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Cambridge Forum for Sustainability and the Environment


In November 2014, a second 'Parallel Forum' was set up to bring together a cross-disciplinary group of post-docs, Masters and PhD students who were working on sustainability and the environment to explore gaps in what we know and future research questions and opportunities. 

Complementing the core monthly meetings, 62 postdocs, Masters and PhD students from 20 departments, centres and institutes took part in four meetings in November 2014 and in January, February and March 2015. 

This group ran parallel with the original Forum and each month, the background papers from the three expert witnesses and their ideas about future research was used as a starting point for the discussion. They also acted as rapporteurs, interviewed Forum witnesses over Skype and in person and wrote perspectives articles for our website. 

Drivers of demand

In the first meeting, the Parallel Forum used the introductions the witnesses gave on the 18th November to explore some of the pressures on natural resources from the demand side including economics, politics and health.

Changing how we think

In January 2015, the Forum asked 'Does the way we think need to change?' and a week later, the Parallel Forum used the witness introductions to explore new ways of thinking about the impact of land use change on the supply of natural resources and drivers behind the demand for them.

Cotton - from source to shop

In February 2015, the Forum used cotton as a case study to look at how companies respond to the demands being placed on their supply chains and the greatest challenges they can see on the horizon and the Parallel Forum met to explore these ideas a week later.

From local to global

In March 2015, Skype interviews with Dr Toby Gardner from the Stockholm Environment Institute, one of the Forum's expert witnesses, and with Kate Raworth from Oxford University helped us to explore questions related to the impacts of changes in land use, climate change and the demand for resources at a range of scales.

The Parallel Forum is not meeting at the moment but we are keen to re-establish it so if you would like to find out more about it, please contact Dr Rosamunde Almond ()