Welcome to the 2023 Symposium of the Sustainable Futures Global Network! We are extremely excited to gather again in a dedicated week, diverse sessions, formal and informal events to re-connect, build new connections, strategise, take stock, and celebrate. 

Our theme this year is: Adapt, transform, and evolve: Furthering our impact towards sustainable futures. And indeed, these words capture the direction of our focus over the past year. To address and consolidate this journey, this week our presentations, workshops, and events focus on the specific evolutions we have been going through and the impacts we strive for. Evolutions include our transformation from an informal network to a formal enterprise (see you on Tuesday for the launch of the new enterprise business model!) and from community-based work to policy-facing work (see you at the public events where we launch policy briefs and partner with UNESCO!).  

During this symposium we will have the opportunity to hear from our new and evolving leadership, but also to listen to our diverse members’ research, activism, and ambitions. We will build plans and processes for the year ahead and launch and celebrate some important milestones. 

It is a sustaining joy, privilege and adventure to lead this network, and we are grateful for the time and energy you contribute to our important annual symposium.

Mia Perry and Deepa Pullanikkatil


As always, an exciting Programme awaits. We hope that most sessions will speak to you, and that we’ll have vibrant discussions and dynamic participation. You can access it by clicking buttons below.

Please note that links to access the various sessions are embedded into the Programme. By clicking on the title of the session, you’ll be able to join the appropriate zoom room. See you soon!


This year, we can count on the support of many fabulous organisations:

  • The Challenges Group
  • Multiplied by

Opening Session

Prof Mia Perry and Dr Deepa Pullanikkatil welcomed delegates to the SFGN Annual Symposium – 2023. Their presentation reflected on the network’s progress (regarding the complete years of togetherness and building partnerships), expanded partnerships, transformation, transition and evolution. They also celebrate our ability to maintain capacity, and to hold the network in this time of chance, while also making impact.

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Presentation of the Social Enterprise Business Model

Ross Isdale, from The Challenges Group, and Vanessa Duclos presented the second iteration of the SFGN Social Enterprise “Business” Model, and members were invited to share comments, questions, suggestions during a Q&A.

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Hub Launch - Participatory Policy

Launch of new cross cutting hub for participatory policies, Dr Juliette Alenda Dumoutiez presented a short history of the hub and talked about policymaking as a process. The hub is focused on implementing and evaluating policies with people from various disciplines and contexts, from education to geology to economics.

Roundtable with 3 speakers sharing their expertise around policymaking:
1. Lothar Smith – Transcode and how it helped to think deeply and holistically about ideas, being process oriented creative and non-linear.
2. Bernhard Reinsberg – How sustainable development needs governance, whose governance matters in north-south development aid relationships, problems and solutions with foreign aid, and his experience with co-creating impact
3. Sola Ajayi – Farmers attitudes towards improved seeds and the need for consistent policies to promote the use of improved seeds for Nigerian farmers.

– Creating policies that allow for diversity
– Applying block chain technologies
– Solution making to issues through aid donors technical capacities
– Need for bottom-up processes for greater solutions and community empowerment

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Workshop I - Identifying Opportunities

Ross Isdale, from The Challenges Group, and Vanessa Duclos facilitated discussions around opportunity identification, both at the local (hubs) and global (SE) levels.


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Public event : Whose Crisis Policy-Briefs and documentary launch

The dominant discourses during the COVID-19 pandemic have mostly been generated in the Global North, overwhelmingly by a minority of wealthy and powerful authors, reflecting narrowly on a crisis that, while impacting the whole world, was experienced in vastly different ways.

This event reflected the lived experiences of, perspectives on, and responses to COVID-19 in vulnerable and underrepresented communities across sub-Saharan Africa.

A short documentary (20 mins) was screened and was followed by presentations and discussions around policy-briefs.

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