Science takes centre stage in Davos

 
01/20/2023 - PIK Director Johan Rockström participated in the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) Meeting 2023 in Davos this week. In a first, science took centre stage in a Davos plenary session with Rockström outlining how climate change impacts economies around the world.
Science takes centre stage in Davos
Joyeeta Gupta, Professor at the University of Amsterdam and Earth Commissioner, and PIK Director Johan Rockström at the opening of the WEF panel 'Leading the Charge through Earth's New Normal'. Photo: Screenshot of WEF livestream

"Scientifically, this is not a climate crisis, but something deeper: We are facing mass extinction, air pollution (...), we are putting humanity's future at risk. This is a planetary crisis," stated PIK Director Johan Rockström at the beginning of his high-level panel at the WEF in Davos. Joined by Joyeeta Gupta, Professor at the University of Amsterdam and Earth Commissioner, Rockström laid out the multiple interacting crises in food, energy, health and nature the world is currently undergoing. In a panel titled ‘Leading the Charge through Earth's New Normal’, with former Vice President Al Gore et al., focus was on what kind of leadership is needed for systems thinking, transformative solutions and global collaboration to build a more inclusive and sustainable future. Rockström and Gupta also gave some first insights into a preliminary report on a framework of 'earth system boundaries' to keep the planet stable that will be published later this year.

Johan took also part in several other high-level WEF events, like ‘Unpacking of the Polar Crisis’ with Prince Albert II of Monaco, where, together with several other speakers, they explored the connection between the health of the poles and the health of the planet. The session ‘Turbocharging Scientific Influence in the Age of the Anthropocene’ took on one the big challenges of how to possibly exert scientific influence on public and private sector decision makers.

The WEF brings together decision-makers from across the world to work on projects and initiatives every year. Through collaboration between stakeholders with varied perspectives, the projects aim to deliver concrete and sustainable results at all levels of society.

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