Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

SDGs@UofT Institutional Strategic Initiative

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development , adopted by all United Nations Member in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its core are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries in all global partnership. They recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go together with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth, while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.

The SDGs build on decades of work by the UN and its member states, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) , the World Summit on Sustainable Development , the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, and many others.

More than 200 faculty, trainees and staff from all three campuses and 25 disciplines contributed ideas that have helped shape SDGs@UofT, which aims to support and incentivize an inspirational, forward-thinking, coherent, and consolidated transdiciplinary research agenda that will not only catalyze and leverage existing research strengths through iRISE but will also bring together diverse thought-leaders to help shape our understanding and implementation of SDG initiatives. This research agenda will shape the thinking about sustainable development beyond 2030, while simultaneously working across the three founding institutes of iRISE to help create new narratives and the realization of socially-just and -equitable transitions towards that future.

Research themes of SDGs@UofT:

  • Establish transition pathways to achieve the SDGs: this theme aims to address the inter-dependencies of the SDGs, understand transition pathways towards achieving the interrelated goals, and enable the major shifts required to create sustainable transition pathways.
  • Measure progress towards achieving the SDGs: this theme aims to develop indicators and methods to measure the progress of sustainable development and facilitate decision-making processes. The 17 SDGs comprise 169 targets and 232 indicators to monitor progress toward the achievement of social, economic, and environmental goals before the end of 2030.
  • Explore tensions and synergies among the SDGs: this theme aims to explore the interdependence of the SDGs and the potential for (and the need to avoid) conflicting interactions that produce diverging results. To be effective, the interdependencies among the SDGs should be further evaluated, both across and within the SDGs. Similar challenges have emerged with attempts to: align climate change adaptation and mitigation response; alleviate poverty; balance economic development and environmental sustainability; and enable social inclusion for human well-being.
  • Design instruments and interventions to rethink the SDGs: this theme aims to develop instruments and interventions (e.g., policies, programs, strategies) to influence efforts to rethink the SDGs as we begin to imagine the post Agenda 2030 for the SDGs.


Research Director Professor Erica Di Ruggiero

Research Director Erica Di Ruggiero is a Professor of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and the Department of Health and Society, University of Toronto. She is also the Director of the Centre for Global Health and the Collaborative Specialization in Global Health, and co-director of the WHO Collaborating Centre on Health Promotion. Her program of research examines how evidence affects global policy agendas related to employment and other determinants of health equity in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals. She also studies population health interventions, using novel conceptual and methodological tools to conduct international comparative policy research on global social and health inequities. Prior to joining the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, she was the inaugural Deputy Scientific Director with the CIHR-Institute of Population and Public Health. She holds a PhD in public health sciences from the University of Toronto.

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Visit the SDG website here