POSTED: January 6, 2017 |
Event
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SUSTAINABILITY IN TURBULENT TIMES: HOW CAN RESEARCH, POLICY AND BUSINESS MEET GLOBAL CHALLENGES?

Nexus Network Conference

Thursday, 16 March 2017

These are turbulent times in which to advance sustainable development. Environmental and social challenges are as pressing as ever, and the political, regulatory and funding landscape is changing rapidly, creating new uncertainties – and opportunities.

Over the next few years, Brexit, a new US administration, and unpredictable waves of populism and authoritarianism are likely to recast key environmental and social policies. International frameworks of governance and collaboration will need to be redesigned, and the legitimacy of some forms of expertise and evidence may be called into question.

This one-day, agenda-setting conference will bring together researchers, policy makers, business and civil society leaders to take stock and consider ways ahead. Drawing on the activities, networks and findings of three flagship ESRC programmes: the Nexus Network; the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP), and the Centre for the Evaluation of Complexity Across the Nexus (CECAN), the conference will debate what interdisciplinary research can contribute to the future sustainability of a post-Brexit Britain and an uncertain world.

You are warmly invited to join us in exploring the future of environmental policy, the relationship between inequality and sustainability; the role of expertise and emotion in policy making; and practical approaches to navigating complexity. You can register your attendance on Eventbrite.

AGENDA

09:00– 09:45      Registration & coffee

09:45 – 10.00     Welcome and introduction | James Wilsdon, Director, The Nexus Network

10.00 -10.45       Opening keynote: Global sustainability goals in a new political climate | Achim Steiner, Director, Oxford Martin School and former Executive Director, UNEP

10.45 – 12.00     Session 1: Political populism and sustainability :: What are the implications of recent swings towards populism and nationalism around the world, for the relationship between inequality, democracy and sustainability? Chaired by Tim Jackson (Director, CUSP). Confirmed speakers: Natalie Bennett (Green Party); Mike Hulme (Kings College London); Andrea Westall (FDSD); Craig Bennett (Friends of the Earth).                           

12.00 – 13.00     Networking lunch & poster session to showcase Nexus Network, CUSP & CECAN projects

13.00 – 14.00   Session 2: Post-Brexit environmental policy :: What are the likely implications of Brexit for agriculture, fisheries, wildlife, water, energy, climate and nexus issues? How might the economic impacts of Brexit effect environmental policy? Chaired by Rebecca Willis (Green Alliance/Lancaster University). Confirmed speakers: Mary Creagh MP (Chair of Environmental Audit Committee), Michael Jacobs (UCL); Andy Richardson (Head of Corporate Affairs, Volac International) ; Charlotte Burns (York)

14.00 – 15.00     Session 3: Global challenges and national priorities: the changing landscape for interdisciplinary research :: Big shifts are underway in UKs research funding and policy landscape. What opportunities are created by GCRF, the imminent launch of UKRI and reform of the REF? Chaired by James Wilsdon. Confirmed speakers: Jane Elliot (Chief Executive, ESRC); Dame Athene Donald (Master, Churchill College, Cambridge & Chair, HEFCE Interdisciplinary Advisory Group); Ian Boyd (Chief Scientific Adviser, Defra); Beck Smith (Senior Policy & Advocacy Adviser, Save the Children)

15.00- 15.30       Tea break

15.30– 16.45      Parallel sessions

  • ‘World cafe’ session: Fear and hope in turbulent times: small group discussions of personal responses and strategies to the current global political turbulence, and ways that the sustainability community can/should respond.
  • Skills and capabilities for transformative transdisciplinarity (Nexus Network) What skills and capabilities are required for transdisciplinary research with transformative potential, and how can these be nurtured and supported?
  • Learning from history (CECAN) How can we use experience of earlier environmental policies to formulate better ones in the new political climate, and what could the role of evaluation be in doing so?
  • The political nature of sustainable prosperity (CUSP) How can we build a political consensus for sustainability that is inclusive and fair? How do research and practice move beyond the divisive nature of ‘post-truth’ populism?

16.45 – 17.45     Session 4: Brokers and boundary spanners: where next for evidence and experts at the food-water-energy nexus? :: Evidence informed policy making has never been in greater demand, nor has it been more contested. How can we better understand the complexities of the research policy interface? Chaired by Nigel Gilbert (Director, CECAN). Confirmed speakers: Clare Matterson CBE (Special Adviser, Wellcome Trust); Kathryn Oliver (University of Oxford); Andy Stirling (Nexus Network & SPRU), Dipak Gyawali (Director, Nepal Water Conservation Foundation).

17.45– 18.30      Drinks reception and networking

WHERE

Westminster Bridge – County Hall, London

WHEN

Thursday, 16 March 2017
09.00-17.45

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