SDG 8 workshop
Participants in the SDG 8 workshop
Foto: Petra Hansson

Researchers from across the world met for collaboration on SDG 8


The SDG 8 Initiative at the University of Gothenburg arranged a two-day workshop to forward its collaborative work. The first day was dedicated to discussing a book on SDG 8 that will be launched in 2024. The aim of the book is to review relevant research and capacity-building needs for the achievement of the SDG 8 targets.

About 30 researchers from around the world participating in the SDG 8 Initiative gathered in Gothenburg on August 16-17 for research presentations and discussions. One very tangible result of the collaboration within the network is a book on SDG 8.

Relevant for a broad audience

The book will be published as open-access thanks to a generous grant from Swedbank and is a synthesis of research that has been conducted on the targets of this goal. Each chapter was discussed in detail during the workshop and will soon go through a regular academic peer review process.

The end result will be a book written in jargon-free language, that is understandable and relevant for a broad range of non-researchers such as civil servants, businesses, NGOs, and students.

Societal impact is important

Pam Fredman, Chair of Environment for Development’s advisory board, kicked off the meeting by emphasizing the need for academia to engage with society. She stressed the role of the university sector to take action to promote and support academic staff to develop societal engagement and develop the academic merit system to value such societal impact.  Universities must act jointly on the latter.

Pam Fredman
Pam Fredman
Foto: Petra Hansson

University research continuously provides new knowledge which is relevant to sustainable societal development and researchers and universities have been engaged in the global challenges for decades. However, a lot of research does not reach society and there is a great need to develop cooperation and co-creation with all stakeholders in society, a prerequisite for reaching the SDGs. This will most likely, according to Pam Fredman, also strengthen governmental support for universities.

Launch in 2024

Sustainable Development Goal 8 is about promoting sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth full and productive employment, and decent work for all. It has ten targets – each one of them is the subject of a chapter in the book. SDG 8 encompasses several challenges and targets that can be conflicting with each other.

The book will now go through further peer reviews and revisions and will be finalized in November 2023. It will be published by Routledge and launched at a number of conferences during 2024.

The second day is dedicated to chapters on capacity building related to SDG 8 and to kick off collaborative work with the SDG 8 satellite universities in the Global South.

By: Petra Hansson


Facts – the SDG 8 Initiative

The SDG 8 Initiative at the University of Gothenburg includes many researchers in three faculties – the School of Business, Economics and Law, Social Science, and Sahlgrenska Academy. The SDG 8 Initiative also includes participation from eight satellite universities.
The University of Gothenburg is part of the International Association of Universities (IAU) and its Higher Education and Research for Sustainable Development (HESD) cluster. The organization has appointed one university to lead the collaboration on each sustainable development goal (SDG) of the 2030 Agenda. The University of Gothenburg is the lead on SDG 8, Decent work and economic growth.
The initiative is coordinated by Environment for Development at the School of Business, Economics, and Law at the University of Gothenburg.
Collaborating partners are: Chalmers University of Technology, Karolinska Institute, and The European Network for Education and Training in Occupational Safety and Health (ENETOSH).
The SDG 8 Initiative also includes eight satellite universities: Makerere University, Uganda, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, University of Nigeria, Nigeria, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, University of Nairobi, Kenya, University of Concepción, Chile, Universidad de los Andes, Colombia, and the University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.