Earth System Governance: Science – Policy – Society

A Plenary Session at the Taskforce & Meeting Day of the 2018 Utrecht Conference on Earth System Governance

8 November 2018, 09:00-10:30, Ruppert Blauw, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

Co-hosted by Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future and the Earth System Governance Project

Read more about the conference here.

The Earth System Governance Project, while being essentially a scientific effort, is also designed to assist policy responses to the pressing problems of earth system transformation (Earth System Governance Science and Implementation Plan, 2009).

Over the past decade, the Earth System Governance Project has initiated and fostered a vast amount of scientific knowledge relevant to policy making and addressing societal challenges. This knowledge has been inserted in policy making through various channels including scientific assessments, policy briefs, collaboration with boundary organisations, scientific advisory at intergovernmental negotiations, and by boots on the ground lobbying and networking.

Through the Governance for Global Sustainability Partnership with Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future, the Project has recently strengthened its capacity in the interaction with policy processes and importantly, with other societal stakeholders. The latter is increasingly becoming important in addressing through co-development of knowledge, the challenges of governance in the Anthropocene.

In a conversation format, panelists will elaborate on their experiences in different formats of science-policy and science-society interactions, and reflect on the role and added value of research alliances like Earth System Governance in “assisting policy responses”. They will also touch on the practical challenges, and look ahead towards innovative, more effective interactions in the nexus of society, science, and policy.


  • Ruben Zondervan, Executive Director, Earth System Governance Project, and Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future


  • Sander Chan, Researcher, German Development Institute, adjunct assistant professor, Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Utrecht University
  • Diana Liverman, Professor of Geography and Development, University of Arizona
  • Elizabeth Mendenhall, Assistant Professor, University of Rhode Island
  • David Mungai, Professor, and Deputy Director, Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies, University of Nairobi
  • Charles Nouhan, Chair of the Board, Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future