Sustainable Development Impact Meetings are held in New York to track progress on the sustainable development goals (SDGs)/
Forum Institutional

SDIM23: What are the Sustainable Development Impact Meetings – and what to expect

Deep dive

Sustainable Development Impact Meetings are held in New York to track progress on the sustainable development goals (SDGs)/ Image: Copyright: World Economic Forum/Jeffery Jones

Kate Whiting
Senior Writer, Forum Agenda
Linda Lacina
Digital Editor, World Economic Forum
  • The Sustainable Development Impact Meetings take place in 18-22 September at the World Economic Forum in New York.
  • This annual meeting convenes leaders from politics, business and civil society for a series of impact-driven dialogues on tackling the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the 17 goals designed for a better world by 2030
  • 2023 marks the halfway point of the 2030 Agenda, which will be under discussion at the UN General Assembly.
  • Check back to this page for updates as it is updated in the ramp up to the event and during to collect top highlights, key reports and compelling moments from sessions with key leaders.

This year's World Economic Forum's Sustainable Development Impact Meetings (SDIM) come at the end of a record-breaking summer of heat in the Northern Hemisphere.

It is a pivotal moment to take stock of progress. After all, 2023 marks the halfway point of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which will be under discussion at the UN General Assembly.

But the "polycrisis" of interrelated risks affecting the world today – from the climate crisis to geopolitical tension – is slowing progress towards meeting the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the 17 goals designed to create a better world by 2030.

United Nations Secretary-General warned that “the era of global boiling has arrived” as wildfires spread around the Mediterranean in July, while severe drought has slowed passage through the Panama Canal, threatening 40% of the world's cargo ship traffic.

Global surface air temperature – July.
July 2023 was officially the world's hottest month on record. Image: Copernicus

Why trillions more are needed to bridge the SDG financing gap

As US President Joe Biden said after Hurricane Idalia swept through Florida, potentially costing insurers more than $9.3 billion, "[nobody] can deny the impact of the climate crisis anymore ... Just look around. Historic floods ... More intense droughts, extreme heat, significant wildfires have caused significant damage”.

Global risks landscape: an interconnections map.
The biggest risks threatening progress on the SDGs are connected. Image: World Economic Forum

As leaders convene for the UN General Assembly, the Forum's Sustainable Development Impact Meetings will bring business leaders, policymakers, international and civil society organizations, innovators and social entrepreneurs together for a series of carefully curated impact-driven leaders’ dialogues.

Have you read?

Key sessions to look out for

  • Economic Outlook and the SDG Agenda - Monday 18 September 11:15 EDT

    What is the outlook for the global economy and what tools are available to policy-makers to accelerate progress on the global development agenda? An economist and Egypt's minister of economic development discuss this critical topic.
  • Leadership Panel - Bridging the Gap: Financing Africa's Agricultural Growth - Monday 18 September 17:30 EDT

    Samantha Power, Administrator of USAID will join Anne Beathe Tvinnereim, Norway’s Minister of International Development, and Børge Brende, President of the World Economic Forum to discuss strengthening food value chains in Africa. How can donor governments, development finance institutions, African governments, and the private sector catalyze action to strengthen food value chains in Africa through innovative financing, and better support small and medium agricultural enterprises?
  • Automation and Augmentation: The AI Workforce - Tuesday 19 September 15:00 EDT

    Business leaders expect 23% of global jobs to change in the next five years, with technology a primary catalyst of this disruption. The explosive growth of generative AI could see up to 80% of tasks in some roles being automated while other roles are augmented, revolutionizing the labour market. Is the global workforce prepared for this shift? PwC Global Chairman Bob Moritz will be joining Rwanda’s Minister of Information Communication Technology and Innovation, Paula Ingabire to discuss the impact of AI.
  • How Tech Is Closing the SDG Gap - Tuesday 19 September 17:15 EDT

    Halfway to the 2030 Agenda, the UN has warned that the world is falling short in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Join this discussion, which features Accenture UK’s Managing Director and Global Circular Economy Lead and the founder of smart recycling company Green Mining, to learn more about how pioneering entrepreneurs from around the globe are using nature-based and circular economy solutions to close this gap.
  • Innovation for Tough-To-Decarbonize Industries - Wednesday 20 September 08:30 EDT

    Sourcing and scaling viable innovations to decarbonize ‘hard-to-abate’ sectors like mining and aviation will be critical to the success of the Sustainable Development Goals. The CEO of sustainable construction materials firm EnviCore joins the CEO of mining company Eurasian Resources Group to discuss how we can leverage cutting-edge technologies and adopt novel strategies to accelerate the race to net-zero in these sectors.
  • Accelerating Progress on Gender Parity - Wednesday 20 September 10:00 EDT

    Gender parity has recovered to pre-pandemic levels globally, but the pace of change is stagnating. It will take an estimated 131 years to reach full parity at the current trajectory. The CEO of the Rwanda Development Board, Clare Akamanzi, joins inclusion experts from business and the non-profit sector to discuss how we can boost women’s economic participation and political empowerment and achieve gender parity at all levels of society.
  • From Aid Dependency to Sustainable Investments in Frontier Markets - Thursday 21 September 10:30 EDT

    How are key stakeholders paving the way to enable investment and deliver significant economic development, increase community resilience and reduce aid dependency in frontier markets? Norway’s Minister of International Development, Anne Beathe Tvinnereim, joins an expert from the Basel Institute on Governance to discuss.

You can view the full programme here.

Reports launched and announcements

Launched on 15 September, this quarterly briefing includes the results from surveys of the leading chief economists from both the public and private sectors. Although recession fears have subsided, 6 out of 10 chief economists expect the global economy to weaken in the coming year, as momentum remains elusive. Geopolitics and domestic politics are widely expected to be a source of volatility in the coming year, while there is some optimism over the easing of inflationary pressure.

Launched on 18 September, the latest Jobs of Tomorrow report looks at the potential of artificial intelligence, and Large Language Models (LLMs) in particular, to automate tasks within more than 800 job roles. It finds 81% of tasks performed by credit authorizers, checkers, and clerks have the potential for automation, whereas 84% of tasks performed in education, guidance and career counselling, and advisors, have low exposure to change.

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