Established in 2020, the Global Sustainable Futures: Progress through Partnerships Network (GSFN) materialised out of the need to connect Global South with Global North and co-address the pressing challenges to sustainable futures through constructive partnerships.

The network is looking forward to full-fledged collaborative and interactive activities and co-creation of knowledge and practices beyond national borders and academic disciplines, contributing to achieving and realising the SDGs Agenda 2030 and beyond. The network is committed to creating collaboration/partnerships across the low-, middle- and high-income countries, reaching out through its coordinators to secure globally sustainable futures that are urgent and important.

The network has planned an engaging, interactive, inclusive, and enthusiastic networking and capacity development programme, starting from the first day of 2021.

Currently, the network comprises 1700 coordinators from 133 countries. The group is inclusive and accessible for academics, scholars, like-minded, system thinkers, innovation practitioners, change-makers, and creative voices, from all disciplines who want to enable sustainable transitions for future generations in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The network aims to forge connections outside of academia through institutionalising university partnerships with governments and communities in addressing pressing challenges and transforming societies.


  • Forge Global South and Global North connections
  • Foster partnerships with governments and communities to achieve societal impact
  • Develop an innovative research platform
  • Bring early career researchers’ interests along with senior/experienced researchers
  • Deepen connections between early career and senior researcher perspectives
  • Fostering connections between urban and rural communities
  • Improve interlinkages and synergies between 17 SDGs within academia and in sustainability practice



Through GSFN, we want to play a leading role in creating an inclusive, collaborative, innovative, interactive and engaging network of early career researchers and target like-minded stakeholders, including start-ups and entrepreneurs.  We want to provide a leading platform that will accelerate impactful solutions by sharing visualisation, research, innovation, and enthusiasm in parallel to the network’s success.


To create a robust research environment, building a multidisciplinary and multi-sectoral team of endogenous professionals capable of pursuing and utilising participatory and integrative approaches in solving public and environmental sustainability problems.



GSFN was founded on 31st October 2020 by Dr Renuka Thakore from the Research, Innovations and Partnerships Department, UCEM. Dr Renuka Thakore strongly believes that collaborations between various stakeholders, research partnerships between diverse academics and knowledge exchange, and enhancing education could be the key to achieving a sustainable future.

Watch Dr Renuka Thakore’s TedTalk >


University College of Estate Management (UCEM) is providing in-kind support to GSFN.


Through GSFN, academics and practitioners who have a stake in contributing towards Sustainable Development Goals 2030 and beyond can easily access evidence and expertise from several different parts of the world.


Multidisciplinary Activities and Partnerships Development Platform

Strengthening Science Technology and Innovation (STI) in the Global South needs a systems approach. Capacity development and a more profound linkage between research, policy and practice can speed up the transition to an innovation-led, knowledge-based economy. Though several strategies are employed to address specific barriers, an open, inclusive, and proactively engaging platform for developing and disseminating empirical research and monitoring and evaluating their effectiveness in delivering SDGs and targets are negligible. Global South and Global North, and within, between and beyond low-, middle- and high-income countries need to progress in research capacity steadily. Still, significant barriers to research are the lack of empirical evidence on strategic transdisciplinary interventions.

The systems approach is essential for an effective response to and recovery from the COVID 19 pandemic in both Global South and Global North, between and beyond low-, middle- and high-income countries. The current COVID-19 drawbacks have created an inclusive breeding ground for novel solutions and approaches to uncertainties. Adopting a Systems approach in designing a new sustainable Economic Recovery Strategy (ERS) to be implemented in the next 2022-2025 will lead to achieving development and humanitarian goals in more novel and creative ways. The designed ERS will mitigate the adverse socio-economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and facilitate the opening up of the economy, accelerate economic recovery, and attain higher and sustained economic growth. The designed ERS will provide a new development framework beyond the current Vision 2030 in the Global South. Countries are making significant investments over the last year to maintain their economy’s viability and protect the lives and livelihoods of their people amid the COVID-19 pandemic drawbacks. Nevertheless, a robust, inclusive and ambitious network platform like the one provided by this Network will be the key catalysts in strengthening those efforts toward a more potent economic recovery strategy across the Global South and Global North, and within, between and beyond low-, middle- and high- income countries.

