Organization

Conveners

The mission of Future Earth is to accelerate transformations to global sustainability through research and innovation. To achieve this mission, Future Earth leads activities in four major areas:

  • We facilitate and amplify research
  • We convene and mobilise networks
  • We spark and promote innovation
  • We turn knowledge into action

Our organisation is rooted in the work of 20 Global Research Projects. These networks have a long history, in some cases stretching back decades, of generating research at the forefront of sustainability science. They played a critical role in forming the field of Earth system science – which considers how all of the parts of the planet, including human societies, connect to and shape each other. Our Global Research Projects also led in defining the Anthropocene, a new epoch in the geologic history of Earth marked by the influence of humans on the planet.

Future Earth builds on this scientific legacy to accelerate transformations to sustainability through research and innovation. We are a major international convenor that fosters a culture of an engaged research based on the co-design and co-production of knowledge and tools.

We work to incorporate the latest research findings into government, business and community decisions and policies. We experiment in generating new ideas, innovations, and collaborations. In that vein, we are working with tech companies to develop new approaches to reducing carbon emissions. We also foster networks of early career researchers, practitioners, and other innovators, encouraging new ways of thinking about how sustainability research and practice gets done.

Established in 2009, the Belmont Forum is a partnership of funding organizations, international science councils, and regional consortia committed to the advancement of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary science. Forum operations are guided by the Belmont Challengea vision document that encourages International transdisciplinary research providing knowledge for understanding, mitigating and adapting to global environmental change.

Forum members and partner organizations work collaboratively to meet this Challenge by issuing international calls for proposals, committing to best practices for open data access, and providing transdisciplinary training.

Scientist and stakeholder support is made possible through Collaborative Research Actions (CRAs), which are the Forum equivalent of a call for proposals.  In its first five years of operation, the Forum successfully led seven calls for proposals, supporting 48 projects and more than 450 scientists and stakeholders, representing over 35 countries on 6 continents.  Themes addressed by CRAs have included Freshwater SecurityCoastal VulnerabilityFood Security and Land Use ChangeClimate Predictability and Inter-Regional Linkages, Biodiversity and Ecosystem ServicesArctic Observing and Science for Sustainability, and Mountains as Sentinels of Change. New themes are developed through a scoping process and made available for proposals through the Belmont Forum website and its Grant Operations page.

Future Earth Australia is a national peak initiative that enables Australian scientists, governments, industry and NGOs to collaborate both with each other and with international networks and programs across Australia.

We envision Australia and its people thriving in, and contributing to, a sustainable and equitable world. We achieve this by coordinating, enabling, performing, and promoting research and practice to address the sustainability challenges facing Australia, our regional neighbours, and the rest of the world.

Hosting Consortium 

Leads

Future Earth Australia

Future Earth Australia is a national peak initiative that enables Australian researchers, governments, industry and NGOs to collaborate with each other and with international networks and programs across Australia and Oceania.

Queensland Chief Scientist

The Queensland Chief Scientist serves as the ambassador for Queensland science. The Chief Scientist fosters cooperation and collaboration amongst the government, research, industry and community sectors, raises Queensland’s profile as a smart region characterised by world class research and investment opportunities and engages the community in better understanding the importance of science, research and innovation in the state’s future economic, social and environmental wellbeing.

Consortium Members

CSIRO

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is Australia’s national science research agency. The CSIRO is tasked with carrying out scientific research to assist Australian industry, further the Australian community, contribute to the achievement of Australian national objectives and encourage the application of results of the CSIRO’s research.

The University of Queensland

The University of Queensland is one of Australia’s leading research and teaching institutions. UQ is one of three Australian members of the global Universitas21, a founding member of the Group of Eight and a member of Universities Australia.

James Cook University

James Cook University is a world class university with a strategic focus on the Tropics. JCU is ranked in the top 2% of universities worldwide, and has campuses in Townsville, Cairns, Mackay, Thursday Island, Mount Isa, Brisbane and Singapore.

Queensland University of Technology

Queensland University of Technology is one of Australia’s fastest growing research universities, with a focus on collaboration and interdisciplinary research.

The University of the Sunshine Coast

The University of the Sunshine Coast is one of Australia’s highest-ranking public universities for teaching quality, student experience and skills development. Research efforts at USC are broad and varied, with regionally significant themes of sustainability, aquaculture and forestry playing central roles.

Griffith University

Griffith University is a comprehensive, research-intensive university which ranks in the top 2% of universities worldwide. Griffith University is deeply connected to the Asian region, has a strong focus on social and environmental awareness and has a focus on industry.

Committees

Executive Committee

  • Erica Key, Executive Director, Belmont Forum
  • Josh Tewksbury, Director, Future Earth USA
  • Tayanah O’Donnell, Director, Future Earth Australia
  • Paul Bertsch, Queensland Chief Scientist

Program Committee

  • Co-Chair: Makyba Charles-Ayinde, Science & Technology Policy Fellow, AAAS STPF
  • Co-Chair: Veera Mitzner, Network Lead, Future Earth
  • Shereen Zorba, Head of the Secretariat of the UN Science-Policy-Business Forum on the Environment, UN Environment
  • Meriem Bouamrane, Program Specialist, UNESCO
  • Jean-Paul Moatti, President and General Director, IRD
  • Jessica Hellmann, Professor of Ecology and the Director of the Institute on the Environment, University of Minnesota
  • Mark Stafford-Smith, Chair of Science Committee for Future Earth, CSIRO
  • Mathieu Denis, Science Director, ISC
  • Chris Cvitanovic, Researcher, Australian National University
  • Zarina Patel, Senior Lecturer, University of Capetown

Local Organizing Committee

  • Paul Bertsch, Queensland Chief Scientist
  • Tayanah O’Donnell, Future Earth Australia
  • Chris Cocklin, Provost, James Cook University
  • Martin Nakata, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Indigenous Education and Strategy), James Cook University
  • Mark Stafford-Smith, Honorary Fellow, CSIRO
  • Belinda Wade, School of Business, University of Queensland
  • Jim Walker, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit, University of Queensland
  • Grant Hamilton, Science and Engineering Faculty, Queensland University of Technology
  • Tan Yigitcanlar, Science and Engineering Faculty, Queensland University of Technology
  • Stuart Bunn, Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University
  • Brendan Mackey, Griffith Climate Change Response Program, Griffith University
  • Johanna Nalau, Cities Research Institute, Griffith University