Through this roundtable discussion, the UNFSS’s Academic Advisory Council (AAC) members are brought together to discuss social concerns and their links with the design and effectiveness of sustainability standards. Led by the AAC co-chairs, Santiago Fernandez de Cordoba, UNCTAD Senior Economist and Axel Marx, Professor and Deputy Director of the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, this roundtable discusses the following questions: 1. What is the role of VSS in promoting social sustainability? What do we know about the possibilities of VSS for social upgrading? 2. On which social dimensions would VSS be a challenge to address, and which of these dimensions can VSS make a difference and/or should prioritize? 3. What are some of the main knowledge gaps and where do we need more research/ type of research? To discuss these questions, the roundtable counts with Dr. Miet Maertens, Prof. Verena Bitzer and Dr. Elizabeth Bennett.