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SRI 2021: Showing leadership in sustainability science – Lessons from the Global South and beyond the academy

15th June 2021 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am

The upcoming 2021 Sustainability Research & Innovation Congress (SRI) is hosting a session on leadership in sustainability science, narrowing in on what lessons can be drawn from the Global South. Among the session’s speakers are two STEPS Centre colleagues: D. Parthasarathy, co project leader of the TAPESTRY Project, and Joanes Atela of the STEPS Africa Sustainability Hub.

The event will commence Tuesday 15 June 10:00 – 11:00 AM GMT +1 / 4:00 – 5:00 AM CT/CDT


  • Anupama Nair
  • Joanes Atela
  • Deborah Darko
  • Sylvia Croese
  • Gladman Thondhlana
  • D. Parthasarathy
  • Sarah Moore
  • Katsia Paulavets


This session will facilitate learning from experience in the leadership of international sustainability research from the Global South.

International research initiatives on and for sustainability are multiplying, in response to the growing recognition of the global, interconnected nature of the challenges of sustainability. There is simultaneously an increasing demand for sustainability research to be done in collaboration with stakeholders or members of society concerned by specific problems (in configurations called ‘transdisciplinary research’), to increase the legitimacy and relevance of the research as well as the likelihood of its eventual uptake into policy and action.

These new demands give rise to a number of questions: What are the unique benefits of sustainability research designed and led from the Global South, and/or with societal stakeholders? What are the experiences of Global South and non-academic researchers with leading roles in international, transdisciplinary research for sustainability? What have the academic establishment got to learn from the Global South and non-academics about doing research for sustainability? How can research funders avoid inadvertently perpetuating inequalities and inequities in the global science system?

The discussion will be kicked off by a representatives of international research teams in two pioneering research programmes of the International Science Council: Leading Integrated Research for Agenda 2030 in Africa (LIRA 2030) and the Transformations to Sustainability (T2S) programme (a joint programme with the Belmont Forum and NORFACE). The audience will be invited to share their own reflections on experiences of leadership or participation in international or national research initiatives.

The outcome of the session will be a rich collection of insights and suggestions for models for more progressive and inclusive organization and funding of internationally collaborative science for sustainability.

Visit the session page


15th June 2021
10:00 am - 11:00 am
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