The mission of Future Earth is to accelerate transformations to global sustainability through research and innovation. To achieve this mission, Future Earth leads activities in four major areas:

  • We facilitate and amplify research
  • We convene and mobilise networks
  • We spark and promote innovation
  • We turn knowledge into action

Our organisation is rooted in the work of 20 Global Research Projects. These networks have a long history, in some cases stretching back decades, of generating research at the forefront of sustainability science. They played a critical role in forming the field of Earth system science – which considers how all of the parts of the planet, including human societies, connect to and shape each other. Our Global Research Projects also led in defining the Anthropocene, a new epoch in the geologic history of Earth marked by the influence of humans on the planet.

Future Earth builds on this scientific legacy to accelerate transformations to sustainability through research and innovation. With the 20 Global Research Projects, 9 Knowledge-Action-Networks, and national and regional offices and structures in over 20 countries, as well as a distributed global secretariat, we are a major international convenor that fosters a culture of engaged research based on the co-design and co-production of knowledge and tools.

We work to incorporate the latest research findings into government, business and community decisions and policies. We experiment in generating new ideas, innovations, and collaborations. In that vein, we are working with tech companies to develop new approaches to reducing carbon emissions. We also foster networks of early career researchers, practitioners, and other innovators, encouraging new ways of thinking about how sustainability research and practice gets done.

Established in 2009, the Belmont Forum is a partnership of funding organizations, international science councils, and regional consortia committed to the advancement of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary science. Forum operations are guided by the Belmont Challenge, a vision document that encourages International transdisciplinary research providing knowledge for understanding, mitigating and adapting to global environmental change.

Forum members and partner organizations work collaboratively to meet this Challenge by issuing international calls for proposals, committing to best practices for open data access, and providing transdisciplinary training.

Scientist and stakeholder support is made possible through Collaborative Research Actions (CRAs), which are the Forum equivalent of a call for proposals.  In its first five years of operation, the Forum successfully led seven calls for proposals, supporting 48 projects and more than 450 scientists and stakeholders, representing over 35 countries on 6 continents.  Themes addressed by CRAs have included Freshwater Security, Coastal Vulnerability, Food Security and Land Use Change, Climate Predictability and Inter-Regional Linkages, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, Arctic Observing and Science for Sustainability, and Mountains as Sentinels of Change. New themes are developed through a scoping process and made available for proposals through the Belmont Forum website and its Grant Operations page.

Hosting Consortium 


Future Earth Australia

Future Earth Australia is a national peak initiative that enables Australian researchers, governments, industry and NGOs to collaborate with each other and with international networks and programs across Australia and Oceania.

Queensland Chief Scientist

The Queensland Chief Scientist serves as the ambassador for Queensland science. The Chief Scientist fosters cooperation and collaboration amongst the government, research, industry and community sectors, raises Queensland’s profile as a smart region characterised by world class research and investment opportunities and engages the community in better understanding the importance of science, research and innovation in the state’s future economic, social and environmental wellbeing.

Consortium Members


The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is Australia’s national science research agency. The CSIRO is tasked with carrying out scientific research to assist Australian industry, further the Australian community, contribute to the achievement of Australian national objectives and encourage the application of results of the CSIRO’s research.

The University of Queensland

The University of Queensland is one of Australia’s leading research and teaching institutions. UQ is one of three Australian members of the global Universitas21, a founding member of the Group of Eight and a member of Universities Australia.

James Cook University

James Cook University is a world class university with a strategic focus on the Tropics. JCU is ranked in the top 2% of universities worldwide, and has campuses in Townsville, Cairns, Mackay, Thursday Island, Mount Isa, Brisbane and Singapore.

Queensland University of Technology

Queensland University of Technology is one of Australia’s fastest growing research universities, with a focus on collaboration and interdisciplinary research.

The University of the Sunshine Coast

The University of the Sunshine Coast is one of Australia’s highest-ranking public universities for teaching quality, student experience and skills development. Research efforts at USC are broad and varied, with regionally significant themes of sustainability, aquaculture and forestry playing central roles.

Griffith University

Griffith University is a comprehensive, research-intensive university which ranks in the top 2% of universities worldwide. Griffith University is deeply connected to the Asian region, has a strong focus on social and environmental awareness and has a focus on industry.


Executive Committee

  • Erica Key, Executive Director, Belmont Forum
  • Josh Tewksbury, Director, Future Earth USA
  • Tayanah O’Donnell, Director, Future Earth Australia
  • Paul Bertsch, Science Director (Land and Water), CSIRO

Program Committee

  • Co-Chair: Mark Stafford Smith, Honorary Fellow, CSIRO, Australia 
  • Co-Chair: Veera Mitzner, Associate Director, US Global Hub, Network Lead, Future Earth
  • Shereen Zorba, Head of the Secretariat of the UN Science-Policy-Business Forum on the Environment, UN Environment
  • Meriem Bouamrane, Program Specialist, UNESCO
  • Jean-Paul Moatti, Former President and General Director, IRD
  • Jessica Hellmann, Professor of Ecology and the Director of the Institute on the Environment, University of Minnesota
  • Mathieu Denis, Science Director, ISC
  • Chris Cvitanovic, Researcher, Australian National University
  • Zarina Patel, Senior Lecturer, University of Capetown
  • Valérie Verdier, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, IRD
  • Co-Chair, Emeritus: Makyba Charles-Ayinde, Science & Technology Policy Fellow, AAAS STPF

Local Organizing Committee

  • Chair: Eleanor Robson, Research and Policy Officer, Future Earth Australia
  • Paul Bertsch, CSIRO
  • Tayanah O’Donnell, Future Earth Australia
  • Chris Cocklin, Provost, James Cook University
  • Martin Nakata, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Indigenous Education and Strategy), James Cook University
  • Mark Stafford Smith, Honorary Fellow, CSIRO, Australia
  • Belinda Wade, School of Business, University of Queensland
  • Jim Walker, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit, University of Queensland
  • Grant Hamilton, Science and Engineering Faculty, Queensland University of Technology
  • Tan Yigitcanlar, Science and Engineering Faculty, Queensland University of Technology
  • Stuart Bunn, Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University
  • Brendan Mackey, Griffith Climate Change Response Program, Griffith University
  • Johanna Nalau, Cities Research Institute, Griffith University
  • Graham Ashford, School of Science and Engineering, University of the Sunshine Coast

Operations and Communications Team

  • Veera Mitzner, Associate Director, Future Earth US Global Hub
  • Laurel Milliken, Information Technology Officer, Future Earth
  • Hannah Moench, Network Associate, Future Earth
  • Jon Walton, Communications Lead, Future Earth
  • Judit Ungvari, Co-lead, Research & Innovation, Future Earth
  • Maria Fernanda Enriquez, Administrative Officer, Future Earth
  • Georgi Zohrabyan, Edmund S. Muskie Intern, Future Earth
  • Alayna Kasuri, Dartmouth College Intern, Future Earth
  • Eleanor Robson, Research and Policy Officer, Future Earth Australia
  • Amanda Shores, AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow, NSF (The Belmont Forum)
  • Meagan Postema, AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow, NSF (The Belmont Forum)
  • Samuel Stacey, SRI2021 Communications Lead and Managing Director, Cultivate Communications
  • Holly Holmes, Managing Director, Cultivate Communciations
  • Ella Holmes, Digital Communications Consultant, Cultivate Communications