Sustainable development in a fast-changing world: SEI Strategy 2015–2019

Posted on 26 February 2015

SEI sets out its ambitions for how it will address key challenges in sustainable development, empower and inform partners, and develop the organization and its finances

A child stands among turbines at the Salkhit Wind Farm in Mongolia. Photo by Peter Erickson/SEI

The strategy will drive the development of the Institute for the next five years, ensuring that SEI delivers results across the three core aspects of its work: scientific research, policy engagement and capacity development. It also sets out goals for communication, SEI’s signature tools and information technology, management and finances, and how we learn as an organization and monitor our work. Each element feeds into and supports the others, and all underpin the outcomes we strive for.

SEI Executive Director Johan L. Kuylenstierna says, “Our strategy will renew our research agenda, sharpen how we work in partnership with decision-makers, and empower people to bring about a better future for all.”


Central to the new research agenda are the SEI Initiatives. SEI will invest core resources in a set of major research enterprises – currently eight in all – which will aggregate and integrate SEI’s research expertise to address critical issues in sustainable development. The initiatives will work across disciplines to provide knowledge on areas ranging from climate mitigation to sustainable sanitation.

SEI Research Director Måns Nilsson says, "These initiatives will build on SEI’s tradition of innovation and interdisciplinarity in pursuit of relevant knowledge and evidence-based, workable solutions to key issues in sustainable development.”

The goals also focus on redefining SEI’s partnerships with decision-makers.

“Another important plank of our strategy is to work on integrating environmental issues into mainstream social and economic decision-making, corporate strategies, and physical planning. This effort is at the heart of achieving sustainable development, but this integration remains far too rare,” says Nilsson.

SEI formally presented the strategy to the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), whose financial support underpins the new SEI Initiatives and other key aspects of the strategy. 

Explore the SEI Strategy 2015–2019