Sustainable Development Goals: The Missing Dimension


The Relational Thinking Network is pleased to invite you to a roundtable dialogue that explores another way of looking at and measuring the results of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), namely through a ‘Relational Lens’.

The event will take place on 20 April 2016, from 14:30 to 16:30 on the 2nd floor of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), 7bis Avenue de la Paix, 1202, Geneva.

As we adopt targets for the SDGs to achieve sustainable development in more areas, this is a good time to evaluate not only how we define the issues at hand, but also how we measure the results of our common efforts.

At a time when the Human Rights agenda has been politicized and individual rights are prioritized over the collective, there is a need and a call for a new approach.

The Relational Thinking movement suggests a view from another angle, a fourth dimension, which is a crucial dimension as it sheds light on both the causes of the development challenges, as well as preventative measures and possible solutions. It is the relational dimension or ‘Relational Lens’.

Although we all know that relationships are key to human wellbeing, lack of definition and measurement have resulted in its neglect.

To start off a discussion on this issue, Dr. Michael Schluter will present a short paper, a ‘Relational critique’ on a few of the SDGs. There will then be a response and panel discussion. This will be followed by a networking apéro.

We hope you can join us!


Please RSVP to Ms. Beris Gwynne, by 12 April 2016.

Dr. Michael Schluter, CBE (Cambridge, UK), is the founder of the Relational Thinking Network and co-author of ‘The Relational Lens: Understanding, measuring and managing stakeholder relationships,’ (to be published by Cambridge University Press later this year). He has spent the last 30 years developing the methodology for analyzing and measuring relationships. He has worked in the World Bank, in food policy and International Peacebuilding in Africa. His work is contributing to the reform of prisons, schools, companies, and financial institutions.


MikeSsmallMichael Schluter, CBE, trained as an economist before working as a research fellow with the International Food Policy Research Institute, and economics consultant with the World Bank in East Africa. He is now a social entrepreneur and has launched six charities whose work includes international peace-building (Concordis International), alternative finance (Citylife) and social policy (Credit Action, Relationships Foundation). He is co-author of The R Factor (1993), Jubilee Manifesto (2005) and The Relational Manager (2009). He has co-authored The Relational Lens, to be published this year by Cambridge University Press.

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