These are turbulent times in which to advance sustainable development. Environmental and social challenges, encapsulated in the United Nation’s Global Goals, are as pressing as ever, but 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.
Leading researchers, policymakers and practitioners will explore 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. Throughout, there will be a particular focus on connections at the food-water-energy nexus, drawing on recent ESRC-funded activities in this area.
The conference will be relevant to anyone concerned with how research, policy and practice can help to tackle today’s and tomorrow’s biggest global challenges.