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SUSS and IAL host the 10th World Sustainability Forum held for the first time in the region

The Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) and Institute for Adult Learning (IAL) hosted the 10th World Sustainability Forum (WSF), a well-established global platform for sustainability research and best practices, today.

Guest-of-Honour Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, delivered an address at the event, that is held in Singapore for the first time to advance knowledge exchange and foster collaboration to drive concrete actions to further the global sustainability agenda. Organised and supported by the academic open-access publisher, Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI), WSF 2023 is a 24-hour hybrid event taking place in-person and virtually in Singapore, followed by Basel, Switzerland and Toronto, Canada.

Participants from the global academic community and sustainability stakeholders will be engaged in key topics across four central themes distributed strategically among the three locations. Opening the 2023 forum, the Singapore edition sets the global stage with the theme "Sustainability for Social and Community Impact".

Professor Tan Tai Yong, President of SUSS, said, “SUSS is pleased to be the local and regional host for WSF 2023, to connect the global sustainability community and deepen understanding of the latest research as well as innovations in sustainable development. Beyond going green, it is also critical to examine the impact of sustainability on people and our world. By facilitating knowledge exchange through this important event, we hope to inspire a sense of urgency, responsibility and empowerment among attendees at WSF 2023, fostering a collective commitment to making positive contributions to a more sustainable and resilient future for the planet and our people.”

Professor Max Bergman, Global Event Chair of WSF 2023, said, “In many ways, Singapore is at the forefront of developing sustainability solutions globally. Its commitment to a sustainability transition covers diverse areas including health, education, mobility, food security, sanitation, social integration, and urban development. Multiple ministries collaborate in the Whole-of-Nation Sustainability Movement and the Green Plan 2030. While long-term investments in technology as the engine of Singapore’s success is well known globally, less known is its commitment to equity and justice. It is this social component of the sustainability transition that tends to be neglected by many countries. We know that transforming the energy or mobility sectors, for example, contributes significantly to sustainability, and it thus makes sense to invest in technologies that improve their efficiency. But developing technology is only one of many components toward sustainability. In the end, it is people and businesses that consume energy and require mobility, so technology is not enough. The greatest challenge today is to get people and businesses to adopt new behaviors, which requires not a mere technological but a socio-technological revolution. This is why SUSS is perfectly suited to host the World Sustainability Forum in Singapore, and this is why Singapore is an outstanding setting for the World Sustainability Forum 2023.”

A Deep Dive into Sustainability for Social and Community Impact

The Singapore forum will deep dive into potential and realised social and community impact of sustainability, including the efforts towards engendering social and community good, the challenges in achieving it and explorations into innovative means to create an even greater impact. Collaborative efforts among different community groups, industry, education institutions and individuals that co-create sustainable solutions for current and future problems will also be showcased.

Highlights of WSF 2023 in Singapore include:

  • Keynote presentation by Dr Winston Chow, Associate Professor of Urban Climate of Singapore Management University (SMU) on “Technology is not enough” – why community inclusivity and stakeholder engagement are critical for climate resilience and a sustainable future. Dr Chow is also co-chair of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
  • Session 1: Sustainability through Innovation
    • Researchers will collectively illuminate the latest insights, showcasing innovative approaches and discoveries that contribute to our understanding of food system responses to climate change, water treatment, and crab cultivation.
    • Showcase by sustainability entrepreneur Carolin Barr on her journey as founder of the rewards-based engagement app, susGain.
  • Session 2: The Future of Sustainability
    • Paper presentations on shaping the future of sustainability through the common core curriculum, land-water-energy-food nexus security, integrating the UN SDG’s value creation and sustainability evaluation for construction, and climate resilience policy making.
    • Showcase by Kane Mcguinn and Victoria Yoong, Co-Founder of Atlas Aquaculture Pte Ltd on their sustainability efforts using smart engineering, science and technology to grow organic fish.

  • Session 3: Panel showcase and discussions featuring key sustainability leaders from various fields: X-Inc Pte Ltd, The Food Bank Singapore, Deloitte, LVMH Perfumes & Cosmetics, SUSS and IMC Pan Asia Alliance (See Annex A for the full list of participating speakers and panellists at WSF 2023).
  • Networking tea, demo and sharing sessions featuring sustainability-focused initiatives such as the SUSS Agri-preneur Incubation Programme and WILDSMarines, as well as social-focused initiatives like The More We Get Together and social impact startups such as BEE AMAZED Garden, Singrass and more. (See Annex B for more information on the featured booths at WSF 2023


Professor Cheah Horn Mun, Dean of the College of Interdisciplinary and Experiential Learning at SUSS and Singapore Event Co-Chair of WSF2023, said, “The World Sustainability Forum is a dynamic nexus where the global sustainability research community and stakeholders converge to pave the path toward a sustainable world. In line with the SUSS commitment to making greater social impact, we are pleased to play a part in amplifying the latest sustainability knowledge and hope that the collaborative dialogue will spark further meaningful outcomes in policy and practice.”

Associate Professor Renee Tan, Director of Research at IAL and Singapore Event Co-Chair of WSF 2023, added, “Through this forum, we aim to underscore the collective research excellence of the global experts in sustainability by fostering robust academic exchange that can lead to actionable insights. We hope that the strategies and ideas shared at WSF 2023 will spark further implementation in the participants’ respective fields to catalyse change beyond Singapore's borders.”

For more information on the 10th World Sustainability Forum, please refer to the Singapore event page and the global page.

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