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Closing Plenary Session

On October 26th, the Radboud Conference on Earth System Governance will officially close with a plenary session for all conference attendees.

The closing plenary reflects on insights generated throughout the conference on its main theme: bridging societies and sciences for sustainability transformations. It discusses the draft Nijmegen agenda for transformative inter- and transdisciplinarity, for which the 2023 Radboud Conference has provided the foundation. The Agenda is meant to inform the implementation of the Earth System Governance Project’s Science and Implementation Plan in the upcoming years.  


Prof. Aarti Gupta, Wageningen University and co-chair of the ESG Scientific Steering Committee 

Aarti Gupta is a Professor of Global Environmental Governance at Wageningen University. Her research focuses on global environmental and climate governance, particularly transparency, accountability, and the challenges of anticipatory governance for emerging technologies like biotechnology and climate engineering. Prof. Gupta leads the Governing Climate Futures research theme at the Environmental Policy Group and heads the TRANSGOV project funded by the Netherlands Organization for Research (NWO). She is also involved in the international REIMAGINE consortium project on anticipatory climate governance in vulnerable regions. A member of the Scientific Steering Committee of Earth System Governance (ESG), she co-authored the 2018 ESG Science Plan and is the Series Co-editor of the Cambridge Elements in Earth System Governance series. Prof. Gupta holds a PhD from Yale University and has a diverse background in political science, international relations, and science and technology studies. Her experience extends beyond academia, with roles at the United Nations Development Programme, Oxfam-Novib, and Transparency International. 

Prof. Sarah Burch, University of Waterloo, Executive Director of the Waterloo Climate Institute 

Prof. Sarah Burch is a Professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Management, and holds a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Sustainability Governance and Innovation.  

She is the Executive Director of the Waterloo Climate Institute, a Lead Author of the United Nations’ Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and helped to lead expert input into the development of Canada’s first National Adaptation Strategy. Her research uncovers transformative responses to climate change at the community scale, the political and justice dimensions of energy transitions, and the unique contributions that small businesses can make to this solving these complex challenges. She leads the international partnership-based research project TRANSFORM: Accelerating sustainability entrepreneurship experiments in local spaces, and is the Director of the Sustainability Policy Research on Urban Transformations (SPROUT) Lab.   

Dr. Inaya Rakhmani, Director Asia Research Centre, Universitas Indonesia 

Dr. Inaya Rakhmani is the Director of Asia Research Centre, Universitas Indonesia. Rakhmani uses cultural political economy to study media and communications as well as knowledge and information in order to explain broader capitalist changes. She is deeply concerned about social sciences, social inequalities and democratic developments. She has been researching the role of social and mass media in hindering democratic developments; in Indonesia, with comparisons to India, Egypt, and Turkey (from 2015 to now). She is concerned with the fact that social sciences and humanities are at times disconnected to the needs of the people, both in long term analysis and short term responsiveness. Since 2014, she has been mapping the structural barriers of social scientists to carry out critical research in Indonesia and Southeast Asia. She has also been actively engaging with local, national, and global policy makers to make the issue better known. She believes that social problems are multi-dimensional, hence collaboration with inter-disciplinary approaches are crucial. Her work has been publishes at at the Journal of Contemporary Asia, Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, the Trans-Regional and -National Studies of Southeast Asia (TRANS) and she also the author of ‘Mainstreaming Islam in Indonesia: Television, Identity and the Middle Class’ published by Palgrave MacMillan, 2016. She recently finalised a study on social sciences and policy responses in Southeast Asia (eleven countries) in partnership with the Global Development Network and the IDRC. She is also an honorary member of the Indonesian Young Academy of Sciences (ALMI). 

Prof. José Sanders. Rector, Radboud University 

José Sanders will become the 60th Rector Magnificus of Radboud University, succeeding Han van Krieken. She is currently Professor of Communication in Organisations and Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the same university. The handover will take place on Tuesday 17 October during the university’s centenary celebrations, at the same place where the celebrations for the university’s foundation took place exactly 100 years ago.  

As a professor, José Sanders specialises in narrative communication: the cognitive effect of stories and the functional use of stories as a communication strategy. How do people’s personal experiences affect organisations, and how can organisations use stories about those experiences? This kind of strategic storytelling is also playing an increasingly important role in health communication, marketing communication and journalism.  

José Sanders studied Dutch Language and Literature in Nijmegen and first joined Radboud University in 2009 as an associate professor in Dutch Language and Culture; in 2013, she was appointed associate professor in Communication and Information Studies. Among other things, she coordinated the minor and masters programmes in Journalism and was chair of the Department of Language and Communication. In 2017, she was appointed Professor of Narrative Communication. She obtained her PhD at Tilburg University in 1994, where she stayed on as an NWO post-doc. She then went on to be a senior advisor at the KASKI centre of expertise on religion and society, an associate professor at VU University Amsterdam and a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley. In addition to her work for Radboud University, she is a member of the board of the Tilburg University Support Fund Foundation.   

Sandra Pellegrom: Dutch National Coordinator for the SDGs

Sandra Pellegrom is the Dutch National Coordinator for the SDGs. In this role, she promotes national implementation of the SDGs in and by the Netherlands. She works closely with other ministries and organizations within the central government, as well as with the broad SDG movement in the Netherlands, including businesses, municipalities and provinces, NGOs, youth organizations, knowledge and educational institutions.

This panelists will be asked to critically examine transdisciplinarity, emphasizing how it may not inherently lead to transformative impact. Panelists will examine distinct roles played by disciplinary, multi-, inter-, and transdisciplinary approaches in various academic pursuits. This inquiry extends beyond theory, exploring the practical implications these approaches have on universities, including research, pedagogy, and their broader societal contributions.

So, what are the implications for the Earth System Governance network and conferences in this light? This discussion culminates in exploring the strategic path outlined in the forthcoming Nijmegen agenda, aiming to provide a clear roadmap for effectively leveraging transdisciplinarity within the research community.

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Join tomorrow's book launch & dialogue on transformative ideas for climate & ocean governance! 📕👏

Building Capabilities for Earth System Governance, 15 May @Radboud_Uni & online, 12:30-14:00 (CET).



👏Thank you #ESGNetwork for your submissions to the #2024ESGForum!

We're pleased to announce our esteemed co-hosts: @queensu, @IDOS_research & @SEI_Sydney. Special thanks also to our sponsors @UniofBath & @FutureEarth.

Stay tuned for the final programme!

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The Taskforce on Planetary Justice will continue their webinar series tomorrow @ 16:00 CET. Panelists will explore the concept of #PlanetaryJustice, its forces & impacts in Central America, Mexico & the Caribbean. 🌎📺

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2022 opening plenary of #ESG2022

The official opening session of the 2022 Toronto Conference on Earth System Governance was hosted at the conference venue and streamed live to virtual attendees.

This conference was opened by the Conference Chairs, and the Oran R. Young Prize for best early career paper was presented.

The keynote presentation was by Tzeporah Berman: “Oil Politics in a World on Fire”

Earth System Governance International Project Office

If you have any questions about the 2023 Radboud Conference on Earth System Governance, you can reach out to our international project office. We will get back to you regarding your questions within a few working days.


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Faculty of Geosciences
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