Realizing the Sustainable Development Goals presents probably the most audacious human organizing challenge ever. Their number, global scale, range of issues, timeline, and the number of actors involved is surely unparalleled. They require transformational change. But what is transformational change? How does it differ from other forms of change? What’s required to achieve it?
Colleagues and I have created the SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) Transformations Forum to address these questions. In this blog post I first explore three types of change: incremental, reform and transformation, summarized in the figure below. I then briefly explore how they interact and their roles in realizing the Sustainable Development Goals. To tip the balance towards transformational change, I introduce the idea of social-ecological transformations systems and seven emerging guidelines for designing them.