TUESDAY AUGUST 31 | Foresight and Resilience: From SDGs to Emerging Technologies 

Long before Covid-19 changed our lives and livelihoods, the challenges of unexamined digitalisation, climate chaos and biodiversity loss, to name a few, posed significant collective risks. Their drivers are multiple, interacting, and now entangled with pandemic effects. So too are their impacts. How can science advice help to ensure preparedness – not just for crises, but for all of the societal transitions that sustainable development demands? Is a new kind of science advice needed?

The session times below are displayed in Eastern Daylight Time (Montreal Time)

8:45 │ Plenary: Fast and Fair Societal Transformation: The role of social science and humanities in science advice on our shared challenges

8:45 – 9:30

This plenary will explore new types of science advice and how it can be utilised by policymakers to address the societal elements of our sustainability challenges. How can knowledge from the social sciences and humanities complement technological and physical scientific advice, and what happens when they challenge one another? It is also an opportunity to address the different types of social science that contribute to solutions from different perspectives.


Jean Lebel
– President, International Development Research Centre (IRDC), Canada
Elizabeth Jelin
– Senior Researcher at Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas of Argentina (CONICET)
Montira Pongsiri
Advisor, Climate Change and Health at Save the Children; Member, INGSA South-East Asia Science Advice Network (SEA SAN), Thailand
Ilona Otto
– Professor of Societal Impact of Climate Change, Wegener Center for Climate and Global Change, University of Graz, Austria
Steven Hoffman
– Director, Global Strategy Lab; Scientific Director, CIHR Institute of Population and Public Health, Canada

9:30 | PAUSE

9:45 │ Panel: Interrogating Foresight: the role of anticipatory analysis in science advice and how to do it well

9:45 – 10:30

The concept of ‘foresight’ has been in and out of fashion with governments for decades, and the science community has been calling attention to long-term issues for even longer. Yet, the world was still unprepared for COVID-19 in the same way that we will be surprised when the impact of climate change and other SDG challenges begin to accelerate through cumulative impact cycles. Why do successive governments fail to act? Does science advice have a role in accelerating a meaningful anticipatory response to long-term systemic issues?


Kristel Van der Elst
– Director General, Policy Horizons Canada
Jeanette Kwek
– Head, Centre for Strategic Futures, Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore
Claire A. Nelson
– Futurist and Sustainability Engineer; Chief Ideation Leader, The Futures Forum, United States
Martin Müller
– Executive Director Academic Forum, Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator (GESDA), Switzerland
Francisco Sagasti
– Former President of the Republic of Peru

Studio Session │ Panel: Science advice for complex risk assessment: dealing with complex, new, and interacting threats

Complex risk assessment is one of the fastest growing areas for which governments seek advice, yet there are no standard approaches. Identifiable megatrends such as climate change, digitalisation and changing demographics are increasingly better understood, but their interaction, their interacting sub-processes and the layers of vulnerability that they create expose risks of a different order. How should science advice respond?


Eeva Hellström
– Senior Lead, Strategy and Foresight, Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, Finland
Albert van Jaarsveld
– Director General and Chief Executive Officer, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Austria
Abdoulaye Gounou
– Head, Benin’s Office for the Evaluation of Public Policies and Analysis of Government Action
Catherine Mei Ling Wong
– Sociologist, LRF Institute for the Public Understanding of Risk, National University of Singapore
Andria Grosvenor
– Deputy Executive Director (Ag), Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, Barbados

10:30 | PAUSE

10:45 │ INGSA Horizon Stage – Mami Mizutori (UNDRR)

10:45 – 11:30

Collective resilience can be considered the capacity of a community or society to rebound after adversity. Yet as the world faces increasing natural and climatic threats, the resilience of all communities is being put to the test. Both the Global South and Global North are facing regularly record-breaking floods, fires and droughts. The challenges to our collective resilience are increasingly complex and are affecting greater numbers of people. Building resilience and reducing disaster risks must be based on equity informed by science, and go hand-in-hand with achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  Yet we’re less than 10 years away from the deadline set down for 2030.

Mami Miztori is the head of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and a Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) and she joins INGSA2021 to discuss the role that evidence and policy have in protecting our common future.


