Transformative change and SDG 8 : The critical role of collective capabilities and societal learning

SDG 8 integrates the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. To achieve inclusive and sustainable economic growth for full employment and decent work, an integrated process is needed to drive balanced progress across these three dimensions. In its 2019 report Time to Act for SDG 8: Integrating Decent Work, Sustained Growth and Environmental Integrity the ILO described a broad policy approach to this challenge which encouraged countries
to pursue interrelated strategies that feed a cumulative dynamic process - a positive SDG 8 “policy spiral.”

This report builds on that previous work by analysing in Chapter 1 the prospects for countries to achieve the economic, social and environmental aspects of SDG 8 by 2030 based on their performance between 2010 and 2022. The report traces the disappointing state of global prospects for achieving SDG 8 and identifies certain patterns and imbalances in these prospects across countries and the three dimensions. The report then elaborates in Chapter 2 on the policy framework presented in 2019 by seeking to explain more fully the dynamics of the transformative change envisioned by SDG 8, in particular by exploring the underappreciated role of the “collective capabilities” of societies in enabling and shaping such change. Finally, Chapter 3 distils a number of principles and policy recommendations for integrated learning and transformation strategies—an epistemic approach—to mobilizing investment, technological change and innovation and structural transformation in the economy.