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Perspectives and Policies to steer science, technology and innovation for the SDGs

Date: Monday 28 February & Tuesday 1 March 2022, 13:00 – 17:00 | Online

In times of unprecedented uncertainty, there is a great need for advice on how to direct research and innovation investments towards sustainable and inclusive solutions. This STRINGS international workshop aims to:

  1. facilitate a dialogue and support constructive discussions between key stakeholders who study or make decisions at the intersection between STI and SDGs;
  2. tackle the complex relations between STI and SDGs;
  3. and ultimately help to improve prioritizations in STI in order to address the SDGs.

Tailored for researchers from various backgrounds interested in the role of STI in achieving the SDGs, policymakers dealing with science and technology decisions, and users of science and technology to achieve the SDGs, the workshop will provide a forum for cutting-edge research findings to be presented and discussed, to help inform and learn from the participants’ work. It will also provide an opportunity to discuss future areas of research that can help users and policy makers to better understand how STI can be used to achieve the SDGs.

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Why this workshop?

The STRINGS final workshop is bringing together researchers, policymakers, funders and civil society to discuss and share experiences on how prioritizations in science, technology and innovation (STI) may need to be revised to better address the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in different contexts, with a focus on low- and middle-income countries. This dialogue will help build a more diverse and concise understanding of the current STI/SDG challenges, aiming to identify what a future STI research and policy agenda would require.

The workshop builds on the STRINGS’s work around the above issues, and the project team will  present the evidence, tools and guidelines produced over the last two years, aiming to empower more effective policy actions as well as more inclusive political and technical debates about the possible roles for STI in meeting the SDGs by 2030, and the ways this might be achieved in different contexts. The speakers together with the workshop participants, will explore the following questions, in four two-hour long sessions, over two days.

  1. Can current science, technology and innovation (STI) pathways lead to sustainable development?
  2. What local and global governance is needed to steer STI for the SDGs?
  3. What STI can lead to a positive impact on SDGs? Under what conditions? In which contexts? With which synergies and trade-offs?
  4. How do we recognise STI impacts on SDGs? Using more inclusive data, tools and methods for research and policy

What will be presented?

  • A sample of local and global perspectives and agendas on STI and the SDGs from different research projects, funders, policy makers, international organisations and NGOs. Please see list of speakers below.
  • STRINGS’ key findings, main messages, and practical actions to steer STI towards the SDGs
  • STRINGS concepts, heuristics and tools to support research prioritisations, funding and evaluation to address sustainable development across contexts

Who will be speaking?

  • Mary Abukutsa-Onyango, Professor of Horticulture and Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research, Production and Extension, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya
  • Saurabh Arora, Senior Lecturer, Technology and Innovation for Development, Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex, UK
  • Valeria Arza, Senior Researcher in Science, Technology and Innovation Policy, National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET-CENIT), Argentina
  • Michael Booth, Joint Head of International Partnerships, UK Research and Innovation, UK
  • Joanna Chataway, Professor and Head of Department of Science Technology, Engineering & Public Policy, University College London, UK
  • Tommaso Ciarli, Senior Researcher, UNU-MERIT, United Nations University, The Netherlands & Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex, UK
  • Pedro Conceição, Director, Human Development Report Office, United Nations Development Programme, USA
  • Hugo Confraria, Postdoctoral Researcher, UECE, ISEG, University of Lisbon & Research Fellow, Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex, UK
  • Bitrina Diyamett, Founding Executive Director, Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Research Organization (STIPRO), Tanzania
  • Tatiana Fernández, Head of Economic Promotion, Ministry of the Economy and Finance, Government of Catalonia, Spain
  • Anil Kumar Gupta, Founder, Honeybee Network, India
  • Glenda Kruss, Executive Head of the Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators (CeSTII), Human Sciences Research Council, South Africa
  • Anabel Marín, Research Fellow, Head, Business, Markets and the State Cluster, Institute of Development Studies, UK
  • María Verónica Moreno, Head of Solutions Mapping, Accelerator Lab, United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Argentina
  • Geoff Mulgan, Professor of Collective Intelligence, Public Policy and Social Innovation, University College London, UK
  • Francisca Mutapi, Professor in Global Health Infection and Immunity, The University of Edinburgh, UK
  • David O’Brien, Senior Program Specialist, International Development Research Centre, Canada
  • Peggy Oti-Boateng, Former Director, Division of Science Policy and Capacity Building;  Senior Science Advisor for Natural Sciences, Office of the ADG/SC, UNESCO Natural Sciences Sector, France
  • John Ouma-Mugabe, Professor of Science and Innovation Policy, University of Pretoria, South Africa
  • Montira Pongsiri, Senior Advisor, Climate Change and Health, Save the Children, USA
  • Ismael Rafols, Senior Researcher, Centre for Science and Technology Studies, Leiden University, The Netherlands
  • Rajeswari Raina, Professor, Department of International Relations and Governance Studies, School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS), Shiv Nadar University, Delhi, India
  • Francisco Sagasti, Senior Affiliated Researcher, Instituto de Estudios Peruanos; Professor, Universidad del Pacífico, Per
  • Ine Steenmans, Lecturer in Futures, Analysis and Policy, University College London, UK
  • Andrew Stirling, Professor of Science & Technology Policy, Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex, UK
  • Aldo Stroebel, Executive Director, Strategy, Planning and Partnerships, National Research Foundation, South Africa
  • Rasheed Sulaiman V, Director, Centre for Research on Innovation and Science Policy, India
  • Wilhemina Quaye, Chief Research Officer, Director, Science and Technology Policy Research Institute, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Ghana

Who should attend?

The workshop will bring together a global multi-stakeholder audience working at the crossroads of STI and sustainable development, from research, policy, civil society and the private sector.

  • Researchers and organisations working on mapping STI in relations to the SDGs, studying specific STI pathways in relation to the SDGs, or collecting data on both STI and the SDGs
  • Funders interested in improving the alignment of their research portfolio to the SDGs
  • International organisations and aid agencies interested in better understanding how to use different forms of STI to address the SDGs
  • NGOs interested in understanding and/or promoting different STI pathways in relation to the SDGs
  • Anyone willing to mobilise efforts and resources for better directing STI towards the support of the SDGs

Why attend?

  • To learn from others’ research findings and experiences that help explain the complex relations between STI and the SDGs
  • To think with key players in research funding, international organizations, aid agencies and NGOs about how to improve decision making in STI investments to better serve the aims of the SDGs
  • To co-design key policy recommendations for steering STI polices for the SDGs
  • To discuss practical advice on how to best adapt data visualisations and mappings of STI related to the SDGs to improve decision making
  • To contribute to a transdisciplinary research agenda to improve understanding of how STI contributes to the SDGs