At a time when scientific evidence indicates that humanity has pushed the Earth system close to the limits of planetary boundaries, many worry that the current trajectory, if unchecked, could lead to a future of extreme global humanitarian crises. Future growth and effective risk management in an increasingly interconnected world will require an overhaul of the economic system.
In the lead-up to the Rio + 20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, leading scientists will meet at a forum to explore the role of science and innovation as a drivers of the transformation to a more sustainable economy.
The five-day forum, organized by the International Council for Science, will bring together leading experts in a wide range of disciplines and sectors, and explore pathways towards a greener, more equitable economy.
Discussion will focus on a series of cross-cutting themes which pose the greatest challenges to the planet's carrying capacity: how to secure food and water supplies for a growing global population, how to provide energy in a green economy, how to adapt to a world of greater risk from climate change and disaster, how to ensure urban wellbeing and sustainable livelihoods which are more equitable and how to rethink social and economic models.