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  •  Leaders to Gather in Cambridge to Discuss the Future for Sustainable Development 

 Leaders to Gather in Cambridge to Discuss the Future for Sustainable Development 

Jul 10 2014

Leaders from across the region will gather at Kings College on the evening of Tuesday 8th July for the Alliance for Sustainable Development’s (UK) Annual Leaders Dinner. The event, hosted by Sustainability East, will provide the platform for discussing the pressing issue of ‘sustainable development in 2014’ and associated education and skills development.

The East of England’s political and economic landscape has changed substantially in recent years impacting on our ability to progress towards the ten objectives set out in the 2009 Integrated Sustainability Framework. These objectives include the promotion of sustainable growth within environmental limits, reduction of poverty and inequality, and the promotion of social inclusion; reducing greenhouse gas emissions; adapting to the impacts of climate change; promoting employment, learning, skills and innovation; and more.

Established in 2013, the Alliance for Sustainable Development was founded on the premise that the transition to sustainability exceeds the capacity and capability of individual actors. Collaboration is therefore essential to catalyse smarter solutions that address both the speed and scale of the challenge.  Members of the Alliance are drawn from public, private and third sectors and academia, and all hold senior positions

The 30 attendees include leaders from county councils; Chambers of Commerce; several Local Enterprise Partnerships; Stansted Airport; ARM; Jonson Matthey, PwC; Mott MacDonald; Environment Agency; Natural England; Forestry Commission Global Sustainability Institute; Essex University; University of Cambridge; National Trust; RSPB; IEMA; NHS and more.  The keynote speaker at the Dinner will be Dame Fiona Reynolds, DBE, Master of Emmanuel College, Cambridge¹.   

Dr Aled Jones, Chair of the Alliance for Sustainable Development and Director of Sustainability East said: “We know that the world is rapidly changing. Growing populations are placing increasing pressure on natural resources. In parallel, these resources are increasingly constrained by ecosystem changes and biodiversity loss, variability of weather conditions, and the impacts of climate change.  Given the inherent complexity and uncertainty of human and natural systems, and the ability of human society to innovate, we must adopt a dynamic approach to sustainable development - one that recognises and embraces the interdependencies of social, economic and environmental goals. Achieving this will require strong collaboration between multiple stakeholders.

“We know that an improved economy is slowly emerging. But it will require ambition and drive to make progress on sustainable development.  It will also require a transformation in skills requirements.  We know that skills are not purely sector specific technical knowledge: action and behavioural skills also make us better able to develop and be globally competitive through resilience and innovation.  To play the most productive role, individuals will require skills that give them a critical understanding of environment, social and economic connections; the ability to creatively address issues; the ability to be innovative, proactive and adaptable; a capacity for engaging and dynamic communication; and an ability to work well in collaboration with others. 

“This Leaders Dinner provides an opportunity to identify, discuss and debate these pertinent issues and to inspire collaborative action so that the East of England is in a better position to respond effectively to the change which lies ahead.”


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