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14 &15 June 2021: SSCP KAN at SRI 2021

The Future Earth Knowledge-Action Network on Systems of Sustainable Consumption and Production will host virtual sessions at the Sustainability Research & Innovation Congress 2021 (SRI2021).

Sponsored by Future Earth and Belmont Forum, the SRI 2021 is the world’s first transdisciplinary gathering in sustainability and will be a forum for fierce advocacy of sustainability scholarship, innovation, collaboration, and action. The SRI2021 is happening on June 12-15, 2021.

If you haven’t registered for the conference yet, click here.

The Future Earth Knowledge-Action Network on Systems of Sustainable Consumption and Production: Preparing for a Post-COVID-19 Future

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM JST on Monday, 14 June 2021

The Knowledge-Action Network on Systems of Sustainable Consumption and Production was established approximately six years ago and has been a successful entity within Future Earth. At the same time, research and policy practice pertaining to household provisioning has become increasingly visible and the United Nations 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement both identify systems of consumption and production as priority areas for future attention.

The COVID-19 outbreak has disrupted lifestyles in most parts of the world and previously unimaginable changes have become manifest with respect to consumer purchases, savings rates, work routines, supply-chain management, recreation and leisure, and much more. Some of these adjustments prompted by the pandemic have imparted positive changes with respect to greenhouse gas emissions, air and water pollution, biodiversity encroachment, and other key environmental indicators. The social impacts, however, have been devastating in most communities and there has been consistent pressure throughout the pandemic to revert back to “normal” as promptly as possible. With vaccination rates increasing and economies starting to come back to life what are the risks that systems of consumption and production will spring back to their pre-existing status? Are there ways to lock in some of the improvements of the past year and chart a path toward a more sustainable future? Are there ways to leverage our hopeful expectations in ways that challenge business as usual?

This session is designed to be participatory and interactive. It will be facilitated by three members of the KAN’s Management Team with the aim to catalyze a wide-ranging discussion and to recruit interested participants into a new KAN-sponsored initiative on systems of sustainable consumption and production in the post-COVID-19 era.

Will a Sustainability Transition Be Sufficient?

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM JST on Monday, 14 June 2021

The question “How much is enough?” has been a latent and largely unarticulated consideration in studies of sustainability transitions to date. At the same time, researchers have increasingly recognized the inadequacy of strategies predicated on efficiency improvements and the tendency of such interventions to contribute to rebound effects and other perverse outcomes. The last few years have given rise to a “sufficiency turn” in sustainability science with particularly prominent work carried out with respect to dietary practices, mobility, and housing. It is notable that the current trajectory avoids misplaced emphasis on “self-sufficiency” which has been historically salient in some communities as an alternative lifestyle but of limited efficacy and policy relevance at larger scales. This forum session aims to take stock of the recent wave of research on cultural and civic conceptions of sufficiency and to consider its implications for future work on socio-technical transitions. Contributions will address a range of issues including how lessons from overconsumption of healthcare could usefully inform discussions about sufficiency and sustainability transitions, governance of “sufficient” mobility in India, determination of globally sufficient thresholds for sustainable housing, and reframing sufficiency from the standpoint of more effective communication strategies.

Relevant sessions to the SSCP KAN.

The Sustainability Action Platform: Developing a Global Exchange for Accelerating Local Transitions

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM JST on Tuesday, 15 June

The COVID-19 pandemic presents new opportunities to advance sustainability scholarship, innovation, collaboration and action to promote a green recovery. As a diverse group of scholars, practitioners and policymakers, we are developing a platform to accelerate a green recovery and transition towards sustainability. In this session, we present our ‘Sustainability Action Platform’ (SAP), an open-source and dynamic global online data management tool, which allows local government, communities and businesses to exchange ideas and experience with innovative actions aimed at advancing the SDGs locally (http://www.sustainabilityactionplatform.org). Through the application of cutting-edge digital technology, the SAP collates and synthesizes user-generated content into a searchable platform. The SAP also offers a self-assessment tool that allows users to measure their performance against local to global targets across varied indicators. As an integrative system, the SAP aligns local strategies and the SDGs through a systemic change approach. The local focus acknowledges that, despite the importance of global accords such as the Paris Agreement and UN 2030 Agenda, the most productive solutions to the climate crisis are occurring at the local level. The SAP advances sustainability by providing a much-needed mechanism for the global exchange of local innovations. It also generates a wealth of data on sustainability actions around the world, which are valuable for scientific analyses and the generation of improved empirically-based system change models. The SAP’s integration of scholarship and praxis is innovative, advancing both scientific understanding and local decision-making in climate governance. Additionally, it can be used to complement existing SDG frameworks, while also enabling local-level customization of indicators, sustainability initiatives and cultural learning. This session will explore how the SAP can advance knowledge management systems for climate governance and accelerate sustainability transitions, particularly how such a system can be designed and co-created with actors in the Global South to mitigate knowledge and power disparities.

Systems of Sustainable Consumption and Production (SSCP) Scoping Event

5:00 PM – 6:30 PM JST on Tuesday, 15 June

The Belmont Forum welcomes you to participate in a scoping workshop focused on Systems of Sustainable Consumption and Production (SSCP). The Forum is a global partnership of funders committed to understanding, mitigating, and adapting to global environmental change. Members and partners invest in international calls for proposals called Collaborative Research Actions (CRAs). Through the CRA process, funding and resources are allocated to multinational project teams that draw on scientific and stakeholder knowledge to co-create and co-implement research and action.

The SSCP call is co-branded with Future Earth, and the scoping will be led by Belmont Forum member MOST (Ministry of Science and Technology of Chinese Taipei). Part of the development process of a CRA is a series of scoping workshops with funders and experts. Previous scoping workshops for funding agencies and experts have been held that allowed the global community to share their perspectives on how transdisciplinary, transnational approaches can be applied to SSCP, and whether the pandemic has shifted understanding or priorities within SSCP as a focal area. This SRI event will synthesize the information gathered in the previous scoping workshops to begin developing the SSCP call text. It will involve an interactive program to maximize the opportunity for attendee input.