A global invitation to transform the future through Science Missions for Sustainability

The International Science Council and its Global Commission on Science Missions for Sustainability proudly announce the launch of the Science Missions for Sustainability Global Call. Consortia are invited to submit pilot proposals to become part of the transformative collective action to shape the future of science and humanity.

A global invitation to transform the future through Science Missions for Sustainability

In an era where the urgency for sustainable solutions has never been more critical, the International Science Council (ISC) announces a pioneering initiative to redefine the landscape of sustainability science. As we navigate through the second half of the 2030 Agenda, the call to action is clear and compelling with the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, urging for a concerted effort to ensure the Sustainable Development Goals are back on track.

It is time for a bold, collective leap forward, leveraging science for the monumental task of sustainable societal transformation.

Announcing the Global Call for Science Missions for Sustainability

Echoing the collaborative spirit and scale of endeavors like CERN in basic science, the ISC is spearheading the “big science approach” to confront the pressing existential risks of our time. This initiative is especially focused on regions bearing the brunt of global challenges, where SDG progress is lagging.

The landmark report by the ISC’s Global Commission on Science Missions for Sustainability, “Flipping the Science Model: A Roadmap to Science Missions for Sustainability,” presented at the 2023 UN High-Level Political Forum, lays the foundation for this ambitious venture. It proposes a radical shift towards a collaborative model where science, policy, and society converge to generate actionable, integrated solutions to humanity’s most pressing issues.

The myriad issues stemming from unsustainable development necessitate collaboration among the scientific community, funders, policymakers, tech firms, and philanthropists. The proposed science missions for sustainability are a game-changer in the way science is implemented – translating knowledge into actionable solutions. Join this crucial initiative to make a difference and help achieve a sustainable future.”

Salvatore Aricò – Chief Executive Officer, International Science Council

A Call to Action: Pilot Missions and Visionary Funding

The ISC, in collaboration with the Global Commission, is actively seeking innovative, diverse consortia to co-design and lead Science Missions aimed at addressing sustainability challenges. This global call invites up to five Pilot Missions to test and refine this transformative model, setting a precedent for future expansion and adaptation.

These Pilot Missions are envisioned as beacons of transdisciplinary collaboration, accelerating progress towards the SDGs and catalyzing a shift towards sustainable societal models.

It is widely recognized that science plays a crucial role in advancing sustainable development goals. However, the timeframe leading up to 2030 requires decisive leadership and coordinated efforts that prioritize critical areas for achieving these goals while leveraging the latest scientific advancements. The scientific missions initiated by the ISC aim to identify and swiftly implement collective actions to maximize the benefits of science within this timeframe, responding to the pressing urgency of the situation”.

Ambassador Macharia Kamau, Kenya, Chair of the Oversight Committee and member of the Global Commission on Science Missions for Sustainability

Participation and Funding: A Collaborative Endeavor

This initiative welcomes consortia comprising scientists, scientific organizations, policymakers, NGOs, communities, and the private sector, all united by the common goal of forging sustainable futures. While the call is open globally, there is a strong emphasis on encouraging applications from the Global South, recognizing the critical need for solutions in these regions.

Achieving the ambitious goals of Science Missions requires substantial funding and the ISC is committed to fostering strategic partnerships across funding sectors, aiming to pool resources for maximum impact. The initial phase seeks to secure up to $250,000 per Pilot Mission for an 18-month co-design period, with the ultimate goal of obtaining full funding for mission implementation.

“We in the scientific community need to act courageously to tackle global challenges head-on. The ISC’s Science Missions for Sustainability is a bold and novel initiative that unites science, policy, and society for a sustainable and equitable future. As Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences of UNESCO, it’s an honour to be part of this global effort!”

Gabriela Ramos – Member of the Global Call’s Oversight Committee

Join Us in Shaping the Future

The ISC’s call represents a unique opportunity for visionary funders, innovative scientists, and committed partners to come together in a concerted effort to address the planet’s most complex sustainability challenges. With a deadline for expressions of interest set for 31 May 00:00 UTC, the time to act is now.

For more detailed information on the call, application and selection processes please refer to the linked PDF document below.

This initiative stands as a testament to the power of collective action and the pivotal role of science in steering humanity towards a sustainable future. Join us in this groundbreaking endeavor to co-design the future of sustainability science.

Global Call for piloting Science Missions for Sustainability

The goal of this Global Call is to choose up to five Pilot Missions to test the proposed model, thoroughly examining their execution, outcomes, and impact. Successful Pilots will set the stage for adapting and expanding the model.


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