How can we ensure that partnerships are transformative?

Doing transformative research for sustainable development ‘at scale’: Learnings from Future Earth and other global research efforts

Basement Room A-119 September 8, 2017 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

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Ariane Carole de Bremond1, Davnah Payne3, Marie-France Loutre2, Cornelia Krug4, Eva Spehn3

1University of Bern/Global Land Programme (GLP), Switzerland; 2University of Bern/Past Global Changes (PAGES), Switzerland; 3University of Bern/Global Mountain Biodiversity Assessment (GBMA), Switzerland; 4University of Zurich, BioDiscovery, Switzerland


2015 marked the launch of Future Earth, a 10-year international research initiative that aims advance Global Sustainablity Science, build capacity in this rapidly expanding area of research, and provide an international reserch agenda to guide natural and social scientists working around the world. Aiming to to provide knowledge and support to accelerate our transformations to a sustainable world, it is also ‘a platform for international engagement to ensure that knowledge is generated in partnership with society and users of science.’ More than ever, science is challenged to produce knowledge that is relevant to advancing sustainable development and, in the case of Future Earth and its global research projects, four of which are in Switzerland, to create new modalities and methods for implementing transdisciplinary (td) approaches across larger networks and within broader global change research structures.

This session, organized by these four global research projects of Future Earth: BioDiscovery, Global Mountain Biodiversity Assessment (GBMA), Past Global Changes (PAGES), and the Global Land Programme, seeks to share insights gained from participation in the co-design of research activities through the Future Earth network and to foster knowledge exchange and learning through this session among the research community, societal actors, and the Swiss td community on the challenges and opportunities to building and advancing broadly shared agendas for sustainability transformations. What activities and actions can be undertaken to further alignment of goal and priorities of the global change research agenda at ‘higher’ scales (such as that exemplified by Future Earth) and priorities set in Switzerland for sustainable development research? What role can such co-designed and td global change research play in advancing Agenda 2030?

This interactive session which will follow a world café format whereby representatives of the Swiss-based global research projects of Future Earth and others in the global change research community are invited to present 3-5 short flash presentations describing the pathways, challenges, and successes of efforts taking place in the global change science community to employ transdisciplinary approaches within various research agenda setting and implementation scenarios. Building on these inputs, participants will be able to discuss the proposed concepts, express their visions, and provide inputs for future activities using a world-café format. We invite participation from civil society, private sector, as well as those in the research community interested in exploring how engagement at the science-society interface can support sustainability transformations.

Flash talk presenters include: Ariane de Bremond, Global Land Programme (GLP); Marie-France de Loutre, Past Global Changes (PAGES); Davnah Payne & Eva Spehn, Global Mountain Biodiversity Assessment (GMBA); Cornelia Krug, BioDiscovery. Additional Flash talk presenters are invited to submit.

Discussants: Prof. Dr. Peter Messerli, Co-Chair, Global Land Programme/CDE/UNIBE; PD Dr. Flurina Schneider, CDE/UNIBE