senior adviser Katinka Elisabeth Grønli, UiO Energy


10.  Transforming higher education to meet the challenge of sustainable development: identifying concrete opportunities for innovation

SDG: 4

Higher education will be pivotal in contributing to the attainment the SDGs worldwide. Much of this discussion focuses on creating education programmes with appropriate content about the SDGs. However, it is also recognized that education for sustainable development also concerns the process of learning and how education is organized. A central question is hence how to design higher education that allows students to develop the analytical and creative skills necessary to deal with the complexity of the sustainable development challenge. It also raises questions about power and resources, who controls the learning agenda and who learns from whom.

This workshop brings together researchers and students to discuss this pressing challenge in a highly interactive format. In the workshop, we will learn from concrete experiences of developing innovative higher education programmes for sustainable development in the Nordic countries, and discuss:

  • practical opportunities and challenges in developing interdisciplinary higher education programmes on sustainable development
  • concrete opportunities for pedagogical innovation
  • opportunities for partnerships and mutual learning between students, researchers and society at large


  • Ingerid S. Straume (University of Oslo)
  • Haldis Haukanes and Astrid Blystad (University of Bergen)
  • Sanna Gunnarsson (Uppsala University)

Convener and moderator: Jakob Grandin (University of Bergen)