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The 2016 Nairobi Conference on Earth System Governance

The 2016 Conference on Earth System Governance will address the overarching theme of ‘Confronting Complexity and Inequality’. This conference – the seventh in our conference series – will take place in Nairobi, 7-9 December 2016.

The Conference will be held at the University of Nairobi’s College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences on the Upper Kabete Campus. The local host is the Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental co-host-logosStudies.

The co-hosting institutions of the conference are the Copernicus Institute at Utrecht University, the German Development Institute (DIE), the Graduate School of Media and Governance at Keio University, the Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies, the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI), the Stockholm Environment Institute – Africa Centre (SEI), and the GEM Initiative at Yale University. The conference is endorsed by the International Social Science Council and Future Earth.

There will be an exciting conference programme [download], including the presentations of cutting-edge research papers selected in the rigorous double-blind peer review process, engaging panel discussions, a game-jam, and policy-relevant keynote speeches in the semi-plenary sessions – each hosted by one of our co-hosting institutions – and a conference dinner in the Nairobi National Park.

We are delighted that the conference will be attended by researchers from all over the world, including some of the most prominent scientists in the field, along with numerous talented early-career researchers.

See the conference website for detailed and frequently updated information and follow the conference via our twitter and facebook channels. For questions about the conference, please contact us at


Opening Keynote

We are honoured to announce that Prof. Winnie V. Mitullah, Director of the Institute for Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Nairobi will deliver the keynote speech on Leveraging Governance for Sustainable Development at the opening plenary of the conference.

Local Early Career Researchers Sessions

We have invited about 20 early-career researchers from African universities and research institutes to the 2016 Nairobi Conference on Earth System Governance. In a series of panel sessions, they will exchange their research results, visions and experiences with the earth system governance community.

Early Career Researchers event prior to the 2016 Nairobi Conference

Developing a career in earth system governance – confronting challenges and charting new directions. A one day event in conjunction with the 2016 Nairobi Conference hosted by the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS).

Oran R. Young Prize – An Award for Early Career Scholars

The Oran R. Young Prize will be awarded for the fourth time at the 2016 Nairobi Conference on Earth System Governance. The Prize awarded by the Earth System Governance Project seeks to reward and encourage cutting-edge research on earth system governance by early-career scholars.

Field Trip

On 10 December, the day after the conference, we organize a field trip for interested participants to two community projects in Makueni County, southeast of Nairobi, operated by the African Sand Dam Foundation (ASDF).

Interactive session – the East Africa Earth System Governance Game Jam

Co-hosted by Jake Manion, creative director of Leti Arts, one of the foremost game design companies in East Africa, and a team of Earth System Governance researchers we plan to run a live, interactive game design event, a ‘game jam’, with researchers and game designers on governance challenges for the East African region.

Read more:

Word of Welcome by the Conference Chair, Dr. Fariborz Zelli (Lund University)

Word of Welcome by the Conference Co-Chair, Prof. David N. Mungai (University of Nairobi)

Word of Welcome by the Project Chair, Prof. Frank Biermann (Utrecht University)

World Social Science Report 2016 “Challenging Inequalities – Pathways to a Just World”, a thematically relevant publication by the International Social Science Council.

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