Building peace in the minds of men and women

Broadening the Application of the Sustainability Science Approach

Symposia & Reports

Three symposia will be organized in the framework of the project, to foster dialogue among experts and policymakers in order to identify and develop a set of  guidelines on sustainability science – from definition to application.

Inception Symposium: Broadening the application of the Sustainability Science approach in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

5-6 April 2016, UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France

The Inception Symposium explored ways to bridge academic work on sustainability science with the growing interest for this approach on behalf of the policy-making community. It also considered a pioneer platform through the demonstration of scientific perspectives and successful case studies on sustainability science. 

(All documents below are available in PDF)

Presentation of the objectives of the Symposium
Dendev Badarch, UNESCO
Presentation of the project
Salvatore Arico, UNESCO

Panel 1: From academic advances in sustainability science to their applications in public policy: Challenges and required steps
How can the reflection within natural and social sciences on their increased societal relevance, and the dynamic relation between them, be better incorporated in emerging policies that integrate the science-policy-sustainability nexus?

Panel 2: Towards a social policy for sustainability
How should social sciences evolve in order to achieve long-lasting effects and structural change?

Panel 3: “Anti-science” in sustainability and resilience
In our efforts to design appropriate governance for a transition to sustainability, how can the interlinkages between adaptability, vulnerability and resilience have a fundamental role? What kind of impact does the anti-science sentiment create in this regard?

  • Keynote
    Luiz Oosterbeek, International Council of Philosophy and Human Sciences

Panel 4: Urbanization and sustainability science

Wrap up of day 1
John Crowley, UNESCO

Panel 5: Sustainability science involvement in different sectors
In which public policy fields is sustainability science fundamental? Are current approaches to research and education adequate to overcome possible disciplinary and sectoral barriers required to apply the sustainability science approach?

Panel 6: Revolution and innovations in sustainability science and governance
What nexus and mutual benefits do exist between sustainability science and governance?

Closing panel: Co-designing the development, and future, of sustainability science
What are the challenges and opportunities related to the future of sustainability science to be able to respond to the needs of society in light of the new sustainable development agenda?

  • Keynote
    Heide Hackmann, International Council for Science

Wrap up of day 2
Pedro Manuel Monreal Gonzalez, UNESCO

Salvatore Arico, UNESCO

Closing address by Ms Flavia Schlegel, Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences, UNESCO

Second Symposium: A focus on regional experiences and inputs for the development of Sustainability Science policy guidelines

19-21 December 2016, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The second Symposium, hosted by the Office of the Science Advisor to the Prime Minister and the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT), focused on presentations and discussions on how to apply a sustainability science approach in UNESCO’s five regions. It involved the identification of particular regional characteristics, priorities, needs and gaps, and to incorporate such specific features into the planned policy guidelines on the application of sustainability science. 

(All documents below are available in PDF)

Opening session

Panel 1: Achieving transdisciplinarity in research and education, and the role of science and knowledge in attaining sustainability: An introduction

Panel 2: Sustainability in Asia and the Pacific: Conserving natural resources and promoting higher education

Panel 3: Human development and environmental sustainability in the Arab States

Panel 4: Transdisciplinarity and solution-oriented research for interconnected challenges in Africa

Wrap-up of Day 1 by the Rapporteur

Panel 5: Transdisciplinary problematics and problematizing transdisciplinarity in Europe and North America

Panel 6: Scientific and technological advances for sustainability in Latin America and the Caribbean

Intersessional lecture: Mapping Sustainability Science
Initiatives at RELX Group – Anders Karlsson, ELSEVIER

Breakout Groups: Principles of Sustainability Science; Guidelines for Research; Guidelines for Education
Wrap-up of Day 2 by the Rapporteur

Plenary session: Next steps in promoting transdisciplinarity in research and education at the regional level, and formulation of recommendations for the UNESCO Sustainability Science Policy Guidelines
Session Co-chairs – Mathieu Denis, International Social Science Council and Kazuhiko Takeuchi, University of Tokyo

  • Next steps related to the UNESCO-Japan/MEXT Project on “Broadening the Application of the Sustainability Science Approach in light of the Symposium conclusions and recommendations
    Salvatore Aricò, UNESCO
  • Web Knowledge Platform of the Sustainability Science Project
    Christine A. Iskandar, UNESCO

Closing session

  • Remarks by the Host or the Host’s representative
  • Remarks by the UNESCO Representative

Third Symposium on Sustainability Science: Towards guidelines in research and education

31 May-1 June 2017, UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France

Presentation of the guidelines on sustainability science and interdisciplinarity in research and education to UNESCO Member States

(All documents below are available in PDF)

Opening session

Panel 1: Key Principles of Sustainability Science

Panel 2: Strategic Funding for Sustainability Science in Research and Education

Panel 3: Mainstreaming Sustainability Science in Higher Education

Wrap up of day 1
Irakli Khodeli, UNESCO

Panel 4: Mainstreaming Sustainability Science in Research

Wrap up of day 2
Pedro Manuel Monreal Gonzalez, UNESCO

Closing session