Leadership for Science Diplomacy Workshop

2024 STeP Leadership Conference 


Registration Open (including requests for financial support)

Registration closes: 31 January 2024

*This conference is only open to current IAI STeP Fellows.  For more information on the IAI STeP Fellowship Program, please visit https://www.iai.int/en/step 

The 2024 IAI Science Technology and Policy (STeP) Leadership Conference brings together current Fellows (Generation 2 & 3) to the UNESCO World Heritage Site: Antigua, Guatemala, under this year’s theme: Consensus and inclusion for informed decision-making!  This is a unique Inter-American conference for emerging leaders (early career researchers and policymakers) from diverse disciplines to deepen knowledge and skills in science diplomacy, transdisciplinary leadership, and science/policy communication.   

What to expect at the 2024 STeP Leadership Conference - Consensus and inclusion for informed decision-making

Mock Climate Change Negotiation: Previous online sessions on negotiation and consensus-building theory bring us to this point where Fellows will participate over the course of the conference in a mock negotiation on a topic from COP28.  We will also take the time to critique the experience and identify opportunities to make negotiation spaces more inclusive and effective.  

Science Diplomacy Training and Project Forum: Fellows will have time each day to work with their groups in preparation for the project forum on the final day of the conference.  The Forum will be open to local stakeholders invited by the IAI.  

Evidence-Based Mentorship Training: “To do things differently, we need strategic support.” Each fellow will build their own professional ecosystem support map to aid in 1) Career Advancement 2) Getting Your Work Done and 3) Well-Being and strategize how to take advantage of their network and get the work/life balance we deserve.  

Moving Towards a Transdisciplinary Approach: Includes various sessions deepening on decolonization, participatory processes, and how Fellows would like to implement the STeP Leadership Statement.    

Action STePs: Daily opportunity to share/learn what each Fellow is doing in their country/host institution.  This session is also communication training not just for the Fellow presenting but also for the Fellows in the audience to synthesize and draft social media posts based on flash talks from each Fellow. 


Past Conferences: 2022 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.

Agenda & Outcomes

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).

Based on the experience of this workshop, Fellows drafted a leadership statement later presented at the IAI Meeting of the Conference of the Parties in June 2023.

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.


Details on the 2024 STeP Summit coming soon. 

For more information contact step@dir.iai.int