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International science congress at UCPH to explore sustainable solutions

The University of Copenhagen is hosting the IARU Sustainability Science Congress, where experts from over 50 countries will discuss sustainable solutions to global challenges

A three-day congress at the University of Copenhagen will draw 140 speakers across disciplines to discuss cross-discipline research collaboration for developing sustainable solutions to today’s challenges.

Organized by the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), the Sustainability Science Congress will feature both political and academic perspectives. Among others, the Danish Prime Minister, the EU Climate Commissioner and the Rector of UCPH will speak at the opening session.

“One of our main points is that it is necessary to break with the long scientific tradition of working in silos if we are to find solutions to the very complex global challenges,” says Elisabeth Wulffeld from the Sustainability Science Center.

From biodiversity to urbanisation in China

Themes are centered around include “Moving from climate to sustainability”, “Feeding future generations with limited resources”, ‘Water for all’, ‘Putting biodiversity concerns into operation’ and ‘Transitioning to new types of economic growth.’

Shiyi Chen, Professor of Economics at Fudan University, will be one of the keynote speakers. He will focus on China’s rapid urbanization and industralization and how to put the growth on a sustainable course.

A panel debate will bring together the main ideas across the sessions, with major outlines marking the basis of the UN Sustainable Development Goals to be launched in 2015.

Opportunities for students

A range of side-events also gives students the opportunity to participate, such as the Making Universities Sustainable Conference 2014 from 22-24 October at Frederiksberg Campus, University of Copenhagen.

Guido-Schmidt Traub, the Director of UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, will lead one of the student workshops at the conference. The workshop focuses on opportunities and requirements for younger researchers to influence global sustainability by working across disciplines.

“The new generations of researchers have a very important role to play in the future,” says Peter Søgaard Jørgensen, workshop organisers. “They will help inform and engage on solutions for the sustainable development of society and the environment. For this generation, ability to collaborate between a very diverse set of disciplines will be a key to success.”

Further information on the IARU Sustainability Science Congress can be found here.

Making Universities Sustainable Conference here and find other side events here.

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