Now is our time

In 2022, more than ever, society was demanding action on sustainable issues such as the impacts of climate change, transitioning to a circular economy, and pursuing a healthy, sustainable and fair world. The urgency and appetite for action grew as we were getting closer to our 2030 SDG deadline and we drew on that momentum to create real change.

The launch of the MSDI strategy in 2021 and the Impact 2030 strategic plan at Monash guides us in meeting our purpose of advancing the wellbeing of people and the planet, for current and future generations.

2022 was a year of action leading to impact as we worked with government, industry, academia, institutions and communities. Progress towards our vision to be a globally recognised leader in system transformation for sustainable development is demonstrated through a selection of projects and their achievements presented in this year’s annual report across our six strategic domains.

The case studies in this report are examples of MSDI’s capabilities in action to showcase the impact of many voices working together to develop global connections and conversations, leading to transition and informed action for change for Australia and our region. We are proud to share with you the stories and experiences of our staff, partners, students and alumni working for the 2030 Agenda.

Reflections on the past year

With Professor John Thwaites, Chair of Monash Sustainable Development Institute, and Professor Tony Capon, Director of Monash Sustainable Development Institute

"It’s been another big year for us all across the world, in our region, and here at Monash Sustainable Development Institute..."

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Sustainable development in 2022

There is a momentum for change across the world, throughout Southeast Asia and the Pacific, nation-wide and from state to state, and in our local communities. As a resourceful country, Australia has a responsibility to share our knowledge and contribute to sustainable solutions for the benefit of our peoples and environments, as well as those of our region and beyond.

Here are just some of the year’s events, challenges and achievements that provided a backdrop for our sustainable development work at MSDI.

Geopolitical instability in the northern hemisphere had a marked impact on food and land security, and the rising cost of living and interest rates across the world. While covid restrictions continued to ease, international borders opened, leading friends, families and colleagues to reconnect and re-unite. More universities world-wide are now including the study of climate change as part of their education offering.

The Australian federal election put climate change at the centre of the nation’s agenda. As the country experienced its second year of La Nina, floods hit the eastern states, and the impacts of climate change form part of everyone’s daily experience. The collapse of the nation’s soft plastic recycling industry showed that we need more innovative solutions in line with the principles of a circular economy.

The newly elected federal government committed to implement the Uluru Statement from the Heart and produced a Wellbeing budget. The First Peoples Assembly of Victoria and the Victorian Government reached agreement to enable Treaty negotiations between the Government and First Peoples. And across Monash and MSDI, staff and students returned to campus.

Our impact in 2022

Facts and figures

  • 151 partners

  • funded projects

  • publications and reports

  • 2592 students

Our programs, initiatives and activities contribute to our six Strategic Domains, helping to achieve our vision as we work with all levels of society: government, industry, institutions and communities.

To help us tell a story of sustainable development, we have chosen just a few of our projects and their achievements in 2022. To demonstrate how our work lives in the world, selected case studies share the stories and experiences of our partners, students and alumni.

Our purpose

At MSDI, our purpose is to advance the wellbeing of people and planet, for current and future generations. We work to understand, influence and transform systems for sustainable development in Australia and our region, collaborating with partners to build knowledge and capacity, and drive practical change.

At MSDI, we’ve been doing this work for 15 years and we continue to grow. Through our work, we help to create a world that is inclusive, just and sustainable. And our strategy contributes to Monash University’s ‘Impact 2030’ plan.

There are many parts to MSDI, from Climateworks Centre and BehaviourWorks Australia; to our collaborative programs which include: RISE, Fire to Flourish and Water Sensitive Cities Australia; to our Policy and Impact, Research, MSDI Water, Education, and operations teams; to leading projects such as Net Zero Precincts, the Citarum Action Research Program and Circular Textiles; and to our hosting of SDSN AusNZPac, running the Evidence Review Service and program delivery for McKinnon Institute for Political Leadership. Together, we bring a unique set of capabilities to our work. And we collaborate with our Monash University colleagues to contribute to the SDGs.

  • Many voices working together

    There are many parts to MSDI, from our initiatives to our collaborative programs; to our Policy and Impact, Research, Education, and operations teams; and our leading projects. Together, we bring a unique set of capabilities to our work. And we collaborate with our Monash University colleagues to contribute to the SDGs.

  • Global and regional connections

    At MSDI, we are part of an international community of researchers, decision makers and thought leaders. We also connect with our regional and national network to learn and share our knowledge to benefit both people and the planet. And we are a trusted advisor across our areas of expertise.

  • Leading to transition

    In order to spread ideas and make systems transformation achievable, we enable learning and research through publications, co-designing projects with key actors, building skills for students and industry professionals, and creating platforms for a diversity of voices to contribute their knowledge.

  • Informed action for change

    We make our research a reality by working with First Nations communities, policy makers, industry leaders, civil society and community members. Together, we explore solutions that connect to every part of the system, making the lives of people and this planet stronger and more sustainable.

Awards and achievements

MSDI in the media

  • $59.2 million worth of media exposure

  • 2.75 billion people

    Potential audience reach

  • media hits


Thank you

Our achievements are thanks to you.

At MSDI, we would like to thank our staff for their passion and impact through their work, our Monash University collaborators for their partnership and co-creation, our advisory and governance boards for their guidance, our peers and partners for their valuable contributions, our funders for their support, our students for their commitment, and our guest speakers for their generous intelligence.

You help to build a momentum that creates a shared sustainable future.

Change the world with us

Together we can transform the world into a sustainable, healthy, equitable and prosperous place.

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