The next Sustainability Research & Innovation Congress in 2022 will be held in Pretoria, South Africa, hosted by the Future Africa Institute at the University of Pretoria.
South Africa has long been a leader on the African continent and around the globe for sustainability science and innovation as well as participatory approaches to action research.
The country boasts an exceptional network of universities working at the forefront of resilience and has strong ties to private sector and industry research that is moving new green ideas to market, building innovation capacity and providing sustainability career opportunities to meet Africa’s Agenda 2063.
It is also home to civil society and hybrid organizations that co-manage South Africa’s natural resources together with local experts, traditional knowledge holders, and both local to regional government representatives.
“We are pleased to pass the baton on to our friends in South Africa at Future Africa,” said Tayanah O’Donnell, Executive Director at Future Earth Australia. “It has been an honor to be part of the organizing committee for the inaugural event and we greatly look forward to watching the SRI Congress continue to grow and develop in the years to come.”
The University of Pretoria has recognized the need for inter- and transdisciplinary research and has over time invested in the creation of many inter- and transdisciplinary research collaborations in the form of cross-cutting research themes, institutes, centers and programs.
The Future Africa Institute is an initiative by the University of Pretoria to develop innovative transdisciplinary skills transfer programs to address Africa’s growth and development challenges. This major investment (US $23 million just in infrastructure from 2014 onward) from the University of Pretoria provides advanced facilities and capacity for developing problem-oriented, interconnected and Pan-African research networks for innovation.
“No matter the policy, the business, the social aspiration, the opportunities, no matter what, the future of our planet must rely on sustainable approaches,” said Professor Cheikh Mbow, Director of Future Africa.
“Sustainability Research in Innovation is not an option, but a requirement for just, equitable and low carbon development. Each context matters, and the Future Africa Institute at the University of Pretoria is very pleased to host SRI2022 to emphasize the global nature of genuine sustainable development pathways.”
From Future Africa’s perspective, research specific transdisciplinarity integrates perspectives across academic disciplines, scales and sectors, understanding that linear thinking will not create the most effective solutions to global challenges.
SRI2022 will actively promote a future-oriented perspective on skills development to produce a new generation of transformation-minded innovators and leaders.