Gesine Schwan elected new Co-Chair of SDSN Germany

Press Release, 5 November 2015

Berlin/Bonn, 05/11/2015. The newly-elected Leadership Council of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network Germany (SDSN Germany) appointed its two Co-Chairs in a statutory meeting on 5 November: Gesine Schwan, former President of the European University Viadrina and President of the HUMBOLDT-VIADRINA Governance Platform, was elected new Co-Chair. Leadership Council members also re-elected Dirk Messner, Director of the German Development Institute/Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), as Co-Chair.

Gesine Schwan succeeds previous Co-Chair Klaus Töpfer, long-standing Executive Director of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS). For personal reasons Töpfer was not available for the Co-Chair position again, but as a member of the Leadership Council he will stay involved in SDSN Germany in substantial ways. He claimed that research and academia should get out of their “comfort zone” to become more concrete in the interest of sustainable development.

“We owe a lot to Professor Töpfer“, said Dirk Messner after the election. “As Co-Chair he has contributed significantly to the establishment and development of SDSN Germany. It is a great privilege that the Leadership Council can count on his vast expertise and experience in the future as well. At the same time I look forward to cooperating with Professor Schwan, one of the most distinguished political scientists in Germany”, as Messner continued.

Gesine Schwan assumes her office shortly after the UN’s adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in September 2015. She highlighted: “SDSN Germany has campaigned for an ambitious implementation of the SDGs in Germany and increasingly in Europe as well. At the European level in particular, the 2030 Agenda can invoke a new spirit of cooperation and joint responsibility in times of crisis”.

Adolf Kloke-Lesch, Executive Director of SDSN Germany, expressed confidence in the set-up of SDSN Germany for the new term: “Sabine Nallinger of Foundation 2° – German CEOs for climate protection further strengthens the Leadership Council and extends its outreach”. Referring to the subsequent 2nd German SDSN Assembly in the afternoon, he added that the network actively links SDGs to the everyday reality of people in Germany and across the globe by addressing issues such as sustainable consumption and production as well as refugee and migration policy.