SDG Conference Bergen

Action/Inaction – concept note

Read the concept note for the 2020 SDG Conference Bergen, Action/Inaction – Technologies and Partnerships.

Main content

During the 2018 High-level Political Forum (HLPF) the UN's General Secretary Antonio Guterres stated that the SDGs are off track. In spite of work from governments, academia, civil society and business and industry, the world is not approaching the goals with the necessary speed. Dramatic change is needed to combat serious threats to climate, biodiversity, health and welfare in a context of spiralling social inequality.

In 2020 there are only ten years left to reach the goals of the 2030 Agenda. There is an urgent need for action. Political discourse and public debate is often framing technology as the solution, but who will fund this technology? Is business and industry willing to fund high-risk projects? Or is this the role of publicly funded research? And we need to ask even more fundamental questions: is new technology really going to be enough? Do we not also need change in social behaviour? And who will benefit from the new technology? The majority of the world's population is deprived of many of the benefits of advances in technology and economic growth. At the same time these are the people suffering the most from ecological, environmental and social hazards, in particular in relation to health.

For the 2020 SDG Conference Bergen the university sector invites business and industry to enter into dialogue in particular to focus on how to accelerate the speed with which we can transform Earth, and to manage this in a fair and inclusive way. Throughout the conference, ideas and initiatives for providing new solutions and discuss aims to rectify today's unequal development will be raised by different voices, including regions in the global south where alternative economical and societal development are being proposed or practiced.