Announcement: CSIRO Sustainability Science Symposium. 12-13 March 2024, QT, Canberra, Australia

November 22nd, 2023

This Sustainability Science Symposium will showcase some of the early research findings of the VS FSP and related research from Australia and around the world. It will provide opportunities to engage with leading national and international researchers and practitioners working in transdisciplinary sustainability science, and the next generations of leaders in this space from CSIRO and beyond.

CSIRO’s investment in cutting edge science through the Valuing Sustainability Future Science Platform (VS FSP) reflects a growing interest in systemic approaches to driving sustainability outcomes with and for regional Australia. It is focussed on sharing responsibility to value sustainability. It spans the science of developing new ways to work together (the how) to drive systemic changes that benefit people, planet and profitability (the what).

As we near the half-way mark of the critical decade, the imperative to address sustainability challenges is intensifying across business, government and civil society. The global Sustainable Development Goals remain distant, climate change impacts are intensifying, biodiversity loss continues, while greenhouse emissions continue to rise. Instability in society, ecological systems, food systems, geo-politics and trade create new threats as well as opportunities.

With diverse goals and drivers of change, a major science challenge is to span across and beyond disciplines to advance multiple outcomes that reflect what our society values. For example:

  • How can we build resilience to a changing climate at the same time as undergoing a transition to a low greenhouse gas economy?
  • How do we create vibrant industries, attractive jobs and relevant skills in our regions through this transition?
  • How do we boost agricultural outputs and catalyse ways to reverse the decline in biodiversity?
  • How can we ensure that private investment in nature-based solutions offer a path to achieve the environmental outcomes aligned with the values of society?
  • How do we ensure the measures of change used to monitor and evaluate our progress can also drive investment and innovation that leads to desirable outcomes?

The VS FSP is developing and testing new approaches to partnership, while building new measures and methods to value sustainability outcomes. Our research spans the development of engagement processes that build trust and legitimacy, while supporting the development of credible new measures that reflect what people value.

Attendance at this 2-day symposium is by invitation and numbers are limited. If you would like to express interest in attending please read the symposium overview above and briefly let us know why you are interested in attending/contributing via email.

Day 1 – Sustainability Science

Day 1 will open up our VS FSP portfolio and dive into key conversation around the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ of our research. Participants will hear from our research teams and other leading Australian and international research about the key directions and early findings of our work. We will engage in discussion about alignments and options for this work going forward.

Day 2 – Towards a future for transdisciplinary future

Day 2 will invite participants into a deeper discussion about our efforts to share responsibility for valuing sustainability. Through workshops and panel discussions we will use the VS FSP’s portfolio of projects as a starting point for shared learning with participants. These project span disciplines from economics and social sciences, to ecology and soil science. They work across agriculture, fisheries, mining, and with many groups from investors, to policy professionals, to regional and Indigenous communities. They have something in common – they explore how our science can effectively drive sustainability outcomes.