Future Earth is a 10-year research initiative that systematically brings together scientists from very different fields of study and provides a platform for global professional knowledge and interdisciplinary collaboration. Future Earth builds on and will further develop existing knowledge in international global change research programmes (DIVERSITASIHDPIGBPWCRP and ESSP). Future Earth is being established by a partnership for global sustainability including researchers, funders and users of knowledge. Future Earth represents international, integrated, collaborative and solution oriented sustainability research and is set to change substantially the ways such research is carried out.

In the move towards global sustainability, Future Earth focuses on providing answers to questions such as: How can drinking water, air and food be sustained on the global level now and in the future? What threats is humanity facing in terms of demographic change and growth? How can societies adapt to the social and ecological consequences of an increasingly warm planet Earth?

Answering these and other questions requires increasing collaboration between different disciplines and fields of study. This will then enable the integration of disciplinary strengths and the development of research topics and processes that are better suited to tackling interconnected and multi-faceted problems.

In the decade to come, Future Earth will deliver cutting-edge research in an integrated and collaborative manner. This includes:

  • Monitoring and forcasting of changes in the Earth system including climate, carbon, biodiversity and ecosystem services and human activities, building on current high quality research partnerships and activities.
  • Filling gaps in knowledge and providing early warning systems to signal the limits and tipping points of the Earth’s life-carrying capacity and how global environmental change may affect our ability to fulfil human needs for food, water, health, energy, etc.
  • Connecting scientific knowledge effectively with policies and practices through for example research into the potential impacts of policy, behavioural and technology options.
  • Providing major contribution to existing scientific assessments on global change, for instance the IPCC, IPBES, etc. and emerging ones.
  • Supporting the assessment of progress made towards achieving goals for sustainable development.
  • Fostering innovative approaches to integrate knowledge systems (data, observation, modelling, etc.).
  • Supporting the development of a new generation of researchers and fostering enthusiasm and skills to work across disciplines to promote a holistic approach towards sustainability.

Future Earth will develop as a globally-distributed network of knowledge nodes in order to be responsive to needs and priorities of decision-makers at regional and national level, encourage broader participation of users in the research, coordinate global environmental change research agendas and activities, and disseminate knowledge and capacity on science for sustainability across the globe. As a global platform Future Earth will provide:

  • Solution oriented research on sustainability, in which the challenges arising from environmental change will be linked to development in order to meet human needs such as food, water, energy and health.
  • Effective, interdisciplinary collaboration between the natural, social and human sciences, as well as the economic sciences, and technical developments to find the best scientific solutions for multi-facetted problems.
  • Timely information for political decision makers by generating knowledge that will foster global and regional integrated assessments.
  • Involvement of political decision makers, funding bodies, academics, businesses, industry and other sectors of civil societies in the co-design and co-production of research agendas and knowledge creation.
  • Improved capacity building in science, technology and innovation, especially in developing countries through the involvement of a new generation of scientists.


More Information:

Website Future Earth

Blog Future Earth

National Structures in Future Earth

fb @futureearth.org

twitter @FutureEarth



Global Hub Paris, Sandrine Paillard

Global Hub Schweden, Wendy Broadgate

Global Hub Tokyo, Fumiko Kasuga

Global Hub Montreal, Amy Luers

Global Hub Colorado, Josh Tewksbury

Email:  contact@futureearth.org



Future Earth Strategic Research Agenda 2014 (pdf, December 2014)

Future Earth 2025 Vision (pdf, November 2014)

Future Earth Design Report (pdf, 2013)

Concept Paper: Earth System Research for Global Sustainability (pdf, 2011)

The Grand Challenges of Earth Systems Science for Global Sustainability (pdf, 2010)

Belmont Challenges Paper of Regional Environmental Change (pdf, 2010)