Creativity, Adaptability and Sustainability for the 21st Century

At the invitation of the German Council for Sustainable Development Mr. Swanson participated in the Open SDGclub.Berlin in November 2016. This forum brought together over fifty representatives from national councils, advisory bodies, civil society groups and experts from around the world to share views on implementing the 2030 Agenda at national and sub-national levels.  Click hereto learn more.

In the fall of 2015 the UN Development Group issued its Reference Guide for Mainstreaming the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and adapting the SDGs to national contexts. Mr. Swanson was the researcher / writer for the publication, which has been updated with new country examples and is now available in English, French and Spanish. Click here for more.

Darren Swanson at the Open SDGclub.Berlin

Darren Swanson was the lead editor and author of 'Creating Adaptive Policies: A Guide for Policy-making in an Uncertain World', published by Sage and the International Development Research Centre. While working with the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), Darren authored the chapter on 'Formal Policy Review and Continuous Learning'. This chapter provides guidance and case examples of this oft claimed, but seldom implemented practice of public management and accountability. Click here for more information.

In 2016 Darren Swanson once again served as facilitator and consultant to the United Nations Office for Sustainable Development in bringing together government over 100 planners and policymakers from around the world in the annual SD Transition Forum.


The 2016 Forum focused on country mainstreaming and means of implementation for the 2030 Agenda and SDGs. Click here for the forum communique and report, and to ready about the 18th SDG, as described by Guenther Bachmann, Secretary General of the German Council for Sustainable Development.

Working with the International Institute for Sustainable Development, and in partnership with the Islamic Development Bank, the UN Office for Sustainable Development, the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Finance and SDplanNet, Darren served as facilitator and co-organizer of the Workshop on National Planning and the SDGs for the Middle East and Central Asia Region. To learn more about this workshop, click here.

The Global Environment Outlook is the United Nations Environment Programme's flagship report in tracking the state of the global environment. While with IISD, Darren Swanson co-edited UNEP's training manual for governments preparing national integrated state of the environment reports. HE has delivered the training programme in countries spanning from the Caribbean to the Middle East. Click here to access the manual.

Darren Swanson led the research and writing of this 19 country study on challenges and innovations in national strategies and planning, published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development and the German Government (GTZ) in 2004. Click here to access.

UN Development Group Chair and former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Helen Clark, launched this publication in September 2016 following the meeting of the High Level Political Forum. It documents the early action of 16 countries in mainstreaming the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into national and sub-national planning. Darren worked with the UNDG as researcher and co-writer of the publication's country case examples. For more info, click here.

While with the International Institute for Sustainable Development, Darren Swanson championed the creation of the Sustainable Development Planning Network - SDplanNet. This network of government planners and policy-makers, United Nations organizations, academic institutions, and NGOs is active in Asia & Pacific, Latin America & Caribbean and Africa. Click here to learn more.

The United Way of Winnipeg and the International Institute for Sustainable Development worked with organizations from across the city of Winnipeg to develop this state-of-the-art community indicator system to track and inspire action toward well-being and sustainability. While leading the IISD Foresight Group, Darren Swanson coordinated the institute's efforts in developing Peg. Click here to see more.

Sustainability 21

Monitoring & Reporting​

Practice Networks

Bertelsmann Stiftung published 'Winning Strategies' in 2013 as part of the Reinhard Mohn Prize 2013 research process. Darren Swanson co-authored the chapter on 'Global Trends in Sustainable Development', summarizing the latest good and bad trends in government strategy and implementation for sustainability. Click here to access. 

Strategy & Planning​