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Sustainability Science Forum 2022 - Shaping Research for our Future

3.11.2022 | Eventforum Bern


09:00 - 17:00

Luogo della manifestazione

Eventforum Bern
Fabrikstrasse 12
3012 Bern

The Sustainability Science Forum 2022 addresses the future of research for sustainable development. How can science evolve to most effectively support societal change towards sustainability?

Sustainability Science Forum
Immagine: Hansjakob Fehr, 1kilo

What are new perspectives, roles and tasks for sustainability science, and how can academia and funding agencies respond to respective needs?

We will address different aspects of these questions: What is important for the development of the field from a global perspective? What do we know about the core issue: the nature of societal transformation processes; and how do different fields conceptualise it? What are promising research formats for developing possible pathways of change? How can funders and research institutions best support efforts to build a resilient, nature-positive society?

The Sustainability Science Forum 2022 will explore these and many other questions, inspired by a keynote lecture presented by Prof. Dr. Albert van Jaarsveld, Director General, IIASA, and an installation by artist and scientist Sonja Schenkel.


9:00 Doors open

9:30 Welcome note
Bernard Lehmann, President, Platform Science and Policy, SCNAT
Gabriela Wülser, Head of Sustainability Research, SCNAT

9:40 New perspectives for sustainability science
Albert van Jaarsveld, Director, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis IIASA

10:20 Coffee Break

10:45 Societal transformation: current understandings from a social sciences perspective
Panel discussion
- Marlyne Sahakian, University of Geneva
- Eva-Maria Spreitzer, University of Lausanne
- Philip Balsiger, University of Neuchâtel
Moderator: Clemens Mader, Empa & OST

How do different fields understand, frame and conceptualise societal transformation? How do transformations happen and how can they be triggered, supported, or even steered? What is known about respective dynamics on individual and collective levels, and what can be roles of private sector innovations, social innovation, grassroot movements, media or political debates and decisions? What is the importance of underlying values and belief systems that may dominate in different societal “bubbles” and how can they be discussed across those “bubbles” in support of sustainability transformations?

11:45 Cross-cutting initiatives in sustainability science

This session gives the floor to sustainability research competence centres and networks at Swiss research institutions. What kind of services can these structures offer to facilitate interdisciplinary and interdepartmental research collaboration and how can this be achieved?

- World Food Systems Centre, ETH Zurich: Martijn Sonnevelt
- Netzwerk Sustainable Futures, Universität Basel: Annika Sohre
- Zurich Knowledge Centre for Sustainable Development: Cathérine Hartmann
- Centre de compétences en durabilité, Université de Lausanne: Augustin Fragnière
- CLIMACT, Université de Lausanne & EPFL: Nicolas Tetreault
Moderator: Gabriela Wülser, SCNAT

12:30 Lunch

13:45 Parallel sessions

  1. Lighthouse programmes in sustainability science
    Peter Edwards, ETH Zurich & President, SCNAT Sustainability Research Initiative
    Gabriela Wuelser, SCNAT
  2. How can the sciences and arts touch people?
    Bianca Vienni-Baptista, ETH Zurich
    Karin Zindel, Zurich University of the Arts ZHdK
  3. Rethinking paradigms for societal transformation
    Christoph Küffer, President, td-net & Working group co-leader, SAGUF
    Markus Zürcher, Swiss Academy of the Humanities and Social Sciences SAHS
  4. Policy making for sustainability
    Basil Bornemann, University of Basel
    Eva Lieberherr, ETH Zurich
    Marius Christen, University of Basel and SusCon

15:00 Coffee break

15:15 Shaping research for our future: promising formats
Panel discussion
- Michael Stauffacher, ETH Zürich
- Sonja Schenkel, Storytex

- Lucas Müller, Swiss Young Academy
Moderator: Bianca Vienni-Baptista, ETH Zurich

This panel discussion will address formats that help strengthen the impact and relevance of scientific contributions to sustainable development. Such approaches may imply a broader or transformative understanding of research. Some involve the active participation of research in solution or policy development processes at the interface between science and practice. We will look more closely at such promising formats, the kind of “transformation knowledge” they produce and how they can be scaled up. To what extent is it necessary to transgress the conventional space of science, and how can this be done?

16:15 Final plenary session
Peter Edwards, ETH Zurich & President, SCNAT Sustainability Research Initiative

16:45 Apéro

The Sustainability Science Forum... a meeting place where new ideas can be presented and debated, research concepts developed and partnerships forged. The Forum is intended to be fresh and exciting – not just another conference! - and is designed to meet the interests and needs of a growing sustainability science community.

We support the International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development IYBSSD2022



  • Interazioni


Anja Bretzler
Gruppo di coordinamento Ricerca sulla sostenibilità
Casa delle Accademie
Casella postale
3001 Berna

The conference fee is CHF 50.
Registration is closed
Lingue: Inglese, Tedesco, Francese