Programme / Thematic Sessions IV. b. Beyond SDGs - Science for Well-Being

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Day 3

Friday / 22 NOV

17:00 - 18:30

Thematic session:
Thematic Sessions IV. b. Beyond SDGs - Science for Well-Being
Venue: Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Ceremonial Hall

This session focussed on looking beyond the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and whether Agenda 2030 can be reached. SDGs are a broad concept, and at present we are still far away from them rather than beyond. Although it is important to keep a wider perspective, we need to change “business as usual” in order to get there.


The first presenter, Natalie Fomproix, introduced the activities of the International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS) and talked about the interlinkage between well-being and nature. She emphasised that people depend on biodiversity, but climate change is leading to biodiversity loss. She introduced some of the educational activities of IUBS on climate change and biological experimental modules in resource-limited settings. She concluded that science is crucial for human well-being and that science can help us learn to respect nature.


The second presenter, Kinlay Tshering, talked about Bhutan’s innovative agricultural policy for maximising Gross National Happiness (GNH) and societal well-being. She introduced the four pillars and nine domains in place to maximise GNH and emphasised the role of STI. Bhutan is soon graduating from the list of Least Developed Countries. Measures of poverty reduction and food security were discussed.


The third presenter, Koji Saeki, talked about the co-creative activities of the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), beyond SDGs. He mentioned two organisations and various research programmes of JST focussing on science for society. The challenges of extreme weather and disaster risk as well as aging and depopulation were discussed. The importance of engaging diverse stakeholders to solve these challenges was emphasised.


It was reiterated by all of the speakers that human well-being is everyone’s responsibility and that in doing so all (non-human) species on Earth should also be regarded as stakeholders. Coordination, consolidation and collaboration are crucial regarding this. The private sector was urged to take more responsibility and partnership. It was suggested that the world should be viewed as one nation so that no one is left behind.


Rapporteur: Gergely Toldi, Board Member, Hungarian Young Academy