The UNESCO Chair at EPFL works as an international cooperation platform, building bridges among disciplines and sectors. The Chair, in cooperation with partners in emerging and developing countries aims to find adapted technology solutions to bring sustainable development to the greatest possible number of people.
The conferences organized by the UNESCO Chair aims to promote capacity-building through knowledge exchange in a spirit of solidarity. The conferences acts as a think thank and bridge builders between the academic world, civil society, local communities, research and policy making.
Every two years, an international conference focuses on a specific theme related to sustainable development, scientific cooperation and worldwide challenges. The themes and issues are related in priority to the Chair's research sectors:
• Technologies for sustainable development of habitat and cities
• Information and communication technologies for the environment
• Science and technology for disaster risk reduction
• Technologies enabling the production of sustainable energy
Whilst scientific research can be crucial in guiding innovation and development throughout the world it remains often too detached from reality, particularly in developing and emerging countries. Thus, the challenge is to link scientific research and development practices in order to develop a win-win situation in which science and technologies can assist practitioners as well as reply to social needs.
The conference will look at how science and technologies can support both sustainable development in developing and emerging countries and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as defined by the United Nations in 2000. It will bring researchers and practitioners together in order to bridge the gap between the two communities, focusing on collaboration, methodologies, instruments and policies that could be used and/or encouraged. The possibility of a universal tool and policies for science, technology and innovation that could be of assistance in future collaborations will also be introduced.
The conference will offer unique opportunities for the acquisition of skills, information-sharing and networking and will be conducive to:
• Improving research adapted to the beneficiaries;
• Enhancing research practices;
• Developing better integrated and interdisciplinary research;
• Involving professional and practitioners in these efforts.
• To allow new multidisciplinary and international partnerships among researchers and knowledge users (including NGOs, private sector, public collectivities, international organizations, etc.).
• To drive new research projects and training programs with a focus on improving the appropriation of technologies for sustainable development and poverty reduction.
• To increase the awareness of knowledge exchange and participatory approaches by bringing researchers and knowledge users together at the initial stages of the definitions of research questions.
• To set new directions for research, knowledge and capacity development needs related to sustainable technologies.
• Innovative, talented researchers (doctorates, post-doctorates, students, etc.) and practitioners (private sector, public collectivities, representatives from NGO or international organizations) eager to share their research and project outcomes in order to bridge the gap between the two communities for realistic solutions to the real world challenges.
• In order for the conference to be as inclusive and as diverse as possible, participants from developing or emerging countries are strongly encouraged to attend.
• Registration will open in November 2011 (online)
• Deadline for abstract submission: 15 December 2011
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