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Sustainability Research + Innovation 2023

JUNE 26-30, 2023 | PANAMA CONVENTION CENTER | PANAMA CITY, PANAMA

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About the

Event

The Sustainability Research & Innovation (SRI) Congress is the world’s largest transdisciplinary gathering for the global sustainability community. The third edition of the SRI Congress, SRI2023, will be hosted by the National Secretariat of Science, Technology and Innovation of the Republic of Panama (SENACYT) and the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI) in June 2023, bringing this global event to the Latin American and Caribbean Region.

SRI unites more than 2000 global sustainability research leaders, government and civil society experts, funders and innovators to inspire action and promote a sustainability transformation. This global, annual event elevates diverse knowledge on sustainability, provides an inspiring platform to share innovative ideas, and creates an inclusive space for collaboration and action. SRI is a joint initiative of Future Earth and the Belmont Forum.

SRI2023 Themes

1. Turning the Tide for Climate: Collaborative Action for Institutional Transformation

Climate change requires urgent action that engages all sectors of society and transforms fundamental institutions and systems that underpinning our societies. But how to build these new impact coalitions and how to make them fair and effective and equitable? How can these new and diverse collaborations accelerate a rapid, sustainable and positive change that doesn’t deepen but rather reduce existing inequalities? What are the tradeoffs and how do we manage them? SRI2023 will explore pathways to informed and just changes in critical systems, such as political/governance, financial, legal, tax, energy and production, transport, research, education and value systems through the lenses of:

  • Environmental and social justice
  • New concepts and measurements of wealth, value, merit and well-being
  • Sustainable consumption and production (including clean energy)
  • Opportunities and ethics of technological innovation, including carbon mitigation and drawdown 
  • Cohesive legal frameworks for addressing interrelated climate / environmental challenges and disasters and advancing climate action
  • Evidence uptake and informed decision-making
  • North-north and south-south collaboration for systems change

2. Healthy and Inclusive Communities

Health and well-being are a foundation for thriving and sustainable societies. Yet changes to natural life support systems are already impacting our health, risking recent public health and development gains. The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed and deepened health inequalities while highlighting the importance of public health and international cooperation. What were the lessons learned and how does that drive health systems transformation? SRI2023 will explore diverse ways of improving health and well-being around the world. This includes:

  • Medical, public health and social research and innovation, including knowledge from traditional medicine practitioners and south-south collaboration
  • Mental health and wellness during and after Covid-19, climate anxiety
  • Planetary health: adaptation and mitigation responses to triple threat (pollution, biodiversity loss, climate change), such as development of urban blue/green spaces
  • Pandemic preparedness and one health
  • Water, sanitation, hygiene (WASH)
  • Equity and community-led adaptation
  • Participatory and citizen science

3. A Peaceful Planetary Mind

Our cultural and social environments play a critical role in shaping the ways we observe the world, behave, set expectations and define priorities. Sustainability transformations will require adapting many behaviors and social conventions, and developing new social narratives and shared visions of the future. Fundamentally, building new bridges and resolving conflicts arising from tradeoffs and inequality will also be needed for achieving a way to live sustainably within the boundaries of a stable Earth system. How can we achieve planetary solidarity and accept the joint stewardship of planet Earth? SRI2023 invites novel perspectives to:

  • Environmental peace building
  • Science diplomacy
  • Culture, heritage, art and spirituality as resources for sustainability transitions
  • Indigenous and local leadership
  • Futures literacy and leadership
  • Access to knowledge and ways to reconcile diverse perspectives in an increasingly polarized world (open science, journalism, media, etc.)

4. Latin America and the Caribbean Science and Innovation for Sustainability

One of the key objectives of SRI2023 is to showcase the richness of Latin American and Caribbean science and innovation in sustainability. From tested local solutions to advanced academic research, the LAC region has a wealth of knowledge and innovation to offer to the wider world. In addition, SRI2023 is hoping to strengthen the regional dialogue and networks by offering an inclusive platform for increased visibility and collaboration. We will emphasize the following approaches:

  • Biodiversity / water co-management strategies
  • Approaches to sustainable mining and agricultural practices
  • Sustainable tourism in vulnerable regions
  • Latin American and Caribbean diaspora as a resource for innovative transformation

Panama

Panama has a long history of scientific cooperation and collaboration with many countries in the world. Strong scientific organizations were established in Panama with their roots in the construction of the Panama Canal and survive today in the form of the Gorgas Memorial Institute of Health Studies and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. There are also some research programs funded by international cooperation and several international universities have extensive links with Panamanian organizations facilitating the internationalization of education. 

SRI2022 Highlights!

The congress brought together the sustainability community across the continent to discuss various sustainability challenges using different methods, academic lenses and practical approaches to tackle sustainability challenges. The sessions were diverse with great speakers and delved into conversations that evolve the way we think.

Nora Ndege

African Centre for Technology Studies and SPRU, University of Sussex

SRI News

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