Future Earth Australia

Future Earth Australia

Global initiative

Future Earth is the largest ever international research and development collaboration focused on long term sustainability solutions for the planet and human societies, supported by a range of leading global institutions.

Future Earth is a global research framework that brings the world’s researchers together with leading thinkers in business, public administration, the humanities and social sciences and the community to build the cooperation, trust and tools to create long-term solutions to global challenges in which economic, social and environmental values can coexist and thrive. It was initiated five years ago by the International Council for Science (ICSU), and draws together thousands of researchers across hundreds of individual and collaborative research programs; already mobilising over US$2 billion research funding internationally. Future Earth builds on more than three decades of global environmental change research programmes and carries forward the legacy of DIVERSITAS, the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) and the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP).

About Future Earth Australia

Future Earth Australia is a national peak initiative that enables Australian scientists, governments, industry and NGOs to collaborate both with each other and with international networks and programs.

The aims and objectives of Future Earth Australia are to:

  1. Coordinate and leverage research relevant to the eight focal challenges identified by Future Earth globally - water, energy, food for all; decarbonize socioeconomic systems; safeguard natural assets; build healthy resilient cities; sustainable rural futures; improved human health; sustainable consumption and production; social resilience to future threats - as well as other key challenges for Australia and the Oceania region.
  2. Link the expertise of networks of researchers with policy-makers, business leaders, industry, practitioners and community stakeholders and facilitate interdisciplinary activities and partnerships to collaboratively produce solutions-oriented research.
  3. Deliver research products and services including convening a periodic Future Earth Australia conference, and linking Australian and regional activities to Future Earth internationally.
  4. Contribute to knowledge and solutions that will support transformations to global sustainability.

Future Earth Australia will provide essential services as an international platform to Australian scientists for deep engagement with leaders in research, policy, business, industry, civil society and community to generate solutions and have an impact.

The Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA) invested in the development of a strategic plan (PDF, 1.93MB) to establish an Australian and regional node of Future Earth program in early 2015. Development of this plan was led by an interdisciplinary working group of Fellows from Australia’s four learned Academies and engaged in extensive consultation with the research community, government, the arts and the private sector throughout Australia.

Membership Flyer (PDF, 1MB)


Hosted by the Australian Academy of Science, Future Earth Australia is a partnership of Australian universities, research institutes with industry, government and civil society to advance sustainability. Current partners include CSIRO, Australian National University, University of Sydney, Macquarie University and University of Queensland.


Future Earth Australia is hosted by the Australian Academy of Science and the Executive Committee of the Academy’s Council (EXCOM) provides high level oversight. The Australian Academy of Science has appointed Dr Imran Ahmad as the Director of Future Earth Australia to lead the initiative.

A Steering Committee has been established to provide strategic guidance. Members have deep expertise in sustainability and include:

  • Professor Stephen Dovers FASSA, Australian National University, Chairperson
  • Professor Lesley Hughes, Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University
  • Professor Karen Hussey, Global Change Institute, University of Queensland
  • Dr. John Finnigan FAA Chair Academy of Science National Committee for Earth System Science
  • Professor Iain McCalman FAHA Sydney Environment Institute, University of Sydney
  • Dr. Mark Stafford Smith, CSIRO and Chair Future Earth Science Committee
  • Dr. Angus Henderson ACOLA
  • Dr Lorraine Stephenson FTSE

For further information, please feel free to contact Dr. Imran Ahmad at imran.ahmad@science.org.au.

© 2017 Australian Academy of Science