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39th T B Macaulay Lecture - The UN Sustainable Development Goals and the dynamics of well-being

Thursday, October 13, 2016 - 18:30 to 20:30

Robert Costanza, Crawford School of Public Policy Distinguished Professor at the Australian National University, will deliver the 39th T.B. Macaulay Lecture which will be held for the first time at Our Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh.

The publication of the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 is the public expression of a global consensus regarding a desired pathway for our future. The 17 goals and the 169 targets indicate the areas where progress is needed and help to focus the attention of researchers, policy-makers and practitioners. However, the publication fails to clarify how the goals and targets interconnect, including trade-offs and synergies that need to be resolved to avoid unintended consequences. Achieving the promise of the full suite of the Sustainable Development goals requires the development of three additional elements:

  1. new aggregated indicators or measures of human and ecosystem well-being;
  2. new dynamic models of the integrated system of humans and the natural world, and
  3. innovative ways to build broad public consensus on the future we want and best to achieve this.

These three elements will be developed with examples in the course of the lecture.

Lecture Abstract: 

The publication of the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 is the public expression of a global consensus regarding a desired pathway for our future. The 17 goals and the 169 targets indicate the areas where progress is needed and help to focus the attention of researchers, policy-makers and practitioners. However, the publication fails to clarify how the goals and targets interconnect, including trade-offs and synergies that need to be resolved to avoid unintended consequences. Achieving the promise of the full suite of the Sustainable Development goals requires the development of three additional elements:

  1. new aggregated indicators or measures of human and ecosystem well-being;
  2. new dynamic models of the integrated system of humans and the natural world, and
  3. innovative ways to build broad public consensus on the future we want and best to achieve this.

The video of the 39th Macaulay Lecture is available on YouTube39th T.B. Macaulay Lecture - The UN Sustainable Development Goals and the dynamics of well-being

Speaker Details

Robert Costanza
Professor Robert Costanza (courtesy)

Dr Robert Costanza is a Professor and Chair in Public Policy at the Crawford School of Public Policy. Dr Costanza received BA and MA degrees in Architecture and a PhD in Environmental Engineering Sciences (Systems Ecology with Economics minor) all from the University of Florida. Dr Costanza is the author or co-author of over 500 scientific papers and 27 books, including the influential paper “The value of world’s ecosystem services and natural capital” published in Nature (1997) and cited over 15,000 times. His work has been cited in more than 17,000 scientific articles and he has been named as one of ISI’s Highly Cited Researchers since 2004. More than 300 interviews and reports on his work have appeared in various popular media.

Location

Our Dynamic Earth
112-116 Holyrood Gait
EH8 8AS Edinburgh
United Kingdom
GB

About the Lecture

Dr Thomas Bassett MacaulayThe annual T.B. Macaulay Lecture is held to honour the vision of Dr Thomas Bassett Macaulay, President and Chairman of the Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, whose benefaction founded the original Macaulay Institute for Soil Research in 1930. He was a descendant of the Macaulays from the Island of Lewis and his aim was to improve the productivity of Scottish agriculture. This vision continues today in its successor the James Hutton Institute, a world leader in land, crop, water, environmental and socio-economic science.