Sunday, February 19, 2017
Exhibit Hall (Hynes Convention Center)
Donovan Guttieres, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
To achieve sustainable development in an increasingly socio-technological world, it cannot proceed arbitrarily - to close the gap between the “world we want” and the world we currently live in - it must be driven by articulated needs and objectives. The science-policy interface (SPI) leverages technical capabilities across the social and natural sciences to steer decision-making, policy design, implementation, and review to achieve the goals outlined in sustainable development frameworks. It further seeks to make appropriate, people-centered, and planet-sensitive use of science, technology, & innovation. While the SPI has become increasingly important in the United Nations system, there is still an urgent need to strengthen it and further integrate societal and practical dimensions. In this space, young scientists and engineers are key to breaking the paradigms perpetuating inequity, as well as bringing technological adeptness to help steer the next era of development. This poster will present the current extent of engaging young practitioners in sustainable development policy at the global level. Notably, it presents engagement through the UN Major Group for Children & Youth (UN MGCY) SPI Platform, with inputs gathered from the Global Young Academy, World Federation of Engineering Organizations, International Council for Science, UNESCO, and more. The poster outlines existing avenues of engagement and recommendations to further enhance spaces for young practitioners in global sustainable development processes. At the policy level, enhancing the SPI is crucial to harness the full potential of science, technology, & innovation, as well as adopt an integrated understanding of technology’s impact on the social, economic, and environmental dimensions of society. The SPI is integral in identify emerging priorities, drawing links between thematic issues, and devising solutions to address barriers to progress. However, extensive efforts are needed to break the silos still existing within both policy and science. An analysis of all major existing science-technology roadmaps and other SPI initiatives within the UN System was done to identify opportunities for coherence and interlinkages amongst these existing frameworks in order to promote shared value rather than redundancy. Recommendations are made on on how to appropriately translate these global frameworks and develop fit-for-purpose science, technology, and innovation roadmaps at the regional, national, and local level, tailored to their socio-cultural characteristics and needs, towards sustainable development.