The MGG project on Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS) has played a catalyzing role in inter- and transnational cooperation, with a strong focus on joint knowledge creation and policy dialogue. The project started in 2015 as research collaboration of the MGG Alumni. The scope of the project expanded and within a span of more than a year, China, Brazil, India and Mexico established multi-stakeholder platforms for sustainability standards in order to foster a better understanding and adoption of VSS in local contexts. The network is also successful in bringing together researchers, government officials and stakeholders from the private sector to explore the potentials of VSS in general and of establishing national platforms as well as to mobilize local support for VSS. For example, together with the UNFSS and the Federation of German Industries (BDI), the MGG Network hosted the 2016 “Stakeholder Launch” in Berlin, which brought together more than 100 representatives from emerging market economies, Germany and international organizations. Another example is the 2018 International Seminar: Public Awareness on Voluntary Sustainability Standards in Indonesia in akarta as well as the South African Initiative on VSS – Stakeholders’ Perspectives on Sustainable Development and Bioeconomy in October 2019 in Pretoria.
The MGG project on VSS also serves as a platform to disseminate the research outputs of experts from the German Development Institute and other world leading partner research institutes from Europe and from rising powers. Examples include: