The Kick-off of the NORFACE and Belmont Forum research programme Transformations to Sustainability (T2S) took place in Fukuoka, Japan on 22-26 September 2018. The Kick-off consisted of a three-day workshop for the twelve funded T2S projects and a T2S launch session at the World Social Science Forum, alongside which the Kick-off was organized. The T2S Kick-off provided a successful platform for discussions, reflection and mutual learning among the representatives from the funded projects and with a wider audience.
The T2S Kick-off was attended by 22 representatives from the twelve NORFACE-Belmont Forum funded T2S projects. The event started with a combined workshop for the twelve projects and the three Transformative Knowledge Networks funded by the original Transformations to Sustainability programme (2014-2019) of the International Social Science Council. The workshop provided a meeting ground for the two cohorts of projects, fledgling and mature, to explore what could be learned from each other about doing transdisciplinary research on transformations to sustainability and how social science can effectively contribute to equitable transformations to sustainability. The workshop included poster and storytelling sessions, discussions on impact and mutual learning, and a field trip to the Rainwater Society initiative, which aims to promote decentralized water management subsystems, in part by encouraging different generations of people to work together to harvest rainwater and develop green spaces.
The workshop was followed by a well-attended T2S launch session at the World Social Science Forum, where the NORFACE-Belmont Forum T2S programme was presented. The context, opportunities and challenges for the social sciences in leading research on transformations to sustainability were addressed, after which the twelve funded T2S projects presented themselves to the participants of the session. The audience was able to ask questions to and exchange views with the panel of project representatives. The synthesis of the various projects at the end of the meeting provided a positive final conclusion: keep “discovery” alive – we can discover a lot about the world through these projects.