Newswise — The Transformations within Reach initiative invites you to share your ideas on how transformation towards sustainability can be facilitated by improving our societal decision-making systems and processes. Your input will help researchers identify key changes that could catalyze and facilitate systemic and structural transformations of our entire societies. 

Research shows that we already have the technologies needed to produce clean energy as well as enough food to feed the world. Sustainable development is within reach, but it requires all key actors in society to act together. Organizing such a collective action, however, remains a major challenge.

The Transformations within Reach initiative was first launched in early 2020 as a joint initiative between the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and the International Science Council (ISC) to glean lessons from the COVID-19 crisis for the future of society. The initiative brought together over 200 experts from various disciplines and every region of the world through a series of consultations providing recommendations on what should be done to move towards a more sustainable world that would also be more prepared for negative shocks.

“Existing governance systems were not sufficiently effective in dealing with COVID-19. Although some societies and some individual actors did mobilize rapidly, many of their responses occurred in a fragmented, ad-hoc, and suboptimal manner. These responses could have been more effective if they were based on international cooperation and comprehensive scientific advice. The same problems are likely to affect our response to other global crises if we do not adapt the way we make decisions as a society,” notes IIASA Emeritus Research Scholar, Luis Gomez Echeverri.

In the second phase of the initiative, which kicked off early in 2022, scientists will endeavor to identify how the way society makes decisions needs to improve in order to catalyze and facilitate the transformation towards sustainability. As a first step, the initiative is calling on experts, citizens, and any other persons with an interest in sustainability issues to provide their input to inform the recommendations of the initiative. These recommendations will be published in a report that will be shared with policymakers around the world. The second phase of the initiative is coordinated by IIASA and operates under the patronage of H.E. Ban Ki-moon, the 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations (2007-2016), and advice of the high-level Advisory Board chaired by H.E. Mary Robinson, the 7th President of Ireland (1990-1997).

How can I add my voice?

Simply click on the link below and complete the survey to share your thoughts on what various actors in society can realistically do to improve decision making in the interest of sustainability.

“While recognizing that the world is a very diverse place and that different decision-making systems may have different shortcomings when it comes to catalyzing sustainable development, we do believe that some problems are more common, for example, a weak science-policy linkage or low levels of international cooperation,” explains IIASA Advancing Systems Analysis Program Director, Elena Rovenskaya. “This survey focuses on identifying changes to address such common problems across multiple societal decision-making systems and processes.” 

Experts working as part of the initiative team will evaluate all submitted proposals on a regular basis. Submissions that provide the most effective and feasible actions will be recognized on the Transformations within Reach website, and their authors will be invited to join the initiative’s expert group.

Click here to add your voice


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About IIASA:

The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) is an international scientific institute that conducts research into the critical issues of global environmental, economic, technological, and social change that we face in the twenty-first century. Our findings provide valuable options to policymakers to shape the future of our changing world. IIASA is independent and funded by prestigious research funding agencies in Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe.