Global Commission on Science Missions for Sustainability

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The Global Commission, comprising over twenty dedicated experts ranging from former ministers and financiers to research leaders and filmmakers, is committed to developing actionable mission-led science pathways in response to existential risks facing humanity and the planet.

Meeting the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and securing a just and sustainable future will depend on a massive mobilization of sustainability science globally.

To rise to the challenge of acting effectively in the face of existential risks, the ISC report Unleashing Science: Delivering Missions for Sustainability developed at the request of the Global Forum of Funders   called for the best of global science to focus on delivering Science Missions in the critical areas of food, energy and climate, health and wellbeing, water, and urban areas.

While science has done a lot to advance the human condition over the last hundred years, science now needs a quantum shift in how it works together with society and policy on the many issues that need to be addressed with urgency. This calls for courage, and it calls for commitment Delivering these missions will require bold and strategic action from a ‘Coalition of the Willing’– including governments, science policymakers, science funders, scientists, philanthropists, the private sector, and civil society.

To identify the most appropriate institutional arrangements and funding mechanisms required to co-construct and deliver on the Science Missions for Sustainability, the International Science Council has established a Global Commission on Science Missions for Sustainability.

The Global Commission is co-chaired by Irina Bokova, former Bulgarian Foreign Minister and Director General of UNESCO, and Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand and previous administrator of the United Nations Development Programme. The Commission is made up of more than twenty committed experts, from former ministers and financiers to research leaders and film makers, and aims to build actionable mission-led pathways in the face of existential risks to humanity. The work of the commission was supported by a Technical Advisory Group (TAG).

The Global Commission and the TAG developed two flagship reports that were launched at the 2023 UN High-level Political Forum and endorsed by the President of the UN General Assembly: 

Science is a critical lever for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. To make the societal transition towards sustainability, we need to unleash the full potential of science. Only an urgent, more ambitious and well-resourced global plan for international, mission-oriented set of scientific initiatives can ensure that science is up to the task to effectively support the Goals of Agenda 2030. And I’m looking forward to working with the members of the Global Commission to undertake this challenging but very critical task.

Irina Bokova, Commission Co-Chair, Former Director-General of UNESCO 

COVID-19 has shown what the science community can do when it comes together and focuses on a mission. We need a mission-led approach to science and to accelerate actionable progress on many aspects of the sustainability agenda. The ISC has understood the need for change, and I am delighted to assist them in the critical endeavour. The global community must work together to support this effort. The ISC has identified a credible path forward: we can make the necessary changes happen. Let’s just get going.

Helen Clark, Commission Co-Chair, Former Prime Minister of New Zealand, and Administrator of UNDP

Co-chairs and members of the Global Commission

Helen Clark

Helen Clark

Former Prime Minister

New Zealand

Helen Clark
Abdulsalam Al-Murshidi

Abdulsalam Al-Murshidi

President

Oman Investment Authority (OIA)

Abdulsalam Al-Murshidi
Dr. Albert van Jaarsveld

Dr. Albert van Jaarsveld

ISC Foundation Fellow (June 2022)

Dr. Albert van Jaarsveld
Beatrice Weder di Mauro

Beatrice Weder di Mauro

President

Centre for Economic Policy Research, CEPR

Beatrice Weder di Mauro
Bernard Sabrier

Bernard Sabrier

Chairman

Unigestion, Switzerland

Bernard Sabrier
Prof. Huadong Guo

Prof. Huadong Guo

ISC Fellow (Dec 2022)

Prof. Huadong Guo
Dr Heide Hackmann

Dr Heide Hackmann

ISC Foundation Fellow (June 2022)

Dr Heide Hackmann
Hiroshi Komiyama

Hiroshi Komiyama

Chairman

Science and Technology in Society (STS forum), Japan

Hiroshi Komiyama
Ismail Serageldin

Ismail Serageldin

Honorary Fellow (Dec 2022)

Ismail Serageldin
Izabella Teixeira

Izabella Teixeira

Former Minister of Environment, co-chair of the International Resource Panel

Brazil

Izabella Teixeira
James Cameron

James Cameron

Filmmaker

Canada

James Cameron
Jeremy Farrar

Jeremy Farrar

Director

Wellcome, UK

Jeremy Farrar
Julie Wrigley

Julie Wrigley

Founding Benefactor and founding co-chair

Global Futures Laboratory, USA

Julie Wrigley
Johan Rockström

Johan Rockström

ISC Foundation Fellow (June 2022)

Johan Rockström
Macharia Kamau

Macharia Kamau

Ambassador and Special Envoy

East Africa Community Facilitator on DRC

Macharia Kamau
Magdalena Skipper

Magdalena Skipper

ISC Foundation Fellow (June 2022)

Magdalena Skipper
Maria Leptin

Maria Leptin

President

European Research Council, Germany

Maria Leptin
Martin Rees

Martin Rees

ISC Fellow (Dec 2022)

Martin Rees
Naledi Pandor

Naledi Pandor

Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

South Africa

Naledi Pandor
Pamela Matson

Pamela Matson

ISC Foundation Fellow (June 2022)

Pamela Matson
Sir Peter Gluckman

Sir Peter Gluckman

President

International Science Council

Sir Peter Gluckman
Sir Thomas Hughes-Hallett

Sir Thomas Hughes-Hallett

Chair of John Innes Centre and Founder Marshall Institute for Philanthropy

London School of Economics, UK

Sir Thomas Hughes-Hallett
Yuan Tseh Lee

Yuan Tseh Lee

ISC Foundation Fellow (June 2022)

Yuan Tseh Lee
Salvatore Aricò

Salvatore Aricò

CEO

International Science Council

Salvatore Aricò

Technical Advisory Group (TAG) of the Global Commission

Pamela Matson

Pamela Matson

ISC Foundation Fellow (June 2022)

Pamela Matson
Dr. Albert van Jaarsveld

Dr. Albert van Jaarsveld

ISC Foundation Fellow (June 2022)

Dr. Albert van Jaarsveld
Dr. Alan Bernstein

Dr. Alan Bernstein

ISC Fellow (Dec 2022)

Dr. Alan Bernstein
Connie Nshemereirwe

Connie Nshemereirwe

ISC Foundation Fellow (June 2022)

Connie Nshemereirwe
Ian Goldin

Ian Goldin

ISC Fellow (Dec 2022)

Ian Goldin
Ingrid Petersson

Ingrid Petersson

Chairperson

Lund University

Ingrid Petersson
Lorrae Van Kerkhoff

Lorrae Van Kerkhoff

Director

Institute for Water Futures

Lorrae Van Kerkhoff
Maria Ivanova

Maria Ivanova

ISC Foundation Fellow (June 2022)

Maria Ivanova
William Clark

William Clark

Harvey Brooks Research Professor

John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

William Clark
Zakri Abdul Hamid

Zakri Abdul Hamid

ISC Foundation Fellow (June 2022)

Zakri Abdul Hamid
Barend Mons

Barend Mons

ISC Fellow (2023)

Barend Mons
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