About SPES – Sustainability Performances, Evidence & Scenarios
Rising inequalities, persistent multidimensional poverty, and climate change are among some of the most alarming trends facing societies today. A growing number of experts attribute these trends to the long-term emphasis on policy decisions that focus too narrowly on GDP growth as the only measure of prosperity.
A growing consensus recognizes that economic growth does not inherently lead to social inclusion and environmental sustainability. Economic, social, and environmental policies in Europe are progressively characterized by a commitment to sustainable and inclusive growth, leaving no one behind. But to achieve this, there is a need for original concepts and evidence that can support European and global policies in the transition towards achieving sustainable human development.
The objective of the Sustainability Performances, Evidence and Scenarios (SPES) project, funded by the European Union’s Horizon Europe Programme, is to better understand the interconnections between economic growth, human flourishing, and sustainability. The ambition is to equip policymakers with information that will guide their strategies for achieving sustainable human development, using new evidence about past, present and future performances of the sustainability transition.
The SPES project will aim to bridge productivity and growth with inclusiveness and environmental protection, to ensure shared prosperity and wellbeing for all. It will do so by focusing on five pillars of sustainable human development:
- Productivity, defined as aiming for an efficient use of economic, human and natural resources through innovation;
- Equity for all, defined as fostering equal political, economic, social and cultural opportunities for all;
- Sustainability, defined as aiming to avoid, reduce, and adjust to climate change and ensuring the protection, restoration and improvement of the environment;
- Participation and empowerment, defined as enabling citizens, social groups and communities to be active agents of their future.
- Human security, defined as the sum of capabilities “freedom from want, freedom from fear, and freedom to live with dignity”.
SPES research approaches will combine desk-based, quantitative, and participatory methods, while jointly performing literature and policy reviews, as well as statistical, case-study and scenario analyses.
The SPES project is expected to impact on policymaking and advocacy processes at different levels by reaching different target groups:
- EU policymakers;
- National / local policymakers;
- Qualified European and global stakeholders;
- Scientific community;
- General public – through appropriate tools, enabling the use of SPES results and outcomes.
London School of Economics
Tor Vergata University
University of Antwerp
Salvatore Di Falco
University of Geneva
Paris School of Economics
University of Coimbra
Tor Vergata University
University of Massachusetts Amhers
Chair of the Board for the EU Commissions Mission Board on Adaptation to Climate Change including societal change
Climate Service Center Germany
Anna Rita Manca
University of Bath
University of Florence
University of Southern Denmark
Action Aid International
African Economic Research Council
EC Competence Centre on Composite Indicators and Scoreboards
EC JRC Seville
Environmental Defense Fund
Just Transition Alliance
OECD Wise Center
SDG Watch Europe
UNDP Human Development Report Office
UNFCCC (Adaptation Division)
UNIDO (Directorate of SDG Innovation and Economic Transformation)
UNIDO (Directorate of Digitalization, Technology and Agri-business)
World Bank (Social Sustainability and inclusion Global Practice)