Conclave of Thought Leaders: The Future of Sustainable Development
11 May 2009 - 12 May 2009
New York, USA

The conclave will be held on 11-12 May at the United Nations, to coincide with the 17th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD). The afternoon of May 12 would be allocated to a round table discussion with invited Ministers and heads of delegations to CSD-17, Heads of UN agencies, and representatives of civil society organizations.


The meeting has three main objectives:

  1. Substance
  2. To provide an occasion to review and assess:

    • the current state of conceptual thinking and applied research on sustainable development;
    • the impact of two decades of sustainable development research on policy and practice;
    • future sustainable development challenges, and the strategic direction of policy research in order to enhance its social relevance, policy impact, and capacity for integrating across disciplinary and sectoral boundaries;
  3. Process
  4. To provide an opportunity to discuss more effective ways of communicating these findings, including:

    • direct interaction with high-level politicians gathered for CSD, as well as Major Groups;
    • the option of establishing a formal network of policy research institutions to engage with and support the inter-governmental process;
    • identification of a common research agenda, which could be pursued through collaborative or complementary research programs; and
    • assessment of how such a network could enable more effective use of the range of communications instruments deployed by the research community, including coverage of sustainable development issues in web-based portals (e.g., wikipedia, knol, or EoE), journals, books on sustainable development, webcasts and webinars, and other media.
  5. Immediate
  6. To use the opportunity to review the state of knowledge on matters before the current and forthcoming sessions of the CSD, and to provide strategic guidance on these from a sustainable development perspective.
More details available in the Concept Note.
United Nations