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The 8th World Sustainability Forum

14–19 September 2020, Geneva, Switzerland

SDGs, Sustainable Development, Agenda 2030, Sustainability, Resources, SDSN, UN Global Compact, UNDP
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Conference Chairs

Prof. Dr. Max Bergman

Social Research and Methodology Group (SRaM), University of Basel, Switzerland


Prof. Dr. Ed Constable

Department of Chemistry and Vice-Rector for Research, University of Basel, Switzerland


Prof. Dr. Antoine Flahault

Director of the Institute of Global Health, University of Geneva, Switzerland


Welcome from the Chairs

Save the Date

14 - 19 September 2020, Geneva, Switzerland

September 2020 marks the 5th birthday of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. If it were a child and given the right circumstances, it would now have developed fine motor skills, be able to stand on one foot for 10 seconds, have long conversations, and start to develop independence and responsibility. With the 8th World Sustainability Forum, we are not only celebrating a birthday, but are also taking stock of where we are in relation to a more sustainable world, what has worked, what has not yet worked, and where we need to go next.

Sustainability has gained considerable traction: Many countries have integrated sustainability and environmental protection as part of their national development agenda, many businesses have realized the considerable long-term potential in sustainable development, and many research agendas have aligned with sustainability goals. It is now time for the research, policy, and business communities to enter into enduring dialog and to embrace greater global responsibilities. With this event, we hope to contribute to building a platform and network for a sustainability agenda that fosters partnerships among stakeholders beyond the boundaries of academic disciplines, narrow national agendas, and quarterly spreadsheets. The quest is to conceive of ways to assure long-term sustainable development for our people, our planet, as well as societal and corporate profit.

In light of the importance of developing institutional partnerships and networks, this forum will be coordinated by the MDPI Sustainability Foundation, the UN Global Compact, the Global Footprint Network, and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

The 8th World Sustainability Forum

WSF2020 is an international scientific conference coordinated by the MDPI Sustainability Foundation, under the patronage of the University of Basel, the University of Geneva and  the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UN SDSN).

The language of the conference is English.

The World Sustainability Award and the Emerging Sustainability Leader Award will be conferred at the gala dinner of the conference. The World Sustainability Award is endowed with USD 100'000; the Emerging Sustainability Leader Award with USD 10'000.

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The MDPI Sustainability Foundation, Basel, Switzerland

Conference Secretariat

Dr. Franck Vazquez
Email: [email protected]
Matthias Burkhalter
Email: [email protected]
Sara Vulovic
Email: [email protected]
Géraldine Leuenberger
Email: [email protected]

Tel. +41 61 683 77 35

Mailing Address

MDPI Sustainability Foundation
WSF 2020 Secretariat
St. Alban-Anlage 66
4052 Basel, Switzerland

Blog WSF2020

12 April 2019

the forum of innovative practices in global health

The Geneva Health Forum, created in 2006, is one of the most important conferences of Global Health.
Every two years the GHF brings together Swiss and International participants from all sectors.

The overall goal of the Geneva Health Forum is to promote innovative practices that improve care access, especially in resource-poor settings. To achieve this goal, the Geneva Health Forum aims to:

- give visibility to innovative field experiences;
- establish a critical and constructive dialogue and promote collaborations between global health actors from different sectors including practitioners, academics, policy makers, civil society and the private sector;
- promote interaction between actions in the field and health policy development (linking policy and practice). This applies both to guiding policies through best practices and to facilitating policy diffusion at the field level.

Register at:

11 April 2019

The 4th Basel Sustainability Forum on Health and SDG3 - 3 June 2019 - Kollegienhaus University of Basel, Switzerland

Registration and Program

The UN Sustainable Development Goal 3 (UN SDG 3) of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is about ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages. Its targets include a reduction of: premature deaths of mothers and newborns, infectious and communicable diseases, premature mortality from non-communicable diseases, alcohol and substance abuse, road traffic accidents, and deaths from chemicals and pollution. Furthermore, UN SDG 3 aims to strengthen or promote mental health and well-being, sexual and reproductive health, access to health-care services and affordable medicines and vaccines, and the capacity for the management of national and global health risks (UN SDGs 2015). UN SDG 3 is only one of 17, each of which are similarly ambitious.

The UN SDGs are interdependent. Some goals serve as preconditions for healthy lives, and others are consequences thereof. Precursors are, for example, UN SDG 2 (End hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture), UN SDG 5 (Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls), UN SDG 6 (Ensure access to water and sanitation for all), UN SDG 7 (Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all), and UN SDG 13 (Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts). Goals affected by health are, for example, UN SDG 8 (Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all). Some goals are both preconditions and consequences of health, such as UN SDG 1 (End poverty in all its forms everywhere). Poverty reduction is associated with better health and nutrition, which in turn has an effect on poverty reduction.

According to the OECD, the per capita health expenditure in 2015 (PPP) was US$9451 for the US, US$6935 for Switzerland, US$731 for China, and US$267 for India. Despite considerable variations in expenditures, all countries are struggling to maintain health care coverage in the face of rising costs, evolution of health care demands by the population, and changing demographics.

Health care is a central pillar of economic development, social welfare, and environmental management, and it is equally important to the most and least developed economies. Accordingly, health and sustainability are interdependent in at least two ways: the first relates to the reciprocal relationship between health and sustainability, the second to the sustainability of health and health care.

