Blended approaches to sustainable futures dialogue in the Pacific

Organizer: Ray Maher
Format: Online, Morning

The Blue Pacific is home to 1200 languages, 30% of the Earth’s surface and valuable blue carbon assets. Here, the challenges of the 21st Century – such as climate change, biodiversity, food security, or resilient development – transcend the artificial boundaries of disciplines, nations and agendas. Developing sustainable responses to these issues requires the wisdom, self- determination and lived experience of Pacific peoples. Equally, foreseeing trends and developing robust initiatives demands state-of-the-art research and expert input. Synthesising these diverse world views requires blended approaches to dialogue from diverse cultures and academic disciplines. Recognising the importance of a blended approach, The Pacific Community – a member owned regional scientific and technical organisation – in developing its Strategic Plan 2021+ is partnering with the University of Queensland to combine Pacific knowledge with contemporary academic scholarship. The partnership provides a platform to integrate futures studies and design thinking, with traditional Pacific approaches such as Tok Stori. A blended approach to dialogue can help build trust and ownership, and support multiple visions of possible futures. In walking the talk, a diverse group of researchers and practitioners will use a real time case study of the design and negotiation process of the Pacific Community Strategic Plan 2021+. We will discuss collectively how the ways we communicate, the narratives we develop, the frameworks and tools we use when making decisions, shape our collective futures. This will explore the notion of future and why it is important at this critical juncture of the Blue Pacific Narrative. Drawing from approaches that resonate with their cultural worldviews, they will explore how partnerships between Pacific organisations and academic institutions enrich organisational and civic conversations, strengthen capacity, posture the region positively for future futures conversations, planning and processes and ultimately contribute to the sustainability of a significant region.

Themes: Sustainable Solutions from the Global South, Integrated Action for the SDGs, Knowledge-to-Action, Sustainability for Who?