Bonn Conference for Global Transformation


Ort / Datum
12.05.2015 bis 13.05.2015


Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the German federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia

Programme on Tuesday 12 May:

11:30 h
Global Transformation – one target, different views

While there is broad, if not universal agreement on the need for a global transformation for sustainable development, there is far less agreement on its urgency, priorities, on individual and collective responsibilities, on binding rules and obligations. Panelists will present their views on the rationale for a global transformation, on the forces that drive it and on the barriers that slow it down. They will also address the prospects for implementing global sustainable development goals in a world characterised by volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity.


  • Dirk Messner, Director, German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)
  • Alejandro Litovsky, Founder & Chief Executive, Earth Security Group, London
  • Vandana Shiva, Club of Rome and Recipient of the Right Livelihood Award, New Delhi
  • Daniele Violetti, Chief of Staff, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Bonn

14:30 h
Policy Forum II
Inclusive transformation – Reducing inequalities organised by German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)

Inequality on a global level is soaring – between and within countries, between and within societal groups, between and within generations. Based upon available knowledge and data, the panel will present different perspectives on the factors and trends that drive inequality and will discuss options and possible solutions to reversing this trend.


  • Jean-Marc Fournier, Economist, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Paris
  • Rodrigo Martínez, Social Affairs officer, Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Santiago de Chile
  • Claudia Roth, Member and Vice-President, German Bundestag, Berlin
  • Sanjit ‘Bunker’ Roy, Founder of Barefoot College, Tilonia
  • Daria Ukhova, Inequality Policy Advisor, Oxfam UK, Oxford


  • Tilman Altenburg, Head of Department, German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)

16:00 h
Workshop organised by German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) and University of Capetown
Realities of Decarbonization: Lessons from ongoing economic transformations

A burgeoning host of studies and integrated assessments contends that a comprehensive decarbonization of the global economy is indeed possible. At the same time, they emphasize the need to accelerate corresponding efforts, if the ensuing transformation is to be commensurate to limiting global warming to a maximum of 2°C. Accordingly, this workshop seeks to facilitate a better understanding of generic transformative strategies that respond to different national and regional contexts. It asks specifically how interests and actor constellations can be managed for the benefit of feasible decarbonization pathways. To this end the workshop will start by outlining the challenge of deep decarbonisation, and proceed to draw lessons from empirical studies on the political economy of transformative policies in developed and developing countries. It discusses strategies to generate "buy in" from the public and private sectors and highlights the potential of co-benefits to driving the implementation of ambitious policies that reach beyond "business as usual".


  • Mike Morris, Professor, University of Cape Town, South Africa
  • Anna Pegels, Senior Researcher, German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)
  • Guido Schmidt-Traub, Executive Director, Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), Paris, France
  • Hubert Schmitz, Professorial Fellow, IDS, Sussex, United Kingdom


  • Belynda Petrie, CEO OneWorld South Africa, Cape Town, South Africa


  • Clara Brandi, Senior Researcher, German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)

16:00 h
Workshop organised by Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
Sustainable, inclusive cities as drivers of global transformation

This workshop recognizes the many examples of inclusive development initiatives existing in urban contexts around the world. But inclusive transformation within cities remains a challenge. In this regard, the inclusion of the goal for sustainable cities and human settlements in the Sustainable Development Goals and Habitat III represent a promising framework for future action. The drafted SDG on cities, with its targets and indicators, is already playing a unique role in current discussions. This provides a great momentum for reaching consensus among the urban community on what inclusive cities should look like and what kind of transformation is needed.
As such, this workshop will address this debate on the SDG and on Habitat III, highlighting the next steps and consequences for the future agenda of cities worldwide, and German cities in particular. As the successful achievement of inclusive transformation depends on the effective integration of different stakeholders and on the applied methods and concepts, the guiding question is: What are the success factors for an effective and inclusive urban transformation?


