Discovering your “Sound of Belonging”: Building Empathy through Soundscapes

When you think of where you belong, what sounds do you hear? What emotions, memories, realizations come to mind? Do those sounds transplant you to a particular place or time?

These are the kinds of questions the “Sounds of Belonging” project encourages people to consider. The project invites individuals from all backgrounds to record a soundscape and share their story. We are also encouraging stories from Indigenous communities to highlight their voices and long-term knowledge of place. We respect the sovereignty of each person’s stories.*

The project is intended to open up the world of sound and insight from disparate locations. The hope is that “Sounds of Belonging” can help make the vast landscape of our planet closer and more intimate.

Join us for this special Earth Month BRIDGING Communities Café** session featuring Dr. Melissa K. Nelson, Professor of Indigenous Sustainability at Arizona State University. Learn how you can connect your inner voice with your outer soundscape and share your unique narrative with the world.

*For questions about Indigenous stories, contact Native co-producer Melissa K Nelson ([email protected]).

**The BRIDGING Communities Café Series is a signature program of the BRIDGES Sustainability Science Coalition, an UNESCO Management of Social Transformations (MOST) Programme ( This special Earth Month Café session is co-hosted by the BRIDGES Flagship Hub at ASU and The Narrative Storytelling Initiative at ASU. For questions or feedback about the BRIDGING Communities Café Series, please contact Julianna Gwiszcz ([email protected]).

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Management of Social Transformations (MOST) Forum


The BRIDGES Coalition is excited to take part in the Management of Social Transformations (MOST) Forum, taking place on April 18, 2023. The MOST Forum is the space for solutions-oriented debate on how to reset our societies along a more equitable and smarter path. As a humanities-led sustainability science coalition of the MOST program, the BRIDGES Coalition looks forward to making a meaningful contribution to the Forum.

The MOST Forum accompanies the 16th Ordinary Session (April 18-19) of the Intergovernmental Council (IGC) of the Management of Social Transformations programme, an intergovernmental science programme that aims to build the knowledge-policy nexus for positive and inclusive social change.



The MOST Forum is organized under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Council of the Management of Social Transformations programme (President Amb. Dr. Mary M. Khimulu) and the Office of the Assistant Director-General of UNESCO Social and Human Sciences (ADG/SHS Gabriela Ramos). Leading thinkers and policy-makers from a variety of disciplines will gather at UNESCO in Paris, in Room II, from 2:00 to 6:15 pm (GMT +2), on 18 April 2023 for the Forum. 


Photo of Ambassador Dr. Mary M. Khimulu, President of the MOST Intergovernmental Council, and Ms. Gabriela Ramos, Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences (both at center) accompanied by delegations from Kenya, the Kenyan National Commission of UNESCO and the Executive Staff of the Social and Human Sciences, UNESCO, October 2022.
Ambassador Dr. Mary M. Khimulu, President of the MOST Intergovernmental Council, and Ms. Gabriela Ramos, Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences (both at center) accompanied by delegations from Kenya, the Kenyan National Commission of UNESCO and the Executive Staff of the Social and Human Sciences, UNESCO, October 2022.


The BRIDGES Coalition will be featured in the final panel of the Forum, taking place on April 18, at 17:00 – 18:15, in Room II.

The final panel of the MOST Forum focused on the BRIDGES Coalition on Sustainability Science will be moderated by Brian Head, President of the MOST Scientific Advisory Committee and Professor of Public Policy, University of Queensland (Australia). Introductory remarks setting the scene for the panel discussion will also be offered by Steven Hartman, the Executive Director of BRIDGES. The BRIDGES panel also includes interventions by: Simon Reid-Henry, Director of the Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences at Queen Mary University (UK);  Christopher Bail (USA), Professor of Sociology and Political Science, Duke University; Michelle Mycoo (Trinidad and Tobago), IPCC Lead author and Professor of Urban and Regional Planning, The University of the West Indies;  Carlos Álvarez Pereira (Spain), Vice President, The Club of Rome; Nolita Thuna Mvunelo (South Africa), Program Manager, The Club of Rome; and Gil Eyal (Israel), Professor of Sociology at Columbia University.


