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The System view of the Sustainable Development Goals


  • Giovanni Ferri

    () (LUMSA University)

  • Habib Sedehi

    (LUMSA University)


The 2030 UN Agenda provides a list of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Typically, SDGs are viewed as non-hierarchical, if not standalone, objectives. Our main aim is to try to represent the structure of multilayered relationships among the SDGs, where possible assigning influence links in order to configure a Systems Thinking view. We achieve that by sketching a Causal Loop Diagram (CLD) which allows drawing the multiple linkages on qualitative grounds disregarding the individual SDGs measurement issues. To close the system and conform it to quantitative analysis, we propose adding three other goals and using Systems Dynamics (SD) modeling analysis. Our approach is twofold. First, it is entirely deductive based on our a priori. Secondly, however, we draw references to the relevant literature to provide support to our initial conjectures.

Suggested Citation

  • Giovanni Ferri & Habib Sedehi, 2018. "The System view of the Sustainable Development Goals," CERBE Working Papers wpC26, CERBE Center for Relationship Banking and Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lsa:wpaper:wpc28

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    1. R. Costanza, 2014. "A theory of socio-ecological system change," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 39-44, April.
    2. Schuster, Monica & Torero, Máximo, 2016. "Reducing food loss and waste," IFPRI book chapters,in: 2016 Global Food Policy Report, chapter 3, pages 22-31 International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. K. Warner & M. Hamza & A. Oliver-Smith & F. Renaud & A. Julca, 2010. "Climate change, environmental degradation and migration," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 55(3), pages 689-715, December.
    4. Pahle, Michael & Pachauri, Shonali & Steinbacher, Karoline, 2016. "Can the Green Economy deliver it all? Experiences of renewable energy policies with socio-economic objectives," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 179(C), pages 1331-1341.
    5. Ingrid Boas & Frank Biermann & Norichika Kanie, 2016. "Cross-sectoral strategies in global sustainability governance: towards a nexus approach," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 449-464, June.
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    Sustainable; System Thinking; System Dynamics; Modelling; SDGs; 2030 UN Agenda;

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