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.
Altus Impact led session at the International Conference for Research and Development in Bern, Switzerland in September 2017. Two Altus partners 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?"
The session included 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.
The Altus Impact session was well-attended and lessons learnt have been captured in an article.