Altus Impact had a busy week at the International Conference for Research and Development in Bern, Switzerland in September 2017.
Vanja and Jesse convened a rich discussion on "How to Build Transformational Partnerships in a world of conflicting priorities when Scientists are from Mars, Policymakers are from Venus?"
Abstract: In a world of 7.4 billion humans and counting, sustainable development is about understanding and managing tradeoffs between economic, socio-cultural, and environmental goals. Thus, ‘success’ in sustainable development requires partnerships between scientists, whom produce understanding about people and the natural world, and policymakers & private sector managers, whom are best placed to know on-the-ground priorities and social, political, and cultural frameworks. However, partnerships between scientists and policymakers & the private sector can be fraught with difficulty. Obstacles include speaking different ‘languages’ – e.g. the language of scientific jargon vs. the language of politics or dollars – as well as having widely divergent outcome and implementation priorities. The session include reflections and contemporary best practices looking at how to bridge this science-policy gap in sustainable development and environmental conservation. With panelists from the academic, non-governmental and corporate sectors, the session provide a roadmap to designing transformational partnerships in sustainable development by focusing on creating long-term, participatory processes.
Speakers included Alexandra Boethius, Co-founder of the Impact Hub Geneva; Iggy Bassi, CEO of CERVEST; Daan Groot, CEO of Nature squared; and Dr. Eric Abitbol, Senior consultant in conflict transformation, sustainability and dialogue at Universalia.
It was a well-attended session! We are working on doing a small article with the main lessons from the session.
Vanja also had the opportunity to present a study on full-sun versus shade-grown cocoa systems in Ghana, at a session organised by the Swiss Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL, on organic farming and agroforestry systems.