By Chris Johnson

Today, the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the International Social Science Council (ISSC) named Dr Mark Stafford Smith, the Science Director of our Climate Adaptation Flagship, as their inaugural Chair of the scientific committee of Future Earth.

What might the future of the Earth look like?

What does the future hold for our Earth?

Future Earth is a new 10-year international research initiative that will develop the knowledge for responding effectively to the risks and opportunities of global environmental change and for supporting transformation towards global sustainability in the coming decades. It will mobilize thousands of scientists while strengthening partnerships with policy-makers and other stakeholders to provide sustainability options and solutions in the wake of Rio+20.

The scientific committee is made up of 18 members from around the globe. It includes a broad range of disciplines and expertise needed to address global environmental change in all its dimensions, including natural and social sciences, humanities and engineering.

“Future Earth is going to change the way we do science globally. It represents a unique opportunity to provide the research needed to address the biggest challenges of our time on global sustainability, and to do so in partnership with decision-makers,” says Dr Stafford Smith.

Here he is discussing Future Earth in more detail.

Research by Future Earth will address fundamental questions, such as:

  • What risks are humanity facing?
  • Can we adapt to a warmer world?
  • How does global environmental change affect poverty and development?
  • How can the world eradicate poverty while achieving global sustainability?

Learn more about the vision behind Future Earth below.


  1. What a fantastic initiative and some great news in a sometimes gloomy world.

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