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Other sessions earlier in the MOST Forum include a High-Level Panel on Drivers of inequality and ways to tackle it and a ThinkTank Roundtable delving deeper into the policy-research nexus, with a continued focus on reducing inequalities. Participating speakers include:

  • Mariana Mazzucato, Professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value, University College London, and Founding Director of the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP)
  • Peter Gluckman, President of the International Science Council (ISC)
  • Mr Gilles Gressani, President of the Groupe d’études géopolitiques
  • Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Dean at Cape Town University, Founder of Umlambo Foundation, former Executive Director of UN Women, former Deputy President of South Africa
  • Kako Nubukpo, Commissioner of Togo at the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA), former Minister for Foresight and Public Policy Evaluation of Togo​​
  • Mathias Vicherat, President, SciencesPo
  • Dennis Snower, President, Global Solutions Initiative
  • Fabrizio Barca, Coordinator of the Forum on Inequalities and Diversity, Former Minister for Territorial Cohesion of Italy
  • Laszlo Andor, Vice-President of the MOST Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) and Senior Fellow at Hertie School of Governance, former EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion
  • Silvia Giorguli, President of El Colegio de México, A.C. and Professor at the Center for Demographic, Urban and Environmental Studies
  • Wendell Wallach, Carnegie-Uehiro Fellow at Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, Co-Director of the Artificial Intelligence & Equality Initiative (AIEI)
  • Sandra Jovchelovitch, Director, Social and Cultural Psychology Programme, London School of Economics and Political Science, Fellow at the British Psychological Society (online)
  • N’Dri T. Assié-Lumumba, Professor, Africana Studies and Research Center, College of Arts and Sciences, Cornell University, and former President of the MOST Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) (online)
  • Ori Heffetz, Associate Professor, S. C. Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University (online)

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Session led by the the UK Hub of BRIDGES at the International Conference on Education for Human Security

The World Academy of Science and Art (WAAS) has partnered with UNESCO BRIDGES and other partner organisations, including the Global Futures Laboratory of Arizona State University, SDSN Europe, and the World University Consortium to bring to you the International Conference on Education for Human Security.

The following panel is co-sponsored by WAAS and the BRIDGES Sustainability Science Coalition in UNESCO’s Management of Social Transformations progamme, led by the UK Hub at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

“Learning with (not about) the world: Anthropological methods for a resilient future”

Participants: Luci Attala, Fadwa El Guindi, Steven Hartman, Marta Neskovic & Vesna Vučinić
When? 6:00 – 6:50 pm CET on Mar 7, 2023

Thinking about the future can be overwhelming, but mechanisms that encourage creative thinking about prospects can empower and engender resilience. This panel thinks through the imaginative intersections between diverse research methods and educational activities so as to consider their role in creating a safe future fit for the generations to come.

Learning with (not about) the world is at the root of Anthropology. Anthropology views its core methodology as a relational contextual exercise whereby engaging parties learn from each other to avoid doing both social and environmental damage. This diverges from many research methods that might involve creating artificial conditions and changing variables to understand the world.

The panel will discuss how anthropological tools may be used to think about what futures we all want, whilst also encouraging the resilience and confidence to adapt in the real world. Such educational tools that enrich available methods for understanding and engaging in the world, whilst enabling learners to participate in co-creating the conditions for equitable human security at different scales, may well be essential to meeting the very real social and environmental challenges of present and future generations.

The Conference will take place online.

Register here.


BRIDGES and ASU Global Futures Laboratory-led Session on Youth, Knowledge and Climate Action at the International Conference on Education for Human Security

The World Academy of Science and Art (WAAS) has partnered with the BRIDGES Coalition in UNESCO’s Management of Social Transformaitons programme and other partner organisations, including the Global Futures Laboratory of Arizona State University, SDSN Europe, and the World University Consortium to bring to you the International Conference on Education for Human Security.

The following session is co-sponsored by the BRIDGES Sustainability Science Coalition and the “Turn it Around!” initiative, both anchored at Arizona State University’s Global Futures Laboratory and both supported by UNESCO. The session is organized in collaboration with People and Planet, the UNESCO Social and Human Sciences Sector and the UNESCO Cairo Office.

“Youth-led Knowledge and Education for Climate Change and Human Security”

Participants: Marwa Alkhairo, Julianna Gwiszcz, Steven Hartman, Iveta Silova & Telmo Simões,
When? 4:00 – 4:50 p.m. CET, March 8, 2023

In a 60/90-minute interactive discussion, panelists and assembled audience members will explore the learning needs of young people in their efforts to address the climate crisis, particularly as this global challenge impacts human security at many levels regionally and locally. Climate change and human security are thus intertwined. Climate change can be a direct and indirect cause of conflict, as it exacerbates key drivers of fragility — such as the struggle for basic resources and livelihoods, the absence of which can lead to displacement and other forms of human vulnerability. The climate crisis thus has an undeniable impact in all seven elements of human security. The session will take up a number of distinct educational implications of organized efforts to address climate change-related human insecurity, including how the educational sector in the broadest sense must be mobilized to better prepare for and mitigate attendant vulnerabilities, with an emphasis on the central role of young people in societies around the world.

The Conference will take place online.

Register here.


Ecological Imagination: Building Transformative Pathways with Insights from the Humanities

Join us on the 24th of February 2023 for the first joint Future Earth-BRIDGES Coalition Pathways Forum event. We anticipate it will be the first in a recurring series of Pathways Forum team-ups between our global sustainability science organizations.

