Future Secretariat: an innovation research coordination and governance structure

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Dennis S Ojima, Colorado State University, Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, Fort Collins, CO, United States, Rockstrom Johan, Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden, Wolfgang Cramer, Institut Méditerranéen de Biodiversité et d’Ecologie marine et continentale (IMBE), Aix-en-Provence, France, Kensuke Fukushi, University of Tokyo, Integrated Research System for Sustainability Science (IR3S), Tokyo, Japan and Stephanie Allard, Montreal International, Intern ational Organizations, Montreal, QC, Canada
Future Earth, an emerging global sustainability research program, will be managed by a novel, internationally distributed secretariat spanning the globe and providing a platform for co-design, co-production, and co-delivery of knowledge to support research on the earth system, global development and transformation toward sustainability. The Future Earth secretariat has an innovative structure consisting of five global hubs functioning as a single entity; these hubs are located in Canada, Japan, France, Sweden, and the United States. The secretariat’s reach is extended through a set of regional hubs covering Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and Asia, with the potential to expand to additional areas. This secretariat will operate under the auspices of the Future Earth Governing Council

The Future Earth Secretariat will support and enable the implementation of knowledge-sharing between research and stakeholder communities to enable society to cope with and to alter global environmental trends, and to transition society toward sustainability. The secretariat will provide coordination support to over 25 global environmental core projects and committees; coordinate scientific work across the whole Future Earth agenda; develop and implement innovative mechanisms for bottom-up inputs, synthesis and integration. Future Earth, as a research program, aims to support global transformations toward sustainability through partnerships among scientific and stakeholder communities worldwide. It brings together existing international environmental research core projects associated with DIVERSITAS, the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme, the International Human Dimensions Programme, and the World Climate Research Programme—to support coordinated, interdisciplinary research that can be used by decision makers seeking to reduce their impact and provide more sustainable products and services. USGCRP partners with Future Earth through scientific participation in and annual funding for its constituent programs.