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Transformations within reach: join the discussion on moving to a sustainable and equitable new normal beyond COVID-19

Discuss new findings on building a more resilient and more sustainable future for a post-COVID-19 world at this virtual side event on the margins of the UN General Assembly.

Preliminary findings from the  IIASA – ISC Consultative Science Platform: Bouncing Forward Sustainably Post COVID-19 will be presented in an interactive virtual side event taking place between 15:00 – 16:00 CEST on 29 September 2020, on the fringes of the UN General Assembly, and you can register now to join the discussion.


The COVID-19 pandemic has had far-reaching consequences beyond the spread of the virus itself. There have been immediate adverse social and economic effects, including significant increases in people living below the poverty line and the potential for widespread famine. Progress that was being made in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals may fall behind if corrective action is not taken.

Pandemic, climate impacts, systemic inequalities and injustice…the symptoms of a very sick planet are clear for all to see. It’s time to tackle the root causes. There’s no need for continued disruption, but rather to transform the way we decide, produce, consume and share. Join our discussion to find out more about the kind of transformations that are already within reach.

Flavia Schlegel, Special Envoy for Science in Global Policy, International Science Council

This virtual meeting, which is organized by IIASA and the ISC in cooperation with the Permanent Missions of Norway and South Africa to the United Nations, will present key insights and recommendations that have emerged from extensive consultations with the scientific community and which suggest a way to operationalize a sustainable and equitable new normal. It is an opportunity to assess what we have learned from the COVID-19 response and to determine what worked and what did not.

This event will be an opportunity to exchange ideas and share learnings with the following keynote speakers:

Heide Hackmann

Chief Executive Officer of the International Science Council

Albert van Jaarsveld

IIASA Director General

Peter Bakker

President of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development

Leena Shrivastava

IIASA Deputy Director General for Science – as the moderator

Since IIASA and the International Science Council (ISC) launched the IIASA – ISC Consultative Science Platform: Bouncing Forward Sustainably Post COVID-19 initiative in May 2020, the two organizations have drawn on their combined strengths, expertise, and large scientific communities, to come up with a set recommendations. The recommendations draw on insights from a series of online consultations that have brought together over 200 experts from all regions of the world around four key themes:

  • strengthening science systems
  • responsive governance
  • resilient food systems, and
  • sustainable energy,

Reports from the consultative meetings are available on the IIASA website:

The platform is informed and supported by an advisory board under the patronage of the former UN Secretary General, H.E. Ban Ki-moon and the Chair of the Elders H.E. Mary Robinson. Currently, the initiative has the following partners: Ban Ki-moon Center, Future Earth, the Earth League, and the Vienna Energy Forum. 

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