Road to 2015: A Pivotal Year for Sustainable Development

by |November 13, 2014

Road to 2015 MC banner

2015 is shaping up to be a game changer.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to be set by the United Nations in September 2015, will outline the international development priorities for the coming decades. This engenders a series of complex questions: What will the goals look like? How can we measure progress effectively? Where will the funding to implement these goals come from? Additionally, the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change will convene in Paris in December 2015. Can an international climate agreement be reached at that meeting, and what might it look like?

Columbia’s Sustainability Media Lab will present Road to 2015: A Pivotal Year for Sustainable Development on Monday, Nov. 17, a panel discussion on the four major development priorities of 2015: the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Data Revolution, Financing, and COP21. This public event seeks to give audiences a primer on these topics from experts directly involved in shaping the post-2015 agenda.

The panel discussion will be followed by an audience Q&A. Submit questions on Twitter using #RoadTo2015.

Four keynote speakers will present on the following topics:

  • Sustainable Development Goals: Minh-Thu Pham, senior policy director at United Nations Foundation
  • Data Revolution for Sustainable Development: Eric Swanson, director and co-founder of Open Data Watch
  • Financing for Sustainable Development: Chantal Line Carpentier, New York office chief for the UN Conference on Trade and Development
  • 21st Conference of the Parties on Climate Change: Tracy Raczek, climate policy advisor for the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Change Support Team

The event will be livestreamed at (no registration is required to watch the webcast).

Join the conversation online and tweet questions to the panelists at @SustMediaLab + #RoadTo2015

This event is organized by the Sustainability Media Lab, a Columbia student initiative working to make sustainable development more accessible, relevant and compelling across all media. This event is cosponsored by Consilience, FeelGood and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network. Registration is required for attendance. Please send any questions to



Sustainable Development Goals
“Sustainable development goals should be action oriented, concise and easy to communicate, limited in number, aspirational, global in nature and universally applicable to all countries while taking into account different national realities, capacities and levels of development and respecting national policies and priorities.” – Future We Want Outcome document (UN, June 2012)

Open Working Group proposal for 17 Sustainable Development Goals (UN, July 2014)

Data Revolution for Sustainable Development

A World That Counts: Mobilizing The Data Revolution for Sustainable Development (UN Secretary-General’s Independent Expert Advisory Group, November 2014)

Indicators and a monitoring framework for Sustainable Development Goals: Launching a data revolution for the SDGs (SDSN, July 2014)

Financing for Sustainable Development

Report of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing (pdf, UN, August 2014)

Investing in the SDGs: An Action Plan (UNCTAD, June 2014)

21st Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP21)

2014 Climate Change Summary (pdf, UN, September 2014)

21st Conference of the Parties on Climate Change 2015 (French Ministry, October 2013)

Pathways to Deep Decarbonization (SDSN & IDDRI, September 2014)

Kathy Zhang is the communications associate for the Sustainable Development Solutions Network and advisor to the Sustainability Media Lab.

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