I see that ESRC has invited proposals for a new Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF).
"Education is not only a fundamental human right, but also an indispensable tool in the pursuit of sustainable development. However, it is increasingly acknowledged that education is not a neutral pursuit and not all kinds of education support sustainable development. For example, education that promotes economic growth alone may also lead to an increase in unsustainable consumption patterns, while exclusive education can oppress sections of the community and feed cycles of poverty. Education delivery is complex, and its relationship with wider development goals can be both positive and negative."
Just so. ESRC was looking for proposals that examine the role of education in relation to other SDGs, for example: achieving healthy lives, eradicating poverty and promoting gender equality. These should examine how education drives development and how educational research can be effectively translated into policy and practice to achieve development outcomes.
It was far too late for someone like me to get involved in this directly. but it will be very interesting to see who (and what schemes) will be selected. Although ESRC didn't mention ESD – the call would seem to be fertile ground for those academics who see ESD as the answer to the world's problems. Indeed, it's something of a challenge and test for them.