Seedbeds of Transformation: The Role of Science with Society and the SDGs in Africa

Wednesday, May 9, 2018 (All day) to Friday, May 11, 2018 (All day)
Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Future Earth, the South African Government Department of Science and Technology, the National Research Foundation of South Africa, and START are pleased to announce the Seedbeds of Transformation: the Role of Science with Society and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa conference. The conference will take place from 9 to 11 May 2018 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

Seedbeds will provide a collaborative space for interrogation of transformations in Africa, and how working toward the SDGs may bring us closer to these. The conference will encourage dialogue and actions including examining potential tradeoffs involved with strategies for achieving the SDGs and pursuing transformational change in different contexts across the continent.

See a full list of conference themes here.

Seedbeds will engage scholars, practitioners, and policy experts in collaboratively exploring these transformations challenges. A central feature of the conference will be a ‘marketplace’ where participants can come together to share information, ideas, and products that showcase innovative approaches from across Africa. This Marketplace will be a critical avenue for ‘seeding’ ideas and concepts into more structured sessions that explore key aspects of the three themes and lead to action.  The conference will be funding a limited number of travel grants through the ‘Africa-Innovators’ program that enable individuals working on technical, social and knowledge innovations in support of sustainability to share their ideas and products at the conference, and through the SDG labs.

Seedbeds is designed to be highly participatory. We are seeking ideas for immersive and participatory sessions that advance key concepts and ideas on sustainability and transformations, and that produce strategic and actionable recommendations to take forward from this conference. Because of this conference structure, we are looking for session concepts within each theme that rely on dialogue and engagement more than on conventional presentations. The conference is limited to 300 people.

This conference follows from a conference in Stockholm in August 2017 that brought together new Future Earth communities arising from SDG Labs investigating innovative approaches to catalyse transformation in institutions, systems and sectors. This conference will aim to engage African networks involved in sustainability and in addition provide a basis for advancing a vision and strategy for Future Earth in Africa.

For more information: contact Jon Padgham (