Despite the evolution in sustainable development thinking, local actors continue to use outdated development strategies, recognised as unsustainable. To realise the multi-dimensional sustainable, innovative approach, the outcomes of research capacity on international platforms must be equally valued as research output, having an essential role in advancing the SDGs agenda. Given this context, it is crucial that the key players – academics, researchers, industry professionals, technocrats, and research-oriented institutions, respond to the ongoing and emerging climate change, environmental and sustainability challenges in the Global South and Global North, and within, between and beyond low-, middle- and high- income countries. Missing, however, are the ‘knowledge and skills to ‘integrate’ and ‘network’ these fundamental ingredients of capacity development in organic, real-time, and innovative ways. Thus, a considered, deliberate effort is all-important to build a platform that integrates all the above-listed elements, ultimately improving the research capacity and capability of researchers and sustainability professionals throughout the globe.

There have already been significant consequences in terms of the direct impacts of the public health crisis on health and mortality and indirect effects on social, economic and political systems. Innovation for development has gained traction to achieve growth and humanitarian goals in more novel and creative ways to generate more impact for more people.

Calls for multinational transdisciplinary research projects

Co-ordinators can propose their research projects and ask for relevant coordinators to engage and facilitate their research projects in whole or part in any research activities throughout the lifecycle process of the research project.

Knowledge exchange meetings

GSFN conducts network wide open monthly meetings every second Saturday of the month, which serves as a knowledge exchange platform. These monthly meetings include brainstorming sessions, which serve as knowledge sharing/capacity development/training events. Co-ordinators are informed about the agenda and the brainstorming topic in advance; thus, they came prepared to contribute to these sessions and get engaged in an interactive dialogue. The current debatable topics that make attendees think about sustainable transformation to the sustainable societies and economies, including achieving sustainable development goals (SDGs) 2030 and beyond are selected for the brainstorming session. Topic such as systems-thinking, meaningful stakeholder engagement and the circular economy are discussed.

Identification of research opportunities

GSFN will respond to requests to identify experts with research in specific SDG. It brings together a list of relevant co-ordinators those who are or have expressed their interest in contributing to one or more SDGs from across its network.

Engaging via social media

GSFN selects one SDG every week and engages with social media platforms to create awareness around the selected SDG. The social media accounts are LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook.

Collaboration with other networks

The network collaborates with partners in low- and middle-income countries, global Networks such as Future Earth, Future Earth Knowledge-Action Network (KAN) and International Research Network on Climate Resilient Development (RIPEDRC), to advance science-based knowledge for the Agenda 2030.  GSFN is committed to encouraging early career researchers and strives to provide them opportunities to lead on research projects, bringing support or mentoring from senior researchers.


GSFN engages its coordinators, develops scientific publications, and provides the best way to contribute to the literature of sustainable practices and sustainable development goals through research projects and collaboration activities.

In all cases, GSFN aims to improve the research capacity and capability of researchers and sustainability professionals throughout the globe by providing multidisciplinary activities, partnerships development, collaborations between various stakeholders and research partnerships between diverse academics. Flexibility, responsiveness, knowledge exchange and enhancement in education and research are fundamental elements needed to achieve a sustainable future. Thus, GSFN is happy to consider requests that fall within the remit of these broad objectives.



GSFN is open to any academic, systems thinker, innovation practitioner, change maker, creative voice, and stakeholder from government, community groups and business from any discipline who want to enable sustainable transitions for future generations in line with Sustainable Development Goals.

In joining, co-ordinators agree to provide contact details and share with network co-ordinators to enable them and others to take up different opportunities offered through this network.

There is no cost of joining GSFN, and it is expected that GSFN all activities, including knowledge exchange events will be free to attend and research activities are undertaken for free. Some opportunities identified by GSFN for its members (e.g., attending conferences) may have associated costs, but that remains your choice.


The purpose of acting as a more formalised network is to play a leading role in creating an inclusive, collaborative, innovative and engaging network of where everyone can share in their research, innovation, visualization, and enthusiasm in parallel to network’s success.

This is in response to the demand from both Global South and Global North to see more collaboration, engagement, and participation between multi-disciplinary and multisectoral team of endogenous professionals and thus increase the impact of research capacity of early career researchers and like targeted stakeholders including start-ups and entrepreneurs from low- and medium- income countries.

Ultimately, we intend this to create a strong research environment building to a that would be capable of pursuing and utilising participatory and integrative approaches in solving public and environmental sustainability problems.

If you wish to join GSFN, please fill in this form or contact Dr Renuka Thakore

See more from our network co-ordinators
Ashish Kelka

GSFN Co-ordinator (India)

Esther Uzoh

GSFN Co-ordinator (Nigeria)

Fancia Santos

GSFN Co-ordinator (Philippines)

Manoela Santos

GSFN Co-ordinataor (Brazil)

Paulus Balun

GSFN Co-ordinator (Indonesia)

Rosilene Delariva

GSFN Co-ordinator (Brazil)

How we communicate
  • Essential emails and unique opportunities are communicated through a group email account (gsfn-coordinators@googlegroups.com) and the organisation account (r.thakore@ucem.ac.uk), so please safe list these two email addresses to avoide them going straight to your spam folder.
  • Anyone from the Network can post vacancies, events, news links, informal chats, etc., on WhatsApp,  Slack and LinkedIn page. So, please join these social media accounts if you are interested.
  • Every month we create awareness on the ‘Goal of the Month‘ using LinkedIn (@Global Sustainable Futures Progress through Partnerships Network), Instagram (@SustainableFutures2030), Facebook (@Sustainable Futures), Twitter (@Futures2030),  Future Earth Circle (this will require you to create an account). Would you mind joining these social media accounts as the leading voice on the Goal of the Month? You will be able to widen your network through like-minded communities joining these channels.
  • Please fill out this form to deliver any presentation, propose a new research idea/project, share publication, calls, research activities, personal achievements, etc.

Events and Opportunities

Events and opportunities to attend

Upcoming events

Global Sustainable Futures Progress through Partnerships Network Monthly Seminar Series.

  • This video series captures the monthly activities of the Global Sustainable Futures Progress through Partnerships Network.

Watch event >



Get in touch on What'sApp - GSFN   Get in touch on Facebook - GSFN   Get in touch on LinkedIn - GSFN   Get in touch on Twitter - GSFN   Get in touch on Instagram - GSFN       Get in touch on Slack - GSFN 




Introduction to STRIDES Project

The STRIDES (Systemic Transformative and Resilient Interventional Drivers for Education for Sustainability) project PART 1 explores the grand challenge: transforming the education systems (environment) in which we learn, teach and exchange knowledge.

PART 0 The Global Challenge of Education

PART 0 research findings substantiate the need for repurposing education in learning institutions for sustainable societies and climate change. The call is to unfold from the simple to the complex based on the grounded theoretical framework for education to be meaningful and relevant – society should be able to fight risks such as the recent Covid19 pandemic. The current education framework seems to be operating strategically without the bottom-up approach that should leave no one behind. Excellent strategic thinking leads to numerous policy changes in educational institutions and poor evaluation because of slow implementation processes overtaken by events. To address the human needs within the context of climate change and positive, sustainable development, the research team suggests an all-inclusive approach, rather than the existing fragmented one that does not seem palatable. Thus, the scope of the future desired state is an envisaged approach to reduce all externalities on the environment through the application of technical and vocational education systems that must be inherent in all communities across the globe. Human capital development is key to transformational processes. Every society needs to implant human-centred designs to address their needs within the scope of appropriate technology and cultural dimensions. Thus, internationalisation of the education process in line with sustainable development goals may help build the desired strategies to embrace the future with the mind that supports sustainability and climate change.

PART 1 Innovative Case Studies or Advances in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) for STRIDES Project

Developing, demonstrating, and scaling a novel approach to leveraging systems transformation in educational spaces is complex. Script and structured interface have a beneficial effect on the grounding discussions or other difficult problem-solving types (Schoonenboom, 2008). Therefore, this study follows a journey of exploration and discovery in the initial phase, a systematic inquiry into possible, probable, and preferable. This project serves as the starting point. Educators, systems thinkers, innovation practitioners, change-makers, and creative voices join in figuring out how to deploy excellence in educational spaces while increasing operational flexibility in the pursuit of what we hold for future sustainable education and societal systems.

PART 1 will compile innovative case studies or advances in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). You are welcome to provide inputs on the latest innovative case studies or advances within education in learning institutions for sustainable societies and climate change. In this PART 1, the objective is to highlight the latest innovative case studies or advances across disciplines to identify systemic transformative and resilient interventional drivers for Education for sustainability. The synthesis will base on the contributions of multiple expert stakeholders. Inputs from all active researchers, educators, systems thinkers, innovation practitioners, change-makers, and creative voices, across all disciplines, working with issues related to ESD.

A survey collected innovative case studies or advances in recent times and critical articles and reports. Those who submitted a minimum of one paper supporting passages and declared their interest in contributing as co-authors are invited to write publications.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with Dr Renuka Thakore.