The 2020 edition

Following the success of the previous editions, and five years after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, the yearly Sustainable Development Festival returns with its fourth edition. In light of the health emergency that is affecting the world, the 2020 edition of the Festival, originally planned for May-June, will take place from September 22nd to October 8th. This decision, in line with the Government's recommendations, was taken to preserve the spirit of the Festival, which stems from the mobilization of people and the exchange of ideas and best practices on the 2030 Agenda.

In its 2020 edition, the Festival expands its reach beyond Italy: ASviS invites everyone around the world to organize events in the context of the Sustainable Development Festival. All countries are called to contribute to achieving the 2030 Agenda: submit your local event here (to organize an event we suggest to consult the Guidelines for the organization of events).

The next edition of the Italian Sustainable Development Festival will represent an important chapter in the path to achieving the 2030 Agenda. The year 2020 will mark five years since the adoption of the global agreement by 193 UN members, as well as the beginning of the “decade of action” launched by the UN General Assembly in September 2019 to deliver the SDGs and it is also the year by which 21 of the 169 Targets of the Agenda are due. The year 2020 will also be the fifth anniversary of the COP21 Conference, which saw the adoption of the Paris Agreement, and the Addis Ababa Conference on financing development. It will also be five years since the publication of Pope Francis’ encyclical “Laudato si’”, known worldwide for its suggestion of a shared ethic for human development and environmental safeguard.

In the past years, there have been several encouraging developments at the national and international levels with respect to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The new European Commission, led by Ursula von der Leyen, boldly responded to the requests that have come from the EU Parliament, the Council and European civil society, with an action plan that revolves around a vision in which economic, social and environmental policies appear coherently oriented towards the objective of making the European Union the “world champion of sustainable development”, as stated in the title of the opening event of the 2019 Italian Sustainable Development Festival.

With the inauguration of the new Government in 2019, sustainable development has also clearly entered the Italian political agenda, and one can notice the change that is occurring in the business world and in public opinion, underscoring the need for a different development model, a change aided by the mobilization of millions of young people that have drawn everyone’s attention to the climate emergency.

Compared to the previous editions, the 2020 Festival will therefore build on wider support for bold actions from citizens, businesses, labor unions, civil society and public opinion. Nonetheless, the world does not seem to be getting closer to a condition of sustainability. The situation calls for a deep reflection on our way of seeing things, an inquiry into the existence of shared values and ethics for sustainable development.

The Festival will also include three conferences organized by ASviS' Secretariat:

From crisis to recovery: for a sustainable transformation of Europe and Italy

Rome, 22 September 2020

Auditorium MACRO - Via Nizza 138 - Rome

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the vulnerability of our economic, social and institutional systems to global shocks. What started as a health crisis had serious and unprecedented repercussions on our economies, our societies, employment, transport, the entertainment industry and the way common spaces are conceived.

The opening event of the 2020 Sustainable Development Festival will address the issues tied to the European and national recovery. With the participation of leaders of key companies from strategic sectors, the event will represent an unprecedented moment of reflection on how to ensure a recovery that can make Italy more resilient and sustainable. Thanks to a liaison with the Permanent Mission of Italy to the United Nations, the works of the 75th UN General Assembly, which will be celebrating the 2030 Agenda’s fifth anniversary, will also be assessed.

Territories as drivers of sustainable development

Rome, 1 October 2020

Auditorium MACRO - Via Nizza 138 - Rome

Achieving the 2030 Agenda’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires exceptional efforts by society, institutions and businesses at the international, national and local levels. In particular, cities and local administrations play a fundamental role in the implementation policies and in the mobilization of communities, with a real impact on everybody’s lives. With a growing urban population worldwide, the territorial level of government represents a fundamental driver for a paradigm change towards sustainability and resilience.

The event will tackle the key issues for territorial development and the bridging of the existing gaps in our Country, exploring the themes of digitalization, the green economy, the just transition and the fight against inequalities, enquiring into the role of regions, provinces and cities as drivers for sustainable development.

Italy and the Sustainable Development Goals

Rome, 8 October 2020

International Conference Hall Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

Piazzale della Farnesina 1 - Rome

The closing event will represent a moment of reflection on the issues and demands advanced, throughout the initiative’s 17 days, by civil society and local organizations across Italy. For the first time, the conclusion of the Festival will coincide with the presentation of ASviS’s annual Report on the Sustainable Development Goals.

Other than offering an overview of the commitment of the international community to the realization of the 2030 Agenda, the Report assesses the policies the Italian Government implemented over the past year and formulates policy proposals to ensure the economic, social and environmental sustainability of our development model. The event will take place with the participation of the Italian Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and representatives of the young generations.

Furthermore, ASviS’ working groups will organize 16 large-scale conferences, that will each draw attention to a specific Sustainable Development Goal and cross-cutting issues, highlighting ongoing trends and the most pressing matters on the subject. Adding to all this, hundreds of other events will tell stories of sustainability, share ideas and best practices to respond to the questions launched by the Festival.