Host the 2024 or 2025 Sustainability Research and Innovation Congress!

Future Earth and the Belmont Forum are seeking applications from interested organizations to host the Sustainability Research and Innovation Congress (SRI) in June 2024 or June 2025. The Congress brings together global thought leaders, experts, innovators, and stakeholders in an interactive convening that advances progress towards sustainability.  As a host organization, you work with the co-convenors to shape the program, highlight local priorities, and connect your community with the global sustainability movement.  

An application may be submitted by one or more hosts in a location interested in this exciting opportunity.  It is expected that the 2024 and 2025 Congresses will have different hosts and be held in person in different cities with access to streaming facilities to accommodate virtual and hybrid events.  Please indicate your interest in 2024 or 2025 (or both) in your application.

SRI is the global crossroads for innovation and action, funding and development, communities and corporations, allowing the host to strengthen their global profile and demonstrate leadership in the rapidly evolving sustainability space. The first SRI Congress which took place in June 2021 in Brisbane, Australia and online, brought together 700 speakers and 2,000 participants from 100 countries. Building on the success of SRI2021, SRI2022 engaged an equally diverse audience onsite and online in Pretoria, South Africa in June 2022, and not only sold out the onsite tickets weeks before the event but also doubled the size of the Congress program from the first year. We are off for a strong start with SRI2023, which will be held in Panama City, Panama, in June 2023.

In addition to showcasing the latest science and innovation, SRI is committed to societally relevant action and moving the needle in sustainability. Together with our host, we will develop a powerful hybrid transdisciplinary gathering that offers both online and onsite engagement, as well as training and inspiration by leading experts. SRI promotes an ambitious agenda for elevating the sustainability sector globally and embracing new ways of interaction to truly engage attendees with the program.

Hosts should demonstrate experience in organizing international convenings and possess the capacity to provide an onsite venue accessible to 500-1000 attendees from around the world for a 5-day event, with multiple side meetings during, before and after. As virtual participation will be a key driver of SRI, the hosts are also expected to provide facilities that enable interactive online engagement at scale. Hosts will play a key role in designing and facilitating the meeting, and engaging local sponsors and partners. In addition, hosts are expected to provide dedicated support to one full- or part-time staff person. SRI will take place in June each year.

Hosting applications will be accepted until January 31, 2023. For questions, please contact Veera Mitzner at

What are the advantages of hosting SRI?

This Congress will be a timely opportunity to:

  • Showcase the leadership of your nation, region, city, company, or organization in sustainability research and innovation to the world stage
  • Meet and engage in substantial conversations with international donors to leverage your investments in international calls 
  • Exchange with other actors to fine-tune your mechanisms to maximize global impact of research and innovation 
  • Empower your community to build skills, audiences, and support for sustainability-forward action
  • Ensure you have a seat in discussions shaping global research and innovation agendas and global environmental governance processes.


Selection Process

An external review committee will select the Congress host according to the following selection criteria:

  • Bid capacity: Direct co-funding amount, degree, experience, and breadth of support staff for the event; Capacity to fundraise and engage local and regional sponsors 
  • Location and venue: Degree to which location represents, or is attractive to a knowledge to action sustainability community representing a breadth of sectors and knowledge holders at national, regional or global scales; accessibility for an international audience (proximity to an international airport)
  • For consortia applications: Breadth of consortia and the contributions of the consortia members to the Congress; Solidity and specificity of the management plan for a globally distributed meeting
  • Sustainability and innovation: Commitment and capacity to deliver an event that embodies sustainability in all aspects, and capacity to explore and support next generation conferencing
  • Community and Connection: Host capacity to create connections across communities and between sectors (academic, innovation, private sector, public sector, civil society), as well as create synergies between global events and policy processes.  

 An MOU will be signed between the organizers and the winners. The winners of this competition will be announced in Q1 or Q2 of 2023.

Proposals led by commercial meeting organizers will not be considered.