We need to bring together different forms of knowledge in order to find solutions to the sustainability problems of our time.
We need to bring together different forms of knowledge in order to find solutions to the sustainability problems of our time. istock/Boonyachoat

Headline: International Dialogues for Pathways to Sustainable Futures

Humanity faces urgent, critical, and complex challenges in finding and moving on transformative pathways to more just, equitable, and sustainable futures, which can only be effectively addressed through substantive, meaningful dialogues and collaborative design processes. These active processes of mutual learning and designing for sustainable futures must bring together multiple sources of formal and practical knowledge through dialogues among scientists and humanities scholars, policy makers, civil society, NGOs, and business representatives. The challenges manifest themselves at multiple spatial and temporal scales across the world, thus requiring finding pathways and solutions that are locally appropriate in each culture and context, while simultaneously leading to coherent positive outcomes on a global scale.

As part of the IASS programmatic response to these challenges, the Global Sustainability Strategy Forum (GSSF) and the Knowledge, Learning, and Societal Change Alliance (KLASICA) engage in dialogue with a wide range of stakeholder groups in complementary ways. One approach is seeking to understand what changes are needed in the fundamental role and nature of social and natural science and humanities scholarship to address adequately the complexity of societal and natural system change and then exploring the consequences for policy and practice in society. A complementary approach is seeking novel ways to understand the dynamics of social movements and collective behavior change toward sustainable futures through narrative expressions of vision and identity, recognizing not only the more general processes, but also the particular cultural and local distinctions.

Projects

Global Sustainability Strategy Forum

The need for a global transformation towards sustainability is broadly acknowledged in business, politics, and civil society. And yet little progress has been made towards making this goal a reality. What can be done to close the gap between the current reality and the goal of a sustainable future?

Knowledge, Learning and Societal Change Alliance (KLASICA)

How can collectively produced knowledge help to initiate societal transformations towards sustainable lifestyles? How can mutual learning motivate and guide collective action? The KLASICA project addresses these questions in cooperation with the international Future Earth research initiative.