What exactly are the environmental humanities, ecocriticism, environmental history? How can these interdisciplinary approaches contribute to transformative modes of research? Why aren’t the humanities more visible in the field of sustainability pathways currently, and how can change this?

These questions will be the core focus on this webinar, co-organized with BRIDGES, the Humanities-Driven Sustainability Science Coalition of the Management of Social Transformations Programme, whose secretariat is based in UNESCO’s Social and Human Science sector.

Join Nathalie Blanc, Director of the Earth & Politics Centre at Paris City University, Kenneth Nsah of Université de Lille, Jorge Marcone of Rutgers University and the South American Institute for Resilience and Sustainability Studies, Gilles Marciniak, Deputy Director of the Future Earth Paris Hub, and Steven Hartman, Founding Executive Director of the BRIDGES Coalition for this inaugural Future Earth-BRIDGES team-up event in the FE’s Pathways Forum series.

Following presentations from the speakers, this event will also offer an opportunity to bring together different research communities to engage in a truly interdisciplinary dialogue on sustainability science and transformative pathways.

Register below!


Learning Dimensions of Youth-Led Climate Action: European & Arab Region perspectives in two reports

What are the learning needs and dimensions of youth-led climate action?

The BRIDGES Coalition celebrated the International Day of Education at the LearningPlanet Festival in 2023, together with partner project People & Planet, in a co-sponsored session on the learning dimensions of youth-led climate action in a cross-regional perspective.

Foregrounding the findings of the reports ‘European Youth and Climate Change: A Community Baseline’ (People & Planet) and ‘Regional Report on Knowledge for Youth-led Climate Action in the Arab Region’ (UNESCO), this session also highlighted the experiences of FELCOS Umbria’s partners from Palestine and Kurdistan.

Learn more about both reports, and the insights they yielded, in the video of this interactive session from the festival!

#BRIDGES #PeopleAndPlanet #UNESCO #ClimateAction #YouthAction

Reframing the Role of Research for Society – Invitation to the BRIDGES Coalition by The Club of Rome

How can research best address the challenges we face today? Academia, more specifically academic research as it exists now, is losing the ability to address the crises of today. And the issues we face are linked to the limitations of our ways of thinking and understanding our place in the world. Hence addressing them requires convening all sources of knowledge and creativity. A transformation in the pathway of research can only happen when transdisciplinary models of thinking and community-driven research initiatives are considered to be the mainstream.

The BRIDGES Coalition, supported by UNESCO and its international science programme Management of Social Transformations, is a cutting-edge initiative by a large number of partners working together towards the reframing of research to serve humanity in ways attuned to the magnitude of the challenges. The Club of Rome invited participants in the 2023 LearningPlanet Festival to a joint session with BRIDGES as an introduction to the work being done, including a discussion of what comes next.

Organised on the first day of The Learning Planet Festival this interactive session featured Raad Sharar and Vice President Carlos Alvarez Pereira of The Club of Rome, together with UNESCO Assistant-Director General for Social and Human Sciences Gabriela Ramos, President of the International Council for Philosophy and Human Sciences Luiz Oosterbeek, filmmaker Maria Clara Parente, PhD candidate Snothile Mkhize of University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, BRIDGES Coalition Founding Executive Director Steven Hartman and other guests from the Coalition’s developing communities of purpose. Watch the full session here.


Presentation at COP 27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt by Antonio Louro, Vice-Mayor of the Municipality of Mação and President of the Mação Landowners Association, and Steven Hartman, Executive Director of the BRIDGES Coalition and Co-PI of the FÔLEGO sub-project “Ice and Fire.”

This presentation took place at COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh on 11 November 2022, in an official side event co-organized by Future Earth and Colorado State University in partnership with the BRIDGES Sustainability Science Coalition. The side event addressed “Wildfire increase, a challenge for Earth system and societies.”

Description of the side event

Climate and land use changes affect frequency, distribution and intensity of wildfires, which impact ecosystems, societies, weather and climate. Wildfires also provide ecosystem services and nutrients to marine biota. Here we discuss fire risk from a natural and social science view.

Presentation contributed by the BRIDGES coalition

In the municipality of Mação, Portugal, collaborative multi-stakeholder efforts joining local government, the landowners association and both academic and non-academic knowledge communities are taking an innovative approach to social-ecological planning and land management to address the persistent and worsening problems of devastating wildfires in the central region of Portugal. This presentation provides an introduction to the problem and current efforts to find effective solutions through a well coordinated transdisciplinary approach that is proactive nut reactive.

The presentation was produced by the “Ice & Fire” sub-project of FÔLEGO (producer Ines Camara), as funded by the EEA & Norway Fund, a collaboration of Academia de Produtores Culturais and the University of Iceland in partnership with the BRIDGES Coalition in UNESCO’s Management of Social Transformations programme and the UNESCO Chair on Humanities and Cultural Integrated Landscape Management at the Polytechnic Institute of Tomar (IPT).