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A step forward towards the formation of a Future Earth Knowledge-Action Network on Systems of Sustainable Consumption and Production

An Exploratory Workshop on the Establishment of a Future Earth Knowledge-Action Network (KAN) on Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) was held in Kyoto on March 2nd and 3rd, 2016, to discuss issues critical to taking first steps in realizing a SCP KAN. The workshop was organized by the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature and the Regional Centre for Future Earth in Asia and attended by 15 participants from academic and practitioner circles largely representing Asia.

The primary aims of the workshop were:

  1. to assemble representatives from several existing academic and practitioner communities dealing with SCP,
  2. to discuss core ideas, practicalities, and expectations for a SCP KAN,
  3. to share information on areas for potential collaboration, and
  4. to identify prospective partners (especially non-academic, action-oriented groups) and possible funding institutions.

The workshop agenda, including discussion topics, group-work questions, and other brainstorming activities, was shaped to contribute to the eventual realization of two documents required by the Future Earth in the development of a KAN by covering material critical to their completion.

Over the course of the two-day workshop, the group identified the need for reframing traditional sustainable consumption and production studies from a systems perspective and agreed that the name of the KAN might be better served by including the perspective in the name, which changes SCP to SSCP (systems of sustainable consumption and production).

The workshop delivered outputs including the following:

  • A list of 14 research questions with accompanying subquestions, including questions related to transition & development, defining the parameters of SSCP, methods and data targets, and more fundamental inquiries.
  • A table of 42 potential organizations, academic communities, and societal partners identified by workshop participants.

The workshop concluded with discussion of future plans and collaborative opportunities for follow-up, and participants agreed to submit an “Expression of Interest” document required to formally initiate the KAN-creation process for Future Earth.

The full report of the workshop can be downloaded here.