UNU Seminar Discusses Current State & Future Direction of Sustainability Science

  • 2016•01•08     Tokyo

    On 14 December 2015, UNU-IAS held a seminar on Sustainability Science in a Global Landscape, in collaboration with Elsevier. The event introduced the report of the same name, and discussed the future direction of sustainability science research and capacity development.

    The UN Sustainable Development Summit, held in September 2015, adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets. Echoing this new global initiative, Elsevier developed a report on sustainability science in a global landscape in collaboration with The Lancet and SciDev.Net to provide insights into the global research landscape surrounding the SDGs. The report contributes to the understanding of sustainability science as a research field and the dialogue between science and society in sustainable development.

    The seminar began with opening remarks by Dr Osamu Saito (UNU-IAS), followed by a screening of video interviews featuring three Japanese experts sharing their views on the role of sustainability science, the key findings of the report, and the roles of academic institutions and researchers.

    Next, Dr Anders Karlsson (Elsevier) explained the background, methods, and results of the report, including trends in research output, research collaboration and the application of an interdisciplinary approach. Dr Eric Zusman (Institute for Global Environment Strategies) added perspectives from different angles by taking an integrated approach to the SDGs and examining the role of sustainability science. Examples of an integrated approach intervention were also discussed.

    After these presentations, Prof. Yuya Kajikawa (Tokyo Institute of Technology) provided an overview of academic landscape changes in sustainability science from the early 2000s to 2013, and suggested future directions for sustainability research, such as the integration of the natural and social sciences.

    Over 60 participants, including students and researchers, attended this seminar.

    For more information, including downloadable PDFs of the presentations, please visit the UNU-IAS website.