What is the Bonn Conference?

The Bonn Conference for Global Transformation is the new international conference series for sustainable action. It supports the process behind the United Nations’ post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals, bridging the gap between theory and practice, policy-making and implementation.

Experienced experts working around the world in the fields of policy-making, business, research and academia, and civil society will come together in Bonn to develop ideas for shaping a sustainable future and to take away suggestions and inspiration for their own work. The first conference will be held from 12 to 13 May under the banner ‘From Politics to Implementation’. Subsequent Bonn Conferences will take place every two years.

The conference will be held in English. 

What is the Bonn Conference? (PDF)

Why do we need a Bonn Conference?

‘Discontent is the first step in the progress of a man or a nation.’
Oscar Wilde

Whether it is pollution, climate change or the unequal distribution of wealth and education, many people around the globe agree that our world is not doing well as things stand. And many are convinced that if we are to preserve our planet, then we need to change something. We need to change ourselves, and radically.

This will require us to alter our thinking in all areas, moving away from an unhealthy obsession with profit and self-interest towards a more responsible and forward-looking approach to dealing with our world. This global transformation will require the participation of everyone, whether policy-makers, everyday citizens, entrepreneurs or researchers.

Policy-makers are sending out a clear signal: the UN Member States are setting themselves new development and sustainability goals in 2015 to replace the Millennium Development Goals. This post-2015 agenda applies to developing countries, emerging economies and industrialised nations alike. Our job is to find out together what we can do to achieve these goals. 

This is a task for people from the entire world; people who know how the abstract concept of transformation translates into practice. And it is precisely these individuals who will come together every two years for the Bonn Conference for Global Transformation to share ideas, inspire one another, work together to develop solutions and help to make those solutions a reality.

What is happening at the Bonn Conference 2015?

From theory to practice – and from forum to workshop.

The first day of the Bonn Conference will comprise a major policy forum and several workshops on each of the conference’s two major topics:

GREEN TRANSFORMATION: Achieving Sustainable Energy

In this forum we will consider the environmental and economic dimensions of the transformation: What will the new energy supply system look like? How does a city become smart? Can we make comparisons between the challenges faced by individual countries? How can we generate energy in a modern, sustainable way while also helping to secure jobs and create economic growth?


This topic block will examine the increasing inequality between and within societies: What role can economic growth play in reducing inequality? What will the social security systems of the future look like? Where does education come in? What role does the private sector play?

The second day will revolve around the ‘Why?’ aspect of implementation:


How can the transformation process succeed? How transferable are existing experiences and approaches? What roles will the different actors play? Which alliances and cooperation models are the most viable?

The full programme is available here.