How can we ensure that partnerships are transformative?

Scientists are from Mars, Policymakers are from Venus: How to Build Transformational Partnerships in a World of Conflicting Priorities

Basement Room A-122 September 6, 2017 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

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Vanja Westerberg1, Jesse Hastings1, Mark Schauer3, Paulo A.L.D. Nunes5, Louise Gallagher2, Samuel Vionnet6, Daan Groot4

1Altus Impact, Switzerland; 2Luc Hoffman Institute, Switzerland; 3Economics of Land Degradation Secretariat (GIZ), Germany; 4HAS University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands; 5UNEP, Nairobi; 6Valuing Nature, Switzerland


In a world of 7.4 billion humans and counting, sustainable development is about understanding and managing tradeoffs between economic, socio-cultural, and environmental goals. Thus, ‘success’ in sustainable development requires partnerships between scientists, whom produce understanding about people and the natural world, and policymakers & private sector managers, whom are best placed to know on-the-ground priorities and social, political, and cultural frameworks. However, partnerships between scientists and policymakers & the private sector can be fraught with difficulty. Obstacles include speaking different ‘languages’ – e.g. the language of scientific jargon vs. the language of politics or dollars – as well as having widely divergent outcome and implementation priorities.

This session includes reflections and contemporary best practices looking at how to bridge this science-policy gap in sustainable development and environmental conservation. With panelists from academic, intergovernmental, non-governmental and private sectors, the session provide a roadmap to designing transformational partnerships in sustainable development by focusing on creating long-term, participatory processes.