  • Hilmar von Lojewski, Association of German Cities
  • Günter Meinert, Programme Manager, Policy Advice for Urban Development, GIZ, Eschborn
  • Shin Wei Ng, Senior Policy Advisor, E3G
  • Aromar Revi, Co-Chair, SDSN Thematic Group on Sustainable Cities, and Director, Indian Institute for Human Settlements
  • Rüdiger Wagner, Executive Director, Environment and Health Division,  Bonn

18:00 h
Inspirational Outlook

  • Jeffrey D. Sachs, Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Kimoon on the Millennium Development Goals; Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, New York



Programme on Wednesday, 13 May:

10:00 h
Workshop organised by Bertelsmann Stiftung & Sustainable Development Solutions Network Germany (SDSN Germany)
Translating the SDGs into national and sub-national strategies

At the United Nations in September 2015, world leaders will agree upon a new framework for global transformation: the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, global transformation will only come about if the SDGs are adopted by actors at all levels. Against this backdrop, the workshop highlights the role of national and sub-national strategies for adopting and translating the SDGs, and addresses the following questions:

  • How should we characterise and assess the current situation regarding the framing of the SDGs and the emerging role of their national and sub-national implementation?
  • How can we build in general terms on lessons learned when designing strategies for sustainable development?
  • To what extent do vertical integration in particular and the alignment of strategic objectives with SDGs represent success factors for sustainable development strategies?

The workshop will open with two presentations on the current status of the international SDG-debate and the success factors that can generally be defined for strategies at national and sub-national level. Two case studies of specific success factors in strategy processes in North Rhine-Westphalia and Costa Rica will provide a broader picture. The discussion will involve comparison of the success factors presented with the experience of workshop participants.


  • Jaime Echeverría, President and CEO, EAE Consult, San José, Costa Rica
  • Harald Heinrichs, Professor of Sustainability and Politics, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Lüneburg, Germany
  • Christian Kroll, Project Manager, Bertelsmann Stiftung, Gütersloh, Germany
  • Marc-Oliver Pahl, Ministry for Climate Protection, Environment, Agriculture, Conservation and Consumer Protection of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (MKULNV), Düsseldorf, Germany
  • Guido Schmidt-Traub, Executive Director, Sustainable Development Solutions Network, Paris, France


  • Imme Scholz, Deputy Director, German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)

10:00 h

Transformative Alliances: How small groups of stakeholders could make a big difference

International cooperation is necessary to achieve a major transformation towards more just and sustainable societies in the global North and South. Smaller groups of stakeholders – including national and sub-national governments, civil society and businesses – could complement formal multilateral negotiations and make a significant contribution in this regard. Such alliances of pioneers could provide incentives, enable participants to go further faster and to maintain the international community’s ability to act. This has been proven already in the area of security policy, for example with the Coalition for the International Criminal Court or the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect.
During the workshop, we will discuss how such an approach could work in the area of climate change. While there are many initiatives and partnerships already in existence in the sustainability sector, many of them only support incremental change at best. We suggest that a new type of alliance is necessary for transformational change.

The workshop will explore the vision, criteria and benefits of such alliances. On a more specific level, we will also try to figure out what institutional arrangements might look like, which countries, regions and stakeholders would be potential members, and what options are available to middle powers such as Germany, regional actors such as the EU, and sub-national entities such as the German federal states.


  • Kirsten Meersschaert Duchens, Europe Coordinator, Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC), The Hague, Netherlands
  • Michèle Roth, Executive Director, Development and Peace Foundation (sef:), Bonn
  • Rafael Senga, Manager, Energy Policy Asia Pacific, WWF International, Manila
  • Lutz Weischer, Germanwatch, Bonn, Germany


  • Silke Weinlich, Senior Researcher, German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)



Während unserer Veranstaltungen werden z.T. Foto- und/oder Filmaufnahmen gemacht, die für Zwecke der Veranstaltungsberichterstattung und allgemeinen Öffentlichkeitsarbeit in verschiedenen Medien veröffentlicht werden. Sie haben jederzeit das Recht, die Foto- oder Videograf*innen darauf hinzuweisen, dass Sie nicht aufgenommen werden möchten.



12.05.2015 bis 13.05.2015

Im Fokus

Green industrial policy: managing transformation under uncertainty

Lütkenhorst, Wilfried / Tilman Altenburg / Anna Pegels / Georgeta Vidican (2014)
Discussion Paper 28/2014

Im Fokus

Boosting solar investment with limited subsidies: Rent management and policy learning in India

Altenburg, Tilman (2013)
in: Energy Policy, Volume 59, August 2013

Im Fokus

Rent Management – The Heart of Green Industrial Policy

Schmitz, Hubert / Johnson, Oliver / Altenburg, Tilman (2013)in: IDS Working Papers

Im Fokus

Knowledge Systems and Change in Climate Governance - Comparing India and South Africa

Never, Babette (2015)
in: Routledge Advances in Climate Change Research