SDSN Network Managers from Around the World Convene for the Annual Networks Managers Workshop

From April 23rd to 25th, 2024, SDSN Network Managers from around the world convened for the annual Networks Managers Workshop, hosted in a hybrid format across offices in Paris, France; Kigali, Rwanda; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; New York, USA; and online. This year’s workshop focused on enhancing member engagement, fostering clear communication, advancing regional collaboration, and building partnerships.

The workshop brought together over 65 managers representing more than 50 national and regional networks. Participants exchanged experiences and resources, deepening their connections and collaboration.

During the workshop, SDSN programs, including FABLE and the SDG Transformations Center presented their latest initiatives.

Discussions were held on effective network management, and included topics such balancing priorities between host institutions and networks, as well as the benefits of giving more decision-making power to local members, which can empower diverse participants and improve program offerings.

Partnerships 2030 held a session on Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships (MSP), which addressed the necessity of collaboration among stakeholders and the success factors for partnerships, such as effective operational management and diverse financing models including donor funding, member contributions, services, and in-kind support.

Youth engagement was another critical focus, with managers feeling inspired by updates from SDSN Youth. The SDSN Youth team shared opportunities for expanding youth activities within the networks. The importance of regional cooperation was encouraged as participants explored potential collaborations on high-level events and joint funding applications.

The workshop also assessed the utility of SDSN tools like the Networks in Action Report (NiA) for reporting impacts and prioritizing activities. Innovative engagement strategy ideas, such as podcasts and webinars, were brought up as methods for newer networks to engage their membership actively.

Professor Jeffrey Sachs, SDSN President, offered insightful remarks on the second day of the workshop. He addressed current global conflicts, which have diverted political and media attention away from sustainable development. Despite ongoing crises, Professor Sachs remained focused and optimistic on the agenda, as he expressed hope for this year’s election cycle. Upcoming events such as the Summit of the Future, COP29, and the World Social Forum have the potential to strengthen global cooperation. Professor Sachs concluded by engaging with questions and offering suggestions.

Overall, the 2024 Networks Managers Workshop successfully fostered a collaborative environment where managers could share insights, strategies, and knowledge. The hybrid format facilitated a dynamic exchange of ideas, reinforcing the importance of active dialogue and knowledge sharing.

As we move forward, the lessons learned from this workshop will surely strengthen our collective efforts to advance the SDGs globally. We look forward to the 2025 workshop, where we will continue to build on this year’s successes and explore new avenues for collaboration and impact.

Managers at the Paris office
Managers at the Kigali office
Managers at the Kuala Lumpur office