Future Earth

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Future Earth believes that research, innovation, and collaboration can transform the world toward sustainability. We harness the experience and reach of thousands of scientists and innovators from across the globe. Together, this global community facilitates research, mobilises networks, sparks innovation, and turns knowledge into action. Our mission is to accelerate transformations to global sustainability through research and innovation.

Future Earth aims at a partnership between the research community and the society. We bring the world’s leading centres and experts in research for global sustainability into a single open network in order to support a more agile global innovation system.

Background and History

A prerequisite for long-term human development is a stable Earth system. This stability, which has allowed civilisations to flourish, is now at risk. Nations have acknowledged the need to act through adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement. Internationally coordinated research is an essential part of the solution.

Future Earth was launched at the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development and at the 2012 Planet Under Pressure conference. We became fully operational in 2015 with the launch of five Global Hubs, four Regional Centres and the appointment of our first Executive Director.

Our organisation is rooted in the work of 19 Global Research Projects. These networks have a long history, in some cases stretching back decades, of generating research at the forefront of sustainability science. They played a critical role in forming the field of Earth system science – which considers how all of the parts of the planet, including human societies, connect to and shape each other. Our Global Research Projects also led in defining the Anthropocene, a new epoch in the geologic history of Earth marked by the influence of humans on the planet.

Future Earth builds on this scientific legacy to accelerate transformations to sustainability through research and innovation. We are a major international convenor that fosters a culture of an engaged research based on the co-design and co-production of knowledge and tools


Future Earth harnesses the experience and reach of thousands of scientists and innovators from across the globe. This global community is spread over a series of networks and governing and advisory bodies.

Key bodies in the governance of Future Earth are: 1) Governing Council; 2) Advisory Committee; 3) Future Earth Secretariat (the Executive Director’s Office, the Global Hubs, the Regional Entities); and 4) National Entities.

The Future Earth Secretariat is overseen by a Governing Council. The Governing Council is the decision-making body for Future Earth setting strategic directions and approving budgets and key appointments. The work of the Secretariat and Governing Council is supported by an Advisory Committee, which is comprised of high-level representatives from scientific and stakeholder communities.

The Future Earth Secretariat is currently based in five Global Hubs and in four Regional Centres and Offices. The Global Hubs coordinate the international efforts of Future Earth and are located in Canada (Montreal), France (Paris), Japan (Tokyo), Sweden (Stockholm) and the United States (Colorado). The Secretariat coordinates the scientific projects and performs the day-to-day management of Future Earth, ensuring coordination across themes, projects, regions and committees, and liaising with key stakeholders.

Future Earth also sponsors 19 Global Research Projects that facilitate research on expert topics ranging from the air and ocean to biodiversity and sustainability policy, and Knowledge-Action Networks that bring together researchers and experts in policy, business, civil society and more. They build the knowledge and tools the world needs to tackle key sustainability challenges, from the ocean to sustainable cities and planetary health.

Future Earth is supported by various government funds in countries that host Global Hubs and Regional entities and also by national contributions from many other countries. In addition, several innovative action-driven projects of Future Earth are co-sponsored by private companies. Please see the list in our Annual Reports.

Japan Committee

Japan committee was established to further promote and develop Future Earth in Japan. For more details, please visit the page below.