International Development, Community, and Environment


An Integrative Framework for Re-Thinking 2nd Generation Sustainable Development (SD2.0) Projects, Education and the University as Catalyst

Document Type

Book Chapter


Part of the World Sustainability Series book series

The University is poised to serve as the catalyst for an integrated, multi-sectoral, multi-scale approach that builds the requisite collective social and technical capacities of primary stakeholders to enable 2nd generation sustainable development (SD2.0). A synthesis of empirical evidence will be used to inform and justify a new integrative framework to design local and regional-scale projects, informed by the UN’s SD21 Sustainable Development for the 21st Century report and the post-Millennium Development Goals (2000–2015) era. It will also be used to situate “education for sustainable development”—the theme of this book—in the integrative framework, to navigate the degree to which other additional components/aspects need to be considered for education to be impactful at the systems level. The framework involves five main axes of integration within which the University’s role is shown to be central and catalytic: (1) socio-political stakeholder interests and influences; (2) development sectors (e.g. water, energy, health, food, the economy and climate resilience); (3) knowledge types (scientific and indigenous); (4) socio-technical capacities, including—but not limited to—education, research and information resources; and (5) connections among sites with SD2.0 projects, forming an innovation network. This process recognizes integration and social innovation to be primary for success, technology secondary, and education to be but one key component. We argue that this integrative approach does not require a reshaping of the University’s primary role—as others have argued—rather an amplification of its commitments and responsibilities. By integrating within and across these five dimensions during the design phase for projects, programs, and formal curricula, a new path to transformational sustainability emerges practical and compelling. Three illustrative examples of SD2.0 work are given.

Publication Title

Engaging Stakeholders in Education for Sustainable Development at University Level

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capacity building, integration, socio-technical innovation