Robin Grimes
– UK Ministry of Defence Nuclear Chief Scientific Adviser
Mami Mizutori
– Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, Japan

Studio Session │ Panel: Science advice experiences from Next Generation Researcher groups

A wide range of perspectives and expertise are necessary as we tackle the global challenges of tomorrow. Among these perspectives are those of next generation researchers (NGRs), whose unique experiences can help tackle the issues of today, while keeping an eye on the future. This session brings together speakers from six NGRs groups: Canadian Commission for UNESCO’s Youth Advisory Group, Québec’s Chief Scientist’s Intersectoral Student Committee, Canada’s Chief Science Advisor’s Youth Council, the Global Young Academy, the Toronto Science Policy Network, and Science & Policy Exchange. The panel will highlight the strengths of different advisory structures, and provide recommendations to institutions on how to include NGR voices in their decision-making processes.


Vanessa Sung
– Policy Advisor, Office of the Chief Science Advisor of Canada; former President and Internal Director of Science & Policy Exchange
Arthi Ramachandran
– Canadian Commission for UNESCO Youth Advisory Group member, Science & Policy Exchange alumna
Josée Maurais
– Vice-president, Québec’s Chief Scientist’s Intersectoral Student Committee
Madison Rilling
– Director Talent & Outreach, Optonique, Québec, Canada
Binyam Sisay Mendisu
– Program Officer, UNESCO-International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa; Member of the Global Young Academy; Research Associate, INGSA, Ethiopia
Sivani Baskaran
– President, Toronto Science Policy Network, Canada

11:30 | LUNCH

12:15 │ Panel: Cities as solutions

12:15 – 13:00

Cities are increasingly the key implementer of international, national, and local policy. They are where policy and theory intersect directly with people’s lives. This panel will explore the challenges encountered, and the practical solutions deployed, at the ‘pointy end’ of the Sustainable Development Goals, for example to fight against climate change. Is science advice sufficiently vertically integrated to truly “think globally and act locally”?


Anna Davies
– Professor and Chair of Geography, Environment & Society at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
Edgar Pieterse
– Director, African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Alice Charles
– Project Lead, Cities, Infrastructure and Urban Services Platform, World Economic Forum Geneva, Switzerland
John Mauro
– City Manager for the City of Port Townsend, Washington, United States
Marie-Christine Therrien
– Director, Cité-ID LivingLab, Québec, Canada

Studio Session │ Innovations in Science Advice – Science Diplomacy driving evidence for policymaking

For the first time, INGSA is delighted to present a curated collection of today’s most innovative and compelling new models and practices at the science/policy interface. Don’t miss any of these snapshots for state-of-the-art insights on what works today and what’s coming next!


Mehrdad Hariri
– CEO and President of the Canadian Science Policy Centre, Canada
Primal Silva
– Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s Chief Science Operating Officer, Canada
Zakri bin Abdul Hamid
– Chair of the South-East Asia Science Advice Network (SEA SAN); Pro-Chancellor of Multimedia University in Malaysia 
Christian Arnault Emini
– Senior Economic Adviser to the Prime Minister’s Office in Cameroon
Florence Gauzy Krieger and Sebastian Goers
– RLS-Sciences Network
Elke Dall and Angela Schindler-Daniels
– European Union Science Diplomacy Alliance
Alexis Roig
– CEO, SciTech DiploHub – Barcelona Science and Technology Diplomacy Hub, Spain

13:00 | PAUSE

13:15 │ Plenary: Inside and outside science advice: aligning politics and publics around evidence

13:15 – 14:00

This plenary will explore the need for science advice to effectively engage publics as much as policy makers and politicians. For policy issues to gain traction with politicians, a public swell of support is often needed.  How can science advice work both inside and outside of these contexts, to build as well as maintain trust and legitimacy on all sides? What are the chains of trust within the system and how can they function when transparency is not possible? What successful examples can we learn from?


 Sujatha Raman
– Director of Research, Centre for the Public Awareness of Science (CPAS), Australian National University
Gabriela Ramos
– Assistant Director-General, Social and Human Sciences, UNESCO, France
Frederic Bouchard
– Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences,
Université de Montréal, Québec, Canada
James Wilsdon
– Digital Science Professor of Research Policy at the University of Sheffield and Director of the Research on Research Institute (RoRI), United Kingdom
Martha Delgado Peralta
– Vice Minister of Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights, Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Organised by

Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ)

International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA)

Government of Canada

INGSA operates under the auspices of the International Science Council

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