Perspectives on the 2019 Open Science Meeting, and the ways forward for land systems science

We hope that you enjoyed the 2019 GLP Open Science Meeting in April in Bern as much as we did. For those in the community who couldn't attend, we hope you were able to view some of the conference keynote and session videos. Now that the dust has settled, and we all have had some time to digest all of the debates and discussions, we decided to revisit the conference through a series of blog posts. The series will be organized in two parts.

First, to start the series, we have commissioned several groups to distill some insights, highlights and lessons from several of the sessions, in particular the "Innovative and Immersive" sessions, which were very popular and may not all turn into published papers or similar outputs. 

Second, we will use the series of posts to take a higher-level perspective on land systems science and the GLP community, within the broader landscape of sustainability science and in the context of pressing sustainability challenges. Invited GLP members will reflect on the evolution and perspectives of the field and the community in their scientific and societal environment.

For these two purposes, we are also opening the floor to the community. If you would like to propose a blog post on key topics and themes discussed at the OSM, or more broadly, reflect on the direction, progress and challenges of land system science, please email Patrick Meyfroidt. We may not be able to accept all proposals, but will consider them all. The series will start in January.  

We hope this blog series will return to some of the debates that animated the OSM 2019. This includes, among others, the increasingly strong claims on land for both climate change mitigation and biodiversity conservation, and the balance with livelihoods, such as appeared in the lively debates on the "half-earth" proposal. The OSM also resonated with calls for "decolonisation" of land system science — what do we mean by this and how can we achieve it? How do we more explicitly integrate the central role of demand and consumption in LSS? How can land systems scientists be useful, informative, and helpful to societies as they grapple with responding to global challenges? How can we grapple with the myriad new tools, technologies and approaches, from block chains to big geospatial data and from cultural studies to behavioral economics, to refresh our perspectives on old concepts such as frontiers, societal metabolism, or governance?

The series will also highlight several new initiatives in the community, to address some of these challenges. This blog series is surely not an end in itself, just one step in the broader discussion. We hope this can further enrich the debates and encourage all members of the community to react, reach out to the various authors for follow-ups, and mobilize to move the conversation forward.

Patrick Meyfroidt
Ariane de Bremond
Darla Munroe
Navin Ramankutty
Allison Thomson