Special Issue "A Systems Approach to Sustainability within Agenda 2030 and across SDGs"

A special issue of Systems (ISSN 2079-8954).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 May 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Alberto De Marco

Department of Management at the Politecnico di Torino, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: project and risk management; asset and capital project management; facilities management; financial planning; project finance; public-private partnerships for utility, social and infrastructure facilities; supply chain management; transportation and logistics; smart city policies; smart city business models and governance systems, application of project finance and PPP to Smart City projects, city logistics and smart mobility business models
Guest Editor
Dr. Alberto S. Atzori

Sezione di Scienze Zootecniche, Dipartimento di Agraria, University of Sassari, 07100 Sassaari, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Environmental Analysis; Environmental Science; Ruminant Nutrition; Animal Science; Feeding; Small Ruminants
Guest Editor
Dr. Ilaria Perissi

National Interuniversity Consortium of Materials Science and Technology (INSTM), University of Florence, 50121 Florence, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: System Dynamic applied to the study of natural resource exploitation; physical chemistry; energy; mineral resources; modeling; fishing
Guest Editor
Dr. Stefano Armenia

1. VP Chapter Activties, System Dynamics Society (2017-2019), Albany, NY 12203-5319, USA
2. President of the System Dynamics Italian Chapter (SYDIC), 00185 Rome, Italy
3. IT & Communication Officer of the European Academy of Management (EURAM), 1000 Brussels, Belgium
4. Scientific Board member of the Business Systems Laboratory, 83100 Avellino, Italy
5. Scientific Lead of the System Dynamics Rome Group at Link Campus University of Rome, 00165 Roma, Italy
6. Dipartimento di Ricerca - Link Campus University of Rome, Via del casale di San Pio V, 00100 Roma
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Research and Analysis; Modeling; Simulation; Model Driven Architectures; BPM/BPR in various fields (from economics to financial engineering, from operations research to public governance and policy modeling); Project proposals management and fund raising; Change Management and Strategic Decision Making; International Environments

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs: www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment) demonstrate the scale and ambition of a new, universal approach to sustainable development for our planet: the 2030 Agenda, promoted by the United Nations.

The 17 SDGs (http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/) integrate and balance the fundamental dimensions and complex dynamics of interconnected economic, social and environmentally sustainable development, both on a global and local scale. These goals are challenging due to an increasingly interconnected world, characterized by a global web of ecological, economic, social, cultural and political dynamic processes. Hence, these complex challenges cannot be addressed and solved in isolation and with single dimensional mindsets anymore.

Achieving the objectives proposed by the various SDGs requires a systems approach in line with the holistic vision of the Agenda, so to promote proper and efficient actions aimed at hitting those ambitious targets. For these reasons, proper “systemic” studies should be developed by taking into account that each action carried out to achieve the goals, will have dynamic consequences, over the short-to-medium or even long term period. It will be relevant to target the systemic relationships induced by the implementation of new policies or by the introduction of new technologies, the impacts of their adoption and possible unexpected consequences (delays, side effects, etc) toward the goals.

To this end, this Special Issues is focused on exploring, analyzing and proposing various interdisciplinary systemic and dynamic approaches to solve social, technical, managerial, engineering, and decision-making problems in order to achieve the vision of the Agenda, as a whole or with regards to just one SDG or a specific subset of SDGs.

The contributions to this SI are thus expected to explore strategies and to provide policy indications to overcome or remove the obstacles to pursuing integrated SDGs, hence efficiently accomplishing the 2030 Agenda.

The SI is open to practical contributions as well as theoretical papers and is expected to address a broad range of topics by means of a large span of systemic and dynamic approaches, as well as by means of different research techniques, in order to qualitatively and quantitatively depict the challenges attaining to the sustainable development targets.

However, papers reporting and presenting methodological and technological advances related to the application of simulation modelling-related theory and/or practice (i.e.: System Dynamics, Agent-based Modelling, Discrete Event modelling as well as their “hybridizations”) will be particularly welcome.

More specifically, the Editors encourage submissions of studies about:

  • understanding and representing dynamic complexity and interdependencies among SDGs
  • short and long-term implications of specific SDGs-targeted policies
  • unintended consequences, resistance factors, and collateral costs to achieving the SDGs
  • integrated policy impacts on multiple SDGs
  • policies based on resilient mechanisms enabling SDGs
  • highlights on long term effects of sustainable practices in different sectors

Prof. Dr. Alberto De Marco
Dr. Alberto S. Atzori
Dr. Ilaria Perissi
Dr. Stefano Armenia
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Systems is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 350 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Sustainability
  • Sustainable development
  • Change management
  • Policy
  • Agenda 2030
  • Systems Thinking
  • System Dynamics
  • Modelling and Simulation

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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