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Seminars, Workshops, and Seasonal Schools
16/01/2023 to 17/01/2023


Partnerships Orchestrating Sustainability Transformations (POST)’s first activity on “Partnerships for sustainable development: searching for theoretical and methodological perspectives” hosted by Scuola Normale Superiore

Day 1. Roundtable: “Partnerships for sustainable development: searching for theoretical and methodological perspectives”

“Altana” Conference Hall and online (via Zoom). Faculty of Political and Social Sciences, Scuola Normale Superiore, Palazzo Strozzi, Florence | 16 January 2023 | 15.00 – 18.00 (HYBRID EVENT/OPEN TO PUBLIC)

Registration is highly encouraged! Register HERE

Welcome and introduction? Guglielmo Meardi (Scuola Normale Superiore)


? Mario Pianta (Scuola Normale Superiore), “The economics and politics of sustainability: the case of the Italian National Recovery and Resilience Plan”

? Emanuela Girei (University of Sheffield), “Partnership in international development: rhetorics and realities”

? Marta Pieri (Oxfam Italia), “Oxfam and transformative corporate partnerships”

? Sergio Andreis (Kyoto Club), “For decarbonisation”

? Bantayehu Demlie (Friedrich Alexander University), “African perspectives on partnership for sustainability: initial insights from humanitarian and development practice in Ethiopia”

? Lorenzo Zamponi, (Scuola Normale Superiore), “Protesting for climate justice: generations, politics and social change in grassroots climate action”

? Domenico Villano (Fondazione Finanza Etica), “Finance and sustainability”

Moderators:? Fiorenzo Polito, SNS? Valerii Saenko, SNS and Sant’Anna

DescriptionSustainability challenges in international development are complex, multilevel and transboundary in nature. Tackling them effectively requires the involvement and cooperation of a series of stakeholders – including government bodies, international organisations, private companies, civil society organisations, academia and local communities. The scope of this challenge is condensed in Sustainable Development Goal 17, “Partnerships for the Goals”, which calls for strengthening the means of implementation and revitalising the global partnership for sustainable development. And yet, to fully understand what cross-sector partnerships are or could be, it is necessary in the first instance to reflect critically on the mechanisms and dynamics, both overt or implicit, of their functioning, as well as the role that power imbalances have in shaping the partnerships, the unspoken assumptions of the cultural, political and institutional framework in which they occur – and the consequences of this all. Before analysing specific means and methods of sustainable practices in solving social and environmental problems, the roundtable wants to focus on how sustainability challenges and partnerships are politically and socially constructed and shaped in dominant discourses and practices. Outcome of the roundtable will be to outline some guiding theories and perspectives that could shed light onto researches on partnerships and sustainable development.

Day 2. Workshop. “How we think and (re)search about partnerships and sustainability. An interactive and collaborative workshop”

Aula Filippo Strozzi, Faculty of Political and Social Sciences Scuola Normale Superiore, Palazzo Strozzi, Florence | 17 January 2023 | 10.00-13.00 (ON-SITE ONLY/LIMITED NUMBER)


After having listened to and begun to debate the approaches that can be taken when researching partnerships for sustainability during the roundtable, the workshop will allow participants to bring their reflexivity into play and explore our attitudes, ideas and propensities on the topic of interest. The workshop will consist of two activities. In the first, participants will be given space through a brainstorming exercise to build together a common understanding about the key concepts of partnerships and sustainability in a free association exercise to collect as many ideas as possible. They will then collaboratively create clusters to identify recurring and relevant themes that could be applied to their own research and beyond. The second activity will involve a world cafe that will allow participants to build on the concepts developed in the previous sessions. Participants will enter into conversation through a series of thematic “rotating tables”, where they will have the opportunity to address certain aspects of “partnerships for sustainability” by bringing in their own perspectives and research frameworks.

For questions, you may reach out to:

Fiorenzo Polito, SNS: fiorenzo.polito@sns.itValerii Saenko, SNS:


The Partnerships Orchestrating Sustainability Transformations (POST) is a collaboration between Scuola Normale Superiore, FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg, and Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, funded by EELISA European University.

Sustainability challenges are complex, wicked and transboundary in nature. Responding to them effectively requires the involvement and cooperation of different stakeholders – private companies, international organizations, civil society groups, academia, government bodies and local communities. UN SDG17 – Partnerships for the Goals – calls for strengthening the means of implementation and revitalizing the global partnership for sustainable development. Specifically, Goal 17.17 sharpens the focus on the promotion of effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships and understanding such partnerships as a place of mutual learning processes to accelerate sustainable development. POST is dedicated to understanding cross-sector partnerships for sustainability transformations through exploring its meaning, dimensions, context and nature in Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa through interdisciplinary research, exchange and collaboration.

POST proposes to organize 4 distinct activities between September 2022 – April 2023:

Project initiation session (Online; Led by FAU)Workshop 1 & Research visit (Hybrid; Led by Scuola Normale Superiore in Florence) Workshop 2 & Research visit (Hybrid; Led by Universidad Politécnica de Madrid in Madrid)Spring School (in-person; Led by FAU in Nürnberg)


SDG info

Relevant SDGs

SDG17 - Partnerships to achieve the Goal

Time format


Application deadline





participant's certificate






Activity provider / partner

Scuola Normale Superiore | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg | Universidad Politécnica de Madrid

Contact or registration links