Innovation to overcome COVID19 and accelerate the transformative pathways to achieve the SDGs
Tuesday, 7 July 2020
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Virtual (New York Time)

Side Event

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the Vienna Energy Forum (VEF), and The World in 2050 (TWI2050) initiative by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) are delighted to invite you to a High-level Political Forum 2020 Side Event on Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and a Sustainable Recovery.

Description of the Event

Innovation has been the foundation of human and societal development since the dawn of civilization. While it has resulted in enormous benefits for human wellbeing, the unconstrained development of innovation has placed societies and ecosystems at risk. Technology’s disassociation with societal, institutional and cultural-related innovation has, to this day, affected its efficiency in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. While the current COVID-19 pandemic threatens the achievement of the SDGs, it also disrupts the global status quo and, thus, provides an opportunity to create sustainable societies for all and mitigate environmental impact at all scales. When properly directed, economic stimulus packages have the potential to ignite and leverage innovation in technology, behaviors, and institutions to guide humanity towards sustainability.

During this session, TWI2050 will launch its 3rd report Innovation for Sustainability: Pathways to an efficient and sufficient post-pandemic future (available as of July 6). The report focuses on accelerating the deployment and diffusion of innovations to achieve a transformation towards the SDGs.

UNIDO has a long track-record of supporting sustainable innovation and will present its action-oriented expertise across regions. The Vienna Energy Forum —co-organized by UNIDO, IIASA and the Austrian Government—has gathered thinkers and practitioners from all over the world to discuss practical solutions to sustainable development challenges. In this respect, the VEF has been instrumental in the formulation of the energy-related targets embedded in SDG7 (affordable and clean energy), and will continue to serve as a platform to meet salient energy challenges moving forward.

During this HLPF side event, scientists, policymakers and UN experts will discuss how to innovatively rebuild from the COVID-19 induced crisis.

Agenda & Speakers

Opening remarks (5min): Johan Rockstroem, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, TWI2050 author

Expert presentations (7min each):

• Launch of 3rd TWI2050 report “Innovations for Sustainability”, Nebojsa Nakicenovic, IIASA, TWI2050 author • Learnings from the Pandemic for a Resilient Recovery, Kristie Ebi, University of Washington, TWI2050 author • Accelerating Recovery through Sustainable Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Support, Tareq Emtairah, UNIDO • Achieving the SDGs, Jeff Sachs, SDSN, TWI2050 author (invited)

Discussion and Q&A by participants (25min)

United Nations