Sustainability

A Nexus Approach: Enabling Self-Sustained Communities in Food, Water and Energy

Background There have been significant attempts for sustainable transformation of food systems (e.g. hydroponics), water systems (e.g. recycling) and energy systems (e.g. renewables). In these sectoral approaches, the interlinkages between the three systems are often overlooked. The interlinkages provide opportunities, and challenges, for simultaneous progress on various SDGs and for delivering cross-sectoral transformative impacts. Our lab will identify socio-technical innovations that maximise synergies and minimise trade-offs across the three systems for their sustainable transformation. The scope of analysis will be our university campus: what circular systems need to be established on the campus, and what fundamental changes in practices need to occur, in order to close the loops across the...

Transformation Beyond Consumerism

Sustainability at the global scale requires transformation beyond contemporary notions of consumerism and the design and diffusion of post-consumerist lifestyles. The proposed SDG Lab is conceived to support SDG #12 Responsible Consumption and Production and seeks to identify through a collaborative and co-designed process a program of research and engagement centered on incipient elements of new lifestyle preferences and priorities in several countries of the global North and South (current institutional arrangements focus on Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Indonesia, and the United States–though this may expand over time). The SDG Lab is meant to facilitate discussions that begin to better understand how incipient practices are developing in different locales into increasingly...

Immersive science for the SDGs

Background For large-scale societal transformation to sustainability worldviews must change from insular and nationalistic to cosmopolitan and global. People need to reconnect to Earth’s biosphere and one another. Immersive experiences, for example new developments in virtual reality and augmented reality, can leaving deep impressions, create new connections and fill an empathy gap. In addition, in a post truth society where science, the scientific method and facts established beyond dispute within science are dismissed as opinion by politicians and advocates we need to find new ways to connect people to science and instil a fact-based worldview. This is another non-negotiable for transformation to meet the SDGs.   References See Stanford Virtual...

Urban Eco Labs

BACKGROUND By 2030 more than 60% of the world population is expected to live in cities (UN, 1997). Increasing population density makes cities the centres of demand for ecosystem services. In a study of the 29 largest cities in the Baltic Sea region, it was estimated that the cities claimed ecosystem support areas at least 500-1000 times larger than the area of the cities themselves (Folke et al., 1997). A liveable city should therefore be based on an ecological concept that protects and makes use of natural resources in and around the city centre that provide ecosystem services. By viewing the city as an ecosystem itself, balancing out the urban...

Back to a local food system

Life in the cities has led to a progressive disconnection with the countryside and its resources. People in cities developed a detached relation with food, seen as one of the many goods that can be bought in shops. Recently there is a growing interest in producing and buying organic and low impact food, but the globalised market makes it more expensive and less convenient. A change in habits and in the market itself is needed to make food consumption more local, seasonal, careful, healthy and sustainable. Describe the co-design process and the intended participants. What sectors or groups do they represent and why are they invited? The lab will be...

Mainstreaming resilience into climate change adaptation and disaster risk planning.

BACKGROUND Traditional (comprehensive/rational) planning processes are fundamentally incapable of effectively dealing with climate change-related hazards and natural disasters. We are interested in developing a practical and user-friendly planning toolkit/approach which will enable policy-makers to develop adaptive capacity and build resilience against climate change-related impacts. Most notably, SDG 11 and SDG 13 are adversely affected by poor planning processes related to climate change adaptation, disaster risk management, and urban planning.

Enhancing Planetary Health to meet the SDGs: Integrating Indigenous and Local Knowledge in human health decision-making and planning in Fiji

BACKGROUND The proposed lab aims to co-identify the various socio-ecological transitions (e.g., changes to governance arrangements, need for new data and capacity building, integration customary decision-making into national policies) and co-develop a priority sub-set of associated strategies that will be required to facilitate social transformations within human health planning and decision-making that integrates Indigenous and local knowledge (ILK) in meeting the Sustainable Development Goal 3 (i.e., SDG 3-Human Health). Adopting systems thinking, the lab will take into consideration synergies with other SDGs (e.g., land, water, climate change, partnerships) and local sustainability goals . This lab will provide the first opportunity within human health in the Pacific Islands where we explore...

Implementing the South African National Development Plan’s sustainability transition through the domestication of the SDGs

BACKGROUND The South Africa Future Earth SDG Lab will focus on SDGs12 and 15, a concept co-designed by researchers and policy makers to create a common understanding of the sustainability transition implied by the National Development Plan’s (NDP) 2030 vision of a “transition to an environmentally sustainable, climate change resilient, low-carbon economy and just society” AND to enhance South Africa’s implementation of this sustainability transition and its contribution to the global transition required by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the domestication of the SDGs and associated domestic indicators. AIM The South Africa Future Earth SDG Lab will focus on SDGs12 and 15, a concept co-designed by researchers and policy...

Visualizing and Connecting Seeds of a Good Anthropocence

BACKGROUND Most news and discussions emphasis problems and challenge. We aim to highlight globally diverse solutions to encourage people to act to create a more sustainable future. We are interested in making people aware of diverse projects, initiatives, and creations that have managed to transform people’s connections with each other and ecosystems to simultaneously meet multiple SDGs.

Arts & Crafts Panarchy Power

ABOUT Rural communities are lagging behind developments in cities. Major problems in rural communities in the developed and developing world are population decline and demographic change, educational deficit and lagging innovation in (small) enterprises. This together results in low employment opportunities for local people and declining self-esteem. This lab will solve the problem of educational deficit and lack of innovation in SME’s in rural areas which will eventually result in rural areas which are a better place to live and work. This lab will address transformation topics: “short-food- supply chains” which will enhance connectivity between urban consumer and rural farmer and “traditional biobased materials, new applications” which will address the...

Collaborative design of an interdisciplinary collaboration platform to advance sustainability

BACKGROUND Greater progress in sustainability requires more open knowledge systems and improved tools for collaborating across disciplines and social barriers. In this lab, participants from diverse disciplines develop the design of a digital collaboration platform for sustainability – a shared space for connecting research with education and knowledge with action. The platform is based on a meta-framework of sustainability which visualises relationships among nature, society and the built environment across scales. It provides a common framework to build a connected community and transform how we think, communicate and collaborate on sustainability.   AIMS Recent advances in theory and digital technology converge towards clearer thinking and communication on sustainability. Combining these,...