We have witnessed how COVID-19 has brought to the limit health, social, economic, and labour systems and provoked huge turbulences in multilateral relations. In parallel, science and its ability to inform policies for better response has become a crucial dimension of the answer to the crisis.

In this context, more than ever, science diplomacy can become a fundamental asset to the European Union (EU) and its Member States (MS). EU science diplomacy can contribute to address this current crisis as well as other global challenges. This would also help the EU positioning itself as a global role model in integrative leadership and multilateral responses. But as S4D4C-own research and the experiences that could be drawn from our co-creation exercises with science diplomacy stakeholders have shown, science diplomacy can only thrive to its maximum if accompanied by a farsighted systemic change in the interaction between stakeholders and their practice of exchanging knowledge.

S4D4C works to support the EU and the rest of European stakeholders to develop a basis of common understanding of a EU science diplomacy that contributes to  addressing global challenges. With that aim in mind, we have organised two international networking meetings in Madrid and Berlin (the third and final is currently discussed in terms of date and its format) involving the European as well as global scientific, diplomatic and science diplomacy community. We have also performed extensive research on the matter and will continue to do so until the project’s end.

Our partner from Spain, the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT), with its team Lorenzo Melchor, Ana Elorza and Izaskun Lacunza, and with the contribution of many other S4D4C partners, is now proud to present a policy report titled

“Calling for a Systemic Change. Towards a European Union Science Diplomacy for Addressing Global Challenges”

S4D4C calling for a systemic change policy report

Together with the policy report we are publishing an executive booklet that builds on that knowledge and repeats the call for “a systemic change to deploy a EU science diplomacy strategy for addressing global challenges”.

S4D4C system change executive booklet

The policy report is divided into three sections:

  • Where do we want to be? The EU science diplomacy vision, mission and principles for addressing global challenges, which are inspired by the Madrid Declaration on Science Diplomacy.
  • Where are we? Main stoppers, warnings and drivers for addressing global challenges within each of the systems of science, diplomacy, and science diplomacy.
  • How will we get there? The systemic change towards EU science diplomacy for addressing global challenges, that includes a set of policy recommendations focused on an integrative transformation and that takes into account three transversal processes (learning system, integrative leadership and change of culture) in five key spheres (knowledge, governance with no silos, alliances, institutions, and people).

In preparation of the final networking event in 2021, an update of the document is planned which will include comments, contributions, and ideas on how to develop implementation plans (with potential milestones and progress assessment) for the fifteen recommendations towards the EU and other important stakeholders (as to be found in the report) which were received from stakeholders throughout 2020.

S4D4C is pleased that this policy report triggered a public and policy debate around the need to address global challenges, such as this COVID-19 pandemic, through multilateral collaboration and the use of EU science diplomacy.

To cite the report, we suggest:

Melchor, Lorenzo, Elorza, Ana, Lacunza, Izaskun (2020): Calling for a Systemic Change: Towards a European Union Science Diplomacy for Addressing Global Challenges. V 1.0. S4D4C Policy Report, Madrid: S4D4C.

featured image from unsplash.com Markus Spiske

Calling for a systemic change: Towards a EU science diplomacy for addressing global challenges
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