What is PS4SD?

Public Strategy for Sustainable Development (PS4SD) is a think-tank and advisory network established 2012, based in Brussels and The Hague. PS4SD combines the expertise and experience with governance, impact assessment and stakeholder engagement of its founders Louis Meuleman and Ingeborg Niestroy and their associates. In our work we develop new solutions for the stumbling blocks that governments, civil society, science and business are facing in their attempts to move towards sustainable societies.

We focus on three main topics and their linkages: Governance (how to organise change, with metagovernance as a modern approach); Impact assessment (how to assess success or failure, how to combine environmental and sustainability assessments); Stakeholder engagement (how to influence governmental decisions and how to get governments to participate in stakeholders’ sustainable innovation arrangements).

Dr. Ingeborg Niestroy studied (physical) geography, worked as planner for transport projects, and has ever since been interested in governance questions of environmental integration and sustainable development, firstly culminating in her PhD thesis on Strategic Environmental Assessment. Since 2013, she is associate at the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and research associate at the Policy Assessment Group of the Environmental Policy Research Centre, Free University of Berlin. She carries out projects for among others the German organisation for international cooperation GIZ.

Ingeborg took part in the preparations of the Rio+20 conference (2010-2012), collaborated in a comparative study of the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) on governance for SD at regional, national and sub-national level, as well as in a study on SDGs in 14 ASEM countries, and continues to contribute to the post-Rio processes. She was Board member of the Club of Rome – EU chapter, delegate to the Consultative Committee for Industrial Change (CCMI) of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and affiliated with the Network of Excellence LIAISE (Linking Impact Assessment Instruments and Sustainability Expertise).

Dr. Louis Meuleman has an MsC in environmental biology and a PhD in public administration. He has more than 30 years of public sector experience. As an academic he publishes about meta- and transgovernance, especially in the context of sustainable development. He is Member of the UN Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA)(2018-2021)  and visiting professor at the Public Governance Institute of the University of Leuven, Belgium, senior fellow at the Center for Governance and Sustainability of the University of Massachusetts Boston, USA and research associate at the Public Administration and Governance Group of the University of Wageningen, the Netherlands.

He was (2010-2011) Project director of the TransGov project of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Potsdam, Germany, director of the Netherlands Advisory Council for Research on Nature, Environment and Spatial Planning (RMNO)(2002-2009), and head of unit and project director at the Netherlands Ministry for Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment (1991-2001).

He is currently working at the European Commission, DG Environment. Being a civil servant, he is not involved in advisory/consultancy projects, but as a ‘reflexive practitioner’ he continues to participate in scholarly and other discussions on the quality of governance, sustainable development and impact assessment.

Louis’ PhD thesis (2008) focuses on metagovernance: how to create and manage situationally successful combinations of hierarchical, network and market styles of governance. He concludes that it is not one style, but the optimal governance mixture that works in practice, and that what works where depends among others on national/regional/local cultures and traditions.

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