Leadership for Science Diplomacy Workshop

STeP Leadership in Science Diplomacy Workshop 

The first face-to-face meeting of the Inter-American network of Fellows from the IAI  Science, Technology and Policy  (STeP) Fellowship Program took place from November 12 to 15, 2022 in Punta del Este and Montevideo, Uruguay.


The Leadership in Science Diplomacy Workshop was a welcome break from virtual professional development since the program's inception in 2020. 30 fellows from 14 nationalities in the Americas were invited to learn and interact with each other alongside global experts from the new Advisory Board of IAI Science Diplomacy Center (SDC).

The workshop agenda was co-designed with the IAI STeP fellows themselves with sessions that combined  subject matter experts with  panels of fellows' to share their own work experience and wisdom.

The workshop addressed the following topics:

Transdisciplinary Leadership

- The key principles of the TD Approach in the context of the IAI's 30 years of global change research. A discussion on methodologies and stories  from fellows  highlighting their TD skills and experiences. 

-Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) and decolonization at the nexus of science and policy: In this session we discussed the IAI EDI policy and laid the groundwork for putting the policy into practice by guiding Fellows to create their individual and then shared requirements for a safe and supportive environment to work towards consensus.  
- Leadership Redefined: Using the ground rules created by Fellows in the previous sessions Fellows brought their rich cultural and professional diversity to the table and worked together to challenge the current definition and examples of leadership. This experience then resulted in a draft leadership statement that embodies their vision of science diplomacy in the Americas, presented to members of the Global Research Council, also meeting in Montevideo.  Fellows will continue to work on this draft statement with the goal of sharing with the IAI Conference of Parties at the next meeting in June 2023.

Science Diplomacy

-Accident in a Marine Ecosystem off the Central American Coast! This science diplomacy simulation game allowed fellows to role play different stakeholders in a multilateral negotiation scenario.  

-Behavioural science in science diplomacy for consensus building.

-Group Work and Project Presentations: Fellows met with their science diplomacy groups  and continued to work on their projects due in January 2023. They practiced their communication skills by preparing a pitch to the SDC Advisory Board seeking expert feedback, mentorship and networking.

This year's groups are working on the following topics:

  • Circular economy approaches to wastewater treatment.
  • Hydrogen for the Americas.
  • Stakeholder engagement to share data on the global health-climate change nexus.
  • The “30X30” conservation ambition in the Americas and the Science Diplomacy opportunity for collective implementation.
  • Clean transportation life cycle and energy/mineral sources for climate change mitigation and public health improvement.
  • Microplastic pollution and global action aligned with behavior.
  • Assessment of green infrastructure in cities for resilience to climate change in LAC.
  • Towards a climate solidarity? Strategies for knowledge sharing on climate justice.

This workshop was open to the first and second generations of early career researchers and policy makers  participating in the IAI STeP Fellowship Program.
For more information, visit https://www.iai.int/en/step or email kportmess.step@dir.iai.int