The spring semester 2021 will certainly take place online until Easter. Exceptions: Courses that can only be carried out with on-site presence. Please note the information provided by the lecturers.

701-0900-00L  The UN Sustainable Development Goals in Context

SemesterSpring Semester 2020
LecturersB. Wehrli, O. Kassab
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish

AbstractThe United Nations Agenda 2030 and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide an opportunity for the international community to shape the course of sustainable development. With their range of expertise, universities can develop the science to help achieving the SDGs. The lectures center on sustainability challenges and provide context from academics and societal actors.
Objective1. Students know important dimensions of sustainable development and the discourses in the context of the SDGs
2. Students get an overview how ETH Zurich contributes to sustainable development and the achievement of the SDGs
3. The lecture series enables students to contribute to sustainable development during their studies and research, as graduates on the job market, and as members of the society
4. Writing and reviewing a short blog post trains students to communicate acquired knowledge effectively for a broader audience.
ContentKick-Off: Introduction to the SDGs:
1 – Education, gender and inequality
2 – Health, well-being and demography
3 – Climate change, decarbonization and sustainable industry
4 – Sustainable food, land, water and oceans
5 – Sustainable cities and communities
6 – Digital revolution for sustainable development
Conclusion: Student inputs: Wrap up and synthesis
Lecture notes1-2 short papers will be posted on the Moodle each weak.
LiteratureSelected scientific articles:

Sachs, J. D. (2019). Six Transformations to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Nature Sustainability, DOI:

Schwan, G. (2019): Sustainable Development Goals: A call for global partnership and cooperation. GAIA 28/2, 73, DOI:
Prerequisites / NoticeOpen to advanced Bachelor and all Master level students enrolled at ETH Zurich