The Basel Sustainability Forum 2019 will focus on local and global issues associated with sustainability and health. It will explore different positions from health research, health policy, and the health business sector, and how these positions contribute or are obstacles to the sustainability of health and health care as a pillar of societal sustainability.

3 April 2019

Save The Date - The 8th World Sustainability Forum - 14. - 19. September 2020 - Geneva, Switzerland


The registration platform and the program structure will be uploaded by the end of April 2019.

For information, please contact Matthias Burkhalter: [email protected]

SDGs Book Series - Transitioning to Sustainability

With a new Open Access book series centered on the SDGs, MDPI pursues environmentally and socially relevant research which contributes to efforts toward a sustainable world. Transitioning to Sustainability aims to add to the conversation about regional and global sustainable development according to the 17 SDGs. Set to be published in spring 2020, and coinciding with the SDGs’ 5-year anniversary, the book series is intended to reach beyond disciplinary, even academic boundaries.

In 17 volumes, Transitioning to Sustainability examines each of the 17 SDGs in its dynamic and multifaceted nature. Each volume will present approaches to, achievements of, and challenges for the respective SDG. Considering the complex links among the SDGs, each volume also highlights complementarities to, as well as trade offs with, other goals. To reflect the diversity of positions, each volume may include theory chapters, chapters presenting empirical research, position pieces, progress on important research programmes, and stakeholder initiatives.
In addition to the 17 volumes dedicated to the SDGs, one volume aims to cover a global perspective on sustainability and the SDGs. It is intended to set the SDGs into context, notably, in view of other agendas, such as the Paris Agreement. Also, it will respond to the 5-year anniversary of the SDGs. Transitioning to Sustainability will be presented and serve as a basis for discussion at the World Sustainability Week, to be held from 14-19 September 2020 in Geneva, Switzerland.

For information, please contact Florence Siegenthaler: [email protected]

World Sustainability Award - Emerging Sustainability Leader Award

Open for Nominations

The World Sustainability Award and the Emerging Sustainability Leader Award are funded to encourage new initiatives and developments in sustainability with the ultimate aim to foster the transfer from sustainability research to sustainable practices and societies. In this spirit, sustainability is understood as the interdependence between economic, social, and environmental concerns for mutually beneficial regional and global development. Sustainability is associated with a multitude of academic disciplines, and it is circumscribed by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The World Sustainability Award, funded by the MDPI Sustainability Foundation, will be conferred upon individual researchers or research teams who have made an outstanding academic or societal contribution to sustainability in general, or to a sustainability-relevant issue in particular. A joint award, shared by up to three recipients, is possible. The award includes a monetary prize of USD 100'000.

The Emerging Sustainability Leader Award, funded by the MDPI journal Sustainability, will be conferred upon an individual researcher aged 40 or under at the time of the submission deadline, who has made an outstanding academic or societal contribution to sustainability in general, or to a sustainability-relevant issue in particular. The award includes a monetary prize of USD 10'000.

For more information, see

Conference Sponsors





Geneva, Switzerland

Bienvenue à Genève! Welcome to Geneva! Situated along the banks of Lake Geneva at the foot of the Alps, Geneva sparkles as one of Europe's most beautiful cities. Home to the European headquarters of the United Nations, Geneva has a long history of diversity and tolerance dating back to the Protestant Reformation. Today, the city of Geneva is a cultural center second to none featuring world class entertainment, top rated restaurants and unlimited opportunities for recreation.
Learn more about Geneva!

Conference Venue


The Conference will take place at the International Conference Center in Geneva (CICG).

Sustainable Development:
The commitment of the CICG to sustainable development continues all year round with an attitude resolutely open to the world. Modernizing infrastructures, being ready to listen to clients, choosing quality partners and acting in a responsible manner: these are our commitments!

Venue Adress:
International Conference Centre Geneva
17 rue de Varembé
CH - 1211 Geneva 20
T +41 22 791 91 11

Parking des Nations
The parking des Nations is located 50 metres from the CICG.With more than 2200 places available, you will have no trouble parking your vehicle for the duration of your conference.

Find the Car Park and the Available Places

Join Us

From the city
You have several possibilities to reach us from the Jet d'eau:

Bus 8 : 15 minutes, Departing from Métropole and getting off at the stop UIT
On foot: About 45 minutes
By taxi : Around 10 minutes (depending on traffic)

From the
You will need on average 10 minutes to get from the Gare Cornavin to the CICG with one of
the following three possibilities:

Bus 5: Departing from the Gare Cornavin and getting off at the stop Vermont
Bus 8: Departing from the Gare Cornavin and getting off at the stop UIT
Tram 15: Departing from the Gare Cornavin and getting off at the stop Sismondi
On foot: Around 20 minutes

the airport
Whether you are coming by public transport or by taxi, you will need around 15 minutes
to reach the CICG from Geneva International Airport.

Bus 5
: Departing from the airport and getting off at the stop Vermont
By taxi: Around 15 minutes (depending on traffic)

From the
The simplest itinerary to reach the CICG from the motorway bypassing Geneva is to take
the exit "Genève Lac".
You only have to continue along the lakeside to arrive in the International Geneva sector and access the CICG right at the heart of it.
Don't forget to buy your motorway sticker.

Hotels in Geneva

Discover here hotel rooms available in Geneva for your stay at advantageous rates.

Sponsoring Opportunities

For questions regarding sponsoring opportunities, please contact the secretariat or Matthias Burkhalter [email protected]