Sustainability Science Forum 2021 - Accelerating Transformation

30.11.2021 | Eventforum Bern | with livestream


09:30 - 17:00


Eventforum Bern
Fabrikstrasse 12
3012 Bern

The Sustainability Research Initiative is creating a yearly event that brings together a community of professionals united by a keen interest – Sustainability Science. The first Sustainability Science Forum focuses on accelerating transformation towards sustainability. Together with research funders and other stakeholders, we will discuss priorities for capitalising on existing knowledge and for addressing key open questions.

Sustainability Science Forum
Image: Hansjakob Fehr, 1kilo

How can scientific contributions more strongly and more directly support accelerating change towards sustainability? We will explore this question in many facets and against the background of the interrelated nature of sustainability crises. Since scientific contributions can take many forms, we will not only ask how to enhance knowledge brokerage and policy advice, but also how to strengthen developing possible pathways for action and opportunities for innovative collaborative research on key open questions, as identified in the white paper Priority Themes for Swiss Sustainability Research of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences.

Go to the livestream


Moderator: Gabriela Wülser, Head of Sustainability Research, SCNAT

09:30 Welcome note by Marcel Tanner, president of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences

09:45 Transformation pathways to sustainability. Keynote by Thomas Vellacott, CEO WWF Switzerland

10:30 Coffee break

11:00 The value of priority themes for institutional agenda setting. With contributions by
Corina Caduff, vice rector for research, Bern University of Applied Sciences
Lutz Merbold, head of strategic division "Agroecology and Environment", Agroscope

11:30 How can we strengthen science for change? Panel discussion with
Stuart Lane, SNSF Research Council member & Professor of Geomorphology, UNIL
Renat Heuberger, Innosuisse Innovation Council member & CEO South Pole Group
Julia Steinberger, Professor of Societal Challenges of Climate Change, UNIL

Moderator: Florian Egli, Energy and Technology Policy Group, ETH Zurich & Swiss Young Academy

12:30 Networking lunch

13:45 Parallel sessions

1. Unleashing knowledge
2. Research for societal transformation
3. The hard problem: Interdependencies between sustainability goals

15:00 Coffee break

15:15 The way forward. Plenary fishbowl discussion

  • What are the big challenges we must address to accelerate societal transformation?
  • How should a flagship funding programme be designed in order to tackle these challenges?

Moderator: Christian Pohl, USYS TdLab, ETH Zurich

16:15 Outlook: Peter Edwards, president of the Sustainability Research Initiative

16:30 Apéro

Participation is free of charge
Please note that a valid Covid Certificate will need to be presented at this event.


  • Interactions


Anja Bretzler
Steering Committee Sustainability Research
House of Academies
PO Box
3001 Bern


Please be aware that a Covid certificate is mandatory at this event

Registration is no longer possible
Languages: English, German, French