SRI2022 – An African point of view to address wicked challenges

The world’s largest transdisciplinary gathering for the global sustainability community is currently being held at the University of Pretoria’s Future Africa Institute and Campus. The Sustainability, Research and Innovation Congress (SRI2022) unites more than 2 000 global research leaders, government and civil society experts, funders, and innovators to inspire action and promote sustainability transformation.

In an SABC interview aired on Monday night, Prof Burton emphasised that Africa is facing several ‘wicked’ challenges. “These are all interconnected challenges that we call wicked because you can’t take one disciplinary approach and find a solution. You need to find the interplay between different areas of expertise and include an interaction with the community who are affected by those challenges. You need a transdisciplinary approach to the way you seek integrated solutions.”

She highlighted pressing continental issues such as the lack of availability of resources; poverty; lack of employment; food security and threat of climate change to food production; the need for reliable energy supply; weak infrastructure; as well as connectivity and communication.

SRI2022 is being hosted by Future Africa in collaboration with the international Future Earth Network and the Belmont Forum. Future Africa – a transdisciplinary institute at the University of Pretoria – has the goal of bringing together networks of people who are interested in these challenges and in working co-operatively to address them.

The annual event provides a platform to share innovative ideas and create an inspiring and inclusive space for collaboration and action. The second edition of SRI offers a program of over 200 interactive sessions, workshops, training- and networking events, innovation demonstrations and satellite events.

Watch the full interview here: