Who we are

Future Earth is a major international research platform providing the knowledge and support to accelerate transformations to a sustainable world.Launched in 2015, Future Earth is a 10-year initiative to advance Global Sustainability Science, build capacity in this rapidly expanding area of research and provide an international research agenda to guide natural and social scientists working around the world. But it is also a platform for international engagement to ensure that knowledge is generated in partnership with society and users of science. We are closely engaged in international processes such as the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and climate and biodiversity agreements (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention on Biological Diversity).

Future Earth is built on many decades of international research on global environmental change carried out by projects sponsored by DIVERSITAS, the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) and the International Human Dimensions Programme (IHDP). Over 20 projects, ranging from the Global Carbon Project to the Earth System Governance project, have joined Future Earth. From this intellectual base Future Earth is launching Knowledge-Action Networks to catalyze new research and partnerships around eight key challenges to global sustainability.

Future Earth’s five Global Hubs are based in Colorado, Montreal, Paris, Stockholm and Tokyo and coordinate and catalyse new research for global sustainability. Regional Centres are operational in Asia, Europe, the Middle-East and North Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean, while Regional Offices are emerging in Africa and South Asia. National Structures are also forming in countries across the planet.

We are an open network for scientists of all disciplines, natural and social, as well as engineering, the humanities and law. We endorse world-class projects, networks and institutes who can contribute to our research agenda and are committed to transformation.

Paul Shrivastava is the Executive Director, and the Science Committee is chaired by Dr Mark Stafford Smith, with Vice-Chairs Professor Melissa Leach and Dr Belinda Reyers. The Engagement Committee is chaired by Farooq Ullah, with Vice-Chairs Tim Payn and Ruth Wolstenholme.

The Governing Council of Future Earth is composed of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), the STS forum and members of the Science and Technology Alliance for Global Sustainability. They include the International Council for Science (ICSU), the International Social Science Council (ISSC), the Belmont Forum of funding agencies, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations University (UNU), and the World Meteorological Organization

Key documents:

Future Earth Initial Design Report

Future Earth 2025 Vision

Strategic Research Agenda 2014