The state of global development is characterized by unprecedented hazardous trends. At the same time, tremendous opportunities exist for novel knowledge-based solution pathways.
Critical changes such as global warming and the depletion of natural resources, pose formidable challenges to globally prosperous, sustainable development. On the other hand, the rapidly developing possibilities of Earth observation, modelling and simulation, together with contextually-sensitive social scientific investigation, enable a new era for the analysis, understanding and predictability of critical environmental and societal processes.
Novel approaches are needed to make full use of the potential of science and technology to inform equitable, sustainable solutions to the most pressing questions currently confronting humankind. Different branches of the natural and social sciences, as well as economics, engineering sciences and the humanities, need to align in the search for integrated and inclusive solutions. And in order to fully utilize the contributions of science and technology, partnerships between scientific communities and decision making bodies in the political as well as private sectors (business and civil society) will have to be strengthened.
In the late 2000s, several visioning and agenda-setting processes within the Global Environmental Change community - see Belmont Forum White Paper; ICSU/ISSC Visioning Process Grand Challenges; ISSC Transformative Cornerstones of Social Science Research for Global Change; WMO Global Framework for Climate Services- had recognised the same need for this novel approach. In order to support and strengthen this development the Alliance was created in 2010 to promote a strategic framework targeted at driving and facilitating the co-design, co-production and co-delivery of knowledge with relevant stakeholders in order to address and create solution pathways for global sustainability problems.
UNEP Foresight Process on Emerging Environmental Issues and UNEP/PROVIA Research Priorities on Climate Change Vulnerability, Impacts and Adaptation: