Call for Special Sessions: Adaptation Futures 2018

Adaptation Futures 2018 , the world’s premiere international climate change adaptation conference, takes place from 18-21 June 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Adaptation Futures 2018 aims to progress discussion and learning within the adaptation community on how to move from problem diagnosis to successful implementation.  Adaptation Futures is committed to producing rich, interactive sessions that engage diverse participants and align with the conference themes.
The Call for Special Sessions is now open. We invite you submit a proposal to organise a special session at the conference. As the session organiser, you define the topic and format of the special session.


Adaptation Futures is committed to producing rich, interactive sessions which engage diverse participants, support the conference objectives and align with the conference themes. We invite you to submit a proposal to organise an open or closed special session at the conference. As the session organiser, you define the topic and format of the special session.

Open Sessions

In an open session, the session organisers define the topic and format of the session, invite one or more speakers to anchor the session, but advertise for and accept contributions from the wider community through their own networks and the conference website.  All contributions for an open special session will need to be submitted via the conference abstract submission process.  The conference SteerCom may also suggest additional contributors to the session. You also organise the smooth running of the session and provide a summary report for the conference report. The session should fit a 1 hour 45 minute time slot, unless otherwise arranged.

Closed Sessions

In a closed session, the session organisers define the topic and format of the session, and invite all speakers/contributors in the session.  Therefore the session proposal needs to include details of all the speakers/contributors. You also organise the smooth running of the session and provide a summary report for the conference report. The session should fit a 1 hour 45 minute time slot, unless otherwise arranged.

Selections Process

  • The Science, Policy and Practice Review Panel will review the session proposals.
  • The conference SteerCom will make the final decision.

Adaptation and development

Our main criteria for selection will be quality, relevance and diversity and inclusivity. We particularly welcome sessions that:

  • Facilitate dialogue between research and government, civil society, international agencies and business
  • Contribute to a diverse and balanced programme that focuses on solutions and innovations
  • Link adaptation action to sustainable development, investment and planning
  • Contribute to a programme with a wide range of topics, stakeholders, scales and regions.
  • Use stimulating session formats with plenty of opportunity for audience interaction.
  • Showcase examples of research or new practices that are internationally applicable.
  • Involve a partner organisation from a different region.

Conditions of Acceptance

By submitting a proposal, the session team agrees that:

  • Abstracts, presentations, photos and/ or videos may be published on the conference website and other communications materials.
  • The Local Organising Committee will decide on the date and time for the selected sessions. (Preferences for dates can be given but are not guaranteed).
  • The SteerCom may ask session organisers to merge their proposed session with another session, or to include additional contributors or change the session format.
  • The responsibility for covering the costs associated with registration, travel and accommodation of the session team lies with the organising institution.

General Guidelines for Completing the Submission Form

You will need to

  • Specify the session organiser, chair and rapporteur and any other key team members.
  • Select a conference theme
  • Select a session format
  • Provide a summary of the proposed session (max 500 words) including how it will be organised and moderated.
  • Provide the outcomes of the session (max 50 words)
  • Motivate if you would want additional time (additional sessions) beyond the 1hour 45minutes.
  • Indicate a partner organisation (if any).
  • The deadline for proposal submissions is 15 September 2017.

Registration Open: Mediterranean Symposium on Smart City Applications (SCAMS 2017)

SCAMS 2017

The Mediterranean Symposium on Smart City Applications (SCAMS 2017) is a multidisciplinary international conference organized by the Mediterranean Association of Sciences and Technologies (MediAST) in collaboration with the Laboratory of Computer Science, Systems and Telecommunications (LIST) and the Faculty of Sciences and Techniques of Tangier (FSTT).

Smart City is a new approach that covers clean technology and emerging information technology and their application in fields of urban services, healthcare, transportation, security, sustainability, industry, and other domains.

SCAMS will take place in Tangier, Morocco from 26-27 October 2017.

The Symposium is a forum for scientists, health researchers and industrial engineers to discuss and exchange experimental or theoretical results, novel designs, work-in-progress, experiences, case studies, and trend-setting ideas in the area of smart city. Papers with new research results and new products or concepts are encouraged for submission.

The Symposium is the next event of the highly successful International Workshop in Smart cities and innovative systems SCIS’16 held in Tangier October 2016.

All accepted papers for presentation will be included in in the ACM – International Conference Proceedings Series and will be available in ACM Digital Library.

SCAMS proceedings, which will be indexed by : Thomson Reuters, SCOPUS and DBLP


Invitation to REDD+MRV webinar series

Invitation to REDD+MRV webinar series:

You are warmly invited to join our free webinar series, which introduces the latest tools and methodologies for REDD+ MRV, in the themes of monitoring forest area and area changes, and the associated carbon stocks and changes. Tools to assist with data management, MRV stocktakingand involvement of communities will be covered. Remote sensing approaches for detection of deforestation, cloud computing, and accuracy assessments are also included.

Participants will: 
– Increase their capacity in REDD+ MRV, planning, data management, analysis and reporting
– Learn about the latest freely available tools and methodologies
– Receive a certificate for participation in at least 6 of the webinars

Timing: Individual live and interactive webinars of 1.5 hours each, held between April and June 2017. The first webinar is 19th April 2017.

Go to our website for more information and to register for the webinars:

Location: You can login from anwhere with an internet connection to join the webinars.

Presenters: GOFC-GOLD, GFOI, FAO UN REDD, WB FCPF, Winrock International, Wageningen University, Boston University, and others to be confirmed.

Organizers: GOFC-GOLD and World Bank FCPF

Please circultate to those who may be interested in this announcement.

Sarah Carter
Contact for GOFC-GOLD REDD+ MRV capacity building activities
Wageningen University
Email: /


Position Announcement: START Senior Program Specialist – Asia


START International, Inc. is an international non-governmental organization incorporated in the USA as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. START’s mission is to increase opportunities for research, education and training that strengthen scientific capacities in developing countries to understand, communicate and motivate action on critical global change challenges. START achieves its mission through promoting ‘research-driven capacity building’, an approach that emphasizes experiential learning by doing, particularly by early-career scientists, in which targeted skill building and networking opportunities are infused within the research experience. START’s portfolio of programs and activities include research grants and fellowships, knowledge assessments and syntheses, advanced training institutes and workshops, curricula development, multi-stakeholder dialogues and learning forums, and regionally based strategic actions that advance global change education and research.


Senior Program Specialist – Asia

START International, Inc. located in Washington, DC USA, invites applications for a Senior Program Specialist position focused on START’s Asia portfolio. The Senior Program Specialist will be responsible for leading START’s strategic growth in Asia, which will entail developing and managing multi-year programs on global environmental change and capacity building in the region. In addition, s/he will be responsible for designing and implementing an organizational-wide monitoring, evaluation, research, and learning framework to track delivery against targets, outcomes, and impacts.


Duties and Responsibilities

  • Lead development and execution of large proposals for submission to federal agencies, foundations, corporations, and other relevant development assistance and science entities.
  • Provide overall strategic leadership and program oversight on START’s Asia portfolio.
  • Manage programs on global environmental change and capacity building in Asia.
  • Co-organize and co‐facilitate regional workshops and training events.
  • Lead the design and implementation of START’s monitoring, evaluation, research, and learning (MERL) framework to track delivery against targets, outcomes, and impacts.
  • Support staff in their MERL functions and promote learning and knowledge sharing of best practices and lessons learned.
  • Build and maintain strong collaborative relationships with START’s staff and Board of Directors, its grantees and fellows, and external organizations, including donors/clients, governments, potential partners, and other stakeholders.
  • Collaborate with START’s staff and Board to design and execute a new strategic plan.
  • Serve as a senior-level thought partner in collaboration with START’s Executive Team.


Desired Qualifications

A successful candidate should possess the following:

  • A Master’s degree or higher in a field relevant to START’s programs; PhD preferred.
  • At least 10 years of relevant professional experience working in Asia on global environmental change and capacity building.
  • Experience in writing, editing, and managing large collaborative proposal efforts.
  • Track record of winning proposals, preferably from large development and foundation grants.
  • Proven experience leading and developing large-scale capacity building initiatives and MERL methods to measure targets, outcomes, and impact.
  • Proven success cultivating and maintaining working relationship with a broad range of governmental and nongovernmental actors and institutions across sectors.
  • Experience in leading and mentoring teams.
  • Ability to work independently, across cultures, and within a small team.
  • Exceptional communication, facilitation, organization, and problem-solving skills.
  • Creativity and innovation in program design and implementation.
  • Legally eligible to work in the United States; no sponsorship provided.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English required.

The Senior Program Specialist will be based in Washington, DC, USA and will report to START’s Executive Director, Dr. Cheikh Mbow. Annual salary will be commensurate with experience and will be supplemented by a comprehensive benefits and retirement package. Frequent international travel for representational and/or program development matters will be required. Questions about this position and responsibilities related to the position may be directed to Sarah Schweizer (


To apply, please send a one-page statement of interest, a resume, three samples of writing you’ve produced, and contacts of at least three references (who will not be contacted without prior notice) to Applications must be received no later than March 1, 2017.


Download Position Announcement

Call for Pre-proposals: New research opportunity in Africa


The Belmont Forum and START are pleased to announce an opportunity for African scientists to participate in the upcoming Belmont Forum Collaborative Research Action on Sustainable Urban Global Initiative (SUGI): Food-Water-Energy Nexus.


The call for pre-proposals is due 15 March 2017 at 6:00 p.m. UCT. Notifications of invitation to submit full proposals will be made in May, funding decisions will be announced in December and projects will commence in early 2018. Please refer to the table below for specific information about the application process.


Funding commitment Approximately 600,000 USD
Anticipated number of projects funded 6
Maximum funding per awarded project Approximately 100,000 USD allocated toward research conducted in Africa.
Applicant eligibility PIs or Co-PIs are required to be African nationals based at African institutions. Eligible proposals must include PIs or Co-PIs from at least three countries: either two African countries and a non-African country eligible for support from SUGI-Nexus or one African country and two non-African countries eligible for support from SUGI-Nexus. Please refer to Annex A of the Call for Proposals for eligibility requirements.
Eligibility of costs All costs, including indirect, are included in the maximum amount listed above.
Submission of proposals Eligible PIs and Co-PIs must submit a pre-proposal by 15 March 2017 at 6:00 p.m. UCT as part of a team consistent with the “applicant eligibility” information listed above.
Submission of financial and progress reports All START funded awardees will submit annual and final reports to the START program coordinator and will be expected to follow US National Science Foundation reporting requirements.
For questions and further information, contact: Jon Padgham ( or

Sarah Schweizer (

Download announcement

Critical Thinking and Visions of the Future with ASSAR in West Africa

assar-wafricaThe second round of Transformative Scenario Planning (TSP) workshops were held near the end of 2016 in Ghana and Mali as part of the Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions (ASSAR) project. These workshops built on a set of scenarios developed through a collaboration of ASSAR researchers and stakeholders from Upper West, Ghana and Koutiala, Mali. These scenarios facilitated participants to think critically about what the future may hold in terms of climate change, agriculture and food so that more legitimate actions can be designed and taken in the present.


In Ghana, the second workshop was held the 2nd and 3rd of November at the Nouyong Empire Hotel in the city of Wa in the Upper West Region. Dinesh Budhram from Reos Partners and Margot Steenbergen from the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre facilitated the workshop. Participants were reacquainted with the scenario stories that had been developed over the preceding months through use of a set of scenarios videos prepared by the ASSAR communications team. The facilitators then led participants through at process of critical thinking and collective visioning that ultimately resulted in a set of prioritized themes or action areas. These included 1) disaster risk management, 2) improved market systems, 3) ecosystem management, 4) sustainable food and livelihoods empowerment, 5) climate smart water resources management, 6) and dissemination of the group’s shared vision for Upper West region, termed “Vision 2035”, to larger audiences and integrating it with national policy documents. Action groups were formed around these key action areas by those participants interested in and committed to shaping these ideas further, and remaining in touch with the ASSAR team to carry forward.


In Mali, the 2nd TSP workshop was held on the 13th and 14th of December in Koutiala, Mali. There, participants from the Sikasso region along with two national level stakeholders worked to develop a common vision: “A l’horizon 2035, faire des investissements dans l’agriculture et la conservation des ressources naturelles afin de garantir la sécurité alimentaire et améliorer le revenu des ménages dans le cercle de Koutiala” – translated as: “By 2035, strategic investments will target agriculture and natural resource conservation to ensure food security and wellbeing in Koutiala Region”. Based on this common vision, the socio-cultural context of the Region was analyzed to identify existing opportunities and barriers. Three groups of stakeholders were formed: public workers; civil society and farmers (farmer organisations). Each group was asked to list relevant strategies for achieving the vision, and for each of those, resources needed; problem to be addressed; actors to engage, and short and long term actions neede. From their lists, participants prioritized the following strategies, 1) management of rainwater on farms, 2) improvement of soil fertility, 3) promotion of improved seeds, 4) promotion of good nutritional practices, 5) secure land tenure, 6) forest resource management, and 7) production and post-harvest management. The Mali team is now working with the stakeholders on ways to put these strategies into action.

START Board Member Thomas Lovejoy to Deliver 2017 Pardee Center Distinguished Lecture on March 28

The Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future at Boston University is pleased to announce its 2017 Distinguished Lecture, “Biology and Climate Change” featuring Thomas Lovejoy on Tuesday, March 28 from 5:00 – 6:30 pm(reception to follow) at the Metcalf Trustee Center at 1 Silber Way, 9th Floor.

Click here to RSVP

Prof. Thomas E. Lovejoy is an innovative and accomplished conservation biologist who coined the term “biological diversity”. He serves as Senior Fellow at the United Nations Foundation. In 2010 he was elected University Professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at George Mason University. He served as President of the Heinz Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment from 2002-2008 and was the Biodiversity Chair of the Center from 2008-2013. Before assuming this position, Lovejoy was the World Bank’s Chief Biodiversity Advisor and Lead Specialist for Environment for Latin America and the Caribbean as well as Senior Advisor to the President of the United Nations Foundation.

Spanning the political spectrum, Lovejoy has served on science and environmental councils under the Reagan, Bush, and Clinton administrations. At the core of these many influential positions are Lovejoy’s seminal ideas, which have formed and strengthened the field of conservation biology. He was the first to use the term “biological diversity” in 1980. In the 1980s, he brought international attention to the world’s tropical rainforests, and in particular, the Brazilian Amazon, where he has worked since 1965. In 1980, he produced the first projection of global extinctions for the Global 2000 Report to the President. Lovejoy also developed the now ubiquitous “debt-for-nature” swap programs and led the Minimum Critical Size of Ecosystems project.

With two co-edited books (1992 and 2005), he is credited with founding the field of climate change biology. He and Lee Hannah are working on the Second Edition of Climate Change and Biodiversity. He also founded the series Nature, the popular long-term series on public television. In 2001, Lovejoy was awarded the prestigious Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement. In 2009 he was the winner of BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Ecology and Conservation Biology Category. In 2009 he was appointed Conservation Fellow by the National Geographic. In 2012 he was recognized by the Blue Planet Prize. Lovejoy holds B.S. and Ph.D (biology) degrees from Yale University.

We hope to see you there!
The Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future
Boston University | 67 Bay State Road, Boston, MA 02215 | 617-358-4000 |

Request for Proposal: START Website Redesign


START International, Inc., a small, global nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., is seeking proposals for the design and development of a new website. The work is divided into two distinct Phases:

Phase One: Redesign of the home page, including recommendations on the contemporizing of its logo, and the redesign of a digital newsletter housed on the site, with an eye to Phase Two.

Phase Two: Development of a complete, new website, utilizing design work of Phase One.

This RFP encompasses both Phases, with the explicit understanding that Phase One will occur in the first half of 2017. The overall website redesign (Phase Two) is to begin in late 2017, depending on completion of START’s strategic planning, budget priorities, and the performance of its web vendor.


START’s central mission is to increase opportunities for research, education and training that strengthen scientific capacities in developing countries to understand, communicate and motivate action on critical global change challenges. START achieves its mission through promoting research-driven capacity building, an approach that emphasizes experiential learning by doing, particularly by early-career scientists, in which targeted skill building and networking opportunities are infused within the research experience.

START works predominately in Africa and Asia, where its work is carried out by a system of partners, regional centers, and affiliated institutions, in collaboration with the International START Secretariat, based in Washington, DC.


START’s website is its single, most accessible public identity and positioning tool. The website’s goal is to convey START’s unique role in building scientific communities through capacity building and knowledge exchange for a broad, global, scientifically – literate audience. And thus, the most important objective is to increase engagement and interest in working with START on its programming, and other offerings. More specifically, START seeks to:
In the short-term

– Attract and increase new and repeat visitors/customers, especially younger career scientists
– Better showcase its impact and offerings
– Encourage engagement through highly share-able content and visual representations of its programming.
And in the longer-term

– Create and build a community of START alum and senior scientists with whom they engage regularly for education and information sharing
– Increase donor interest and support
– Develop an online application process through its website for its small grant and fellowship opportunities
Additional considerations

START CMS is WordPress and we expect the new design to utilize this open source tool while offering a design that will help streamline processes to reduce support and maintenance costs. START shares it content directly via its quarterly e-newsletter, PDFs, and for multimedia content it utilizes Vimeo and YouTube.

START may wish to expand its content offerings to include livestreaming, slideshows, photo galleries, infographics, digital magazines, blogging and site-hosted webinars.


The website’s primary audiences in order of priority are: 1. professionals and scholars in academia, government, business, industry, policy, and research, with early career scientists and university-level students following. 2. Public policy and leaders.

In addition, the organization offers announcements of upcoming conferences and publications geared toward a scientifically- literate public. These additional audiences may include educators, donors and potential donors, non-governmental organizations and the media.


Proposal should be submitted via email to by January 22, 2017.
Proposals must include the following:

  • Brief overview and background of firm, including organizational capacity to meet both Phase One and Phase Two requirements. Previous work supporting nonprofit and/or scientific projects should be noted. (Please note: If you will engage subcontracts, we expect these to be identified in your proposal.)
  • URLs for at least three (3) websites you have produced that best reflect your work and relevancy to this project.
  • Proposed timelines and cost estimates for Phase One and Phase Two. (If it is anticipated that there will additional and/or out of pocket fees, please provide an overview of these additional fees.)
  • Reference information for three (3) former or current clients.
  • Brief description of your requirements around the information gathering process.
  • Information and estimates required for automatic migration of content from old website to new.
  • Standard support and maintenance package, and information and support fees associated with upgrades, bug fixes, troubleshooting, maintenance, backups, and design/development enhancements.
  • Any additional costs or requirements for necessary hardware, software, databases,training, or web server licenses.
  • Costs and procedures for disaster recovery.
  • If you offer website hosting* as a service, describe:

– Frequency of backups and upgrades.
– Technical support and security.
– Where website will reside and what data redundancies are in place.
– Support and maintenance hours/availability.
– All pricing, terms, and conditions, including disk space limitations, site traffic limitations, ongoing server and technical support costs, and other extra costs.

  • If you do not offer website hosting, describe how you would assist START in choosing a hosting provider.

*Please note that START International may be in need of website hosting for its current site as well as the proposed new one.


Questions about this RFP should be directed to Margaret Chapman at


This RFP does not commit START International to award a contract, to pay any costs incurred in preparation of a proposal/quote, or to procure or contract for any services. We reserve the right to cancel in part or in its entirety this RFP, to accept or to reject any or all quotes/proposals submitted, to request additional information from any or all proposers, or to negotiate with any or all proposers.
Download the RFP

Call for Applications: Transdisciplinary workshops on the impacts of urbanization on the food-energy-water nexus


The Belmont Forum, START, Future Earth, and regional partners seek applications to participate in a skill-building opportunity on conducting transdisciplinary (TD) research. The workshops will focus on advancing principles of co-design and co-production in the natural, social, and engineering sciences that address complex sustainability challenges associated with the Belmont Challenge (

These workshops seek to advance skill development in TD research, as well as increasing aptitude for developing proposals with strong TD elements, which is a cornerstone of all the Belmont Forum’s multi-year Collaborative Research Action (CRA), including the recently launched call on urbanization and the food-energy-water nexus ([1]. Learning activities within each workshop will be organized around a regionally relevant case study on the food-energy-water nexus.


The workshops will be three-day events with approximately 30 participants per workshop. We welcome applicants from researcher, policy, private sector, and practitioner communities. The participants will be apportioned as approximately 2/3 from the research community and 1/3 from practitioner, private sector, and policy communities.



  • Understand TD research in the context of urbanization and the food-energy-water nexus
  • Identify opportunities and barriers related to TD research and application
  • Explore how to broaden impacts by adopting TD process design
  • Acquire usable skills and competences in TD research on:
    • Building a TD team
    • Collaborative problem framing
    • TD settings and roles of researchers and practitioners
    • Integrative approaches and methods
    • Evaluating TD process and scientific and societal impacts



  1. Tempe, Arizona

Dates: February 22-24, 2017

Theme: Extreme heat and its impact on the Food-Energy-Water nexus

Venue: Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University

Partners: NSF, START, Belmont Forum, Future Earth, Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University, and Urbanization and Global Environmental Change (UGEC)


  1. Boulder, Colorado

Dates: March 1-3, 2017

Theme: Food-Energy-Water on the South Platte River

Venue: University of Colorado

Partners: NSF, START, Future Earth, Belmont Forum, and Sustainability Innovation Lab at Colorado at the University of Colorado


  1. Baltimore, Maryland

Dates: Late Spring 2017 (A separate call will be released for this workshop)

Theme: TBA

Venue: TBA

Partners: NSF, START, Belmont Forum, Future Earth, and others



  • Applicants must be based in the U.S.



Applications must be submitted by January 18, 2017 to Sarah Schweizer at The application requires the following components:


  • A Statement of Interest describing: 1) relevant background knowledge and experience that the applicant can share with other participants; 2) the anticipated impact of participation on the institution where you work; 3) how the workshop will advance your own ability to conduct TD research or to engage with a TD process design; 4) if a co-collaborator/partner you work with is also applying; 5) any unique ideas, skills, and/or foreseeable opportunities for advancing follow-on activities subsequent to workshop participation, including the identification of potential partner organizations; and 6) how the workshop will improve your potential proposal submission for the Belmont Collaborative Research Action on food-energy-water nexus-in-urban (
  • Curriculum vitae or resume
  • Supporting letter from applicant’s home institution
  • Specify which workshop location you would like to attend


Travel support is available for those individuals selected to participate and will include round-trip economy class airfare, accommodations, and modest daily subsistence while at the workshop.


For further information please contact Sarah Schweizer at



[1] Please note that participation in a workshop is not mandatory to submit a proposal to any of the Belmont Forum Collaborative Research Action call for proposals.

Download the call for applications

Call for Proposals: AESA Grand Challenges Africa Innovation Grants

Launching the Grand Challenges Africa Grants

AESA, an initiative of the African Academy of Sciences and the NEPAD Agency, is happy to announce that with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we are committing USS$ 7 million for Grand Challenges Africa Grants to fund innovative and bold ideas that will impact on Africa’s health and developmental outcomes over the next five years.

We will have calls for proposals each year, which will give out up to US$100,000 in Innovation Seed Grants for two years to innovators in Africa with any level of experience, working in any discipline in colleges, universities, government laboratories, research institutions, non-governmental and non-profit organisations.

Projects which show promising results will be eligible to later apply for Phase 2 funding of up to $1 million from AESA or the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The first call for proposals open today and is focused on innovators seeking solutions and strategies:

  1. To reduce maternal, neonatal and child deaths in Africa
  2. For creative communication approaches to inspire African governments to fund R&D.