Inaugural Sustainability Research and Innovation 2020 congress set for June 14-17, Brisbane, Australia

Photo credit: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
The inaugural congress of Sustainability Research and Innovation, SRI2020, will be held in Brisbane, Australia from June 14-17, 2020 at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre.

This first-of-its kind event, established by Future Earth and the Belmont Forum, will gather together academia, business, NGOs, and governments in one common goal: to meet global sustainability challenges. This event series has the ambition to become the annual focal point for sustainability communities, by bringing science, innovation and policy communities together from around the world to share successes, discuss critical issues, and solve the toughest sustainability challenges.

The SRI2020 event in Brisbane is supported by a consortium including: Future Earth Australia (hosted by the Australian Academy of Science), CSIRO, the University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology, Griffith University, and the University of the Sunshine Coast.

“Our aim is to bring quite diverse scientists, private sector and government entities to the table, and show them what opportunities exist in an event like this, in the network that is Future Earth and the Belmont Forum,” said Tayanah O’Donnell, Director of Future Earth Australia.

“We think that the bar will be set quite high. And because this event will happen annually, those people may contribute year on year, and we will be able to build a strong consortium that together will drive the global agenda forward. Critically, this must include proper participation from the ‘global south,’” O’Donnell said.

The event will focus on ensuring that priorities and perspectives from underrepresented groups and regions are highlighted.  A bursary program will assist early-career researchers, practitioners, as well as participants from low and middle-income countries, to engage in SRI2020 in Brisbane.

This first convening will allow the world’s leading sustainability scientists to engage policy leaders working to support the major international policy processes supporting this transition (Agenda 2030, the UN SDGs, Paris Agreement on climate change, Sendai Framework for Disaster and Risk, Aichi targets).

The partnership model for SRI2020 allows a diversity of actors to engage. It’s a plug and play kind of meeting where actions can be accomplished, connections fostered, and advances made.  Where there are shared needs and interests, we can explore collaborative approaches that may not have been possible through more traditional meetings,” said Erica Key, Executive Director of the Belmont Forum.

This event will be the first in an annual congress series that will serve as a focal point in the sustainability science and innovation calendar, providing broad networking, training, and knowledge exchange opportunities. As such, the meeting series is being designed as an umbrella under which side events, special sessions, mentoring, valorization, capacity-building and town hall activities will take place to support a vibrant, diverse, and growing community.

“This is the place for your community to talk to an engaged audience of sustainability thinkers from philanthropy, the public sector, the private sector and other disciplines, and to hammer out the research agenda and the knowledge transfer needed to reach the 2030 Agenda,” said Josh Tewksbury, Future Earth Global Hub Director, Colorado.

“And if you don't have a sustainability community, this is what we're trying to create. Do you want a group that will support you in your career, whether you go into the private sector, the public sector, the civil society or academia? There should be no better place to go than this meeting,” Tewksbury said.

Sponsorship opportunities are available.

More information is available at SRI2020.org.