26 November 2018 - 27 November 2018
Moscow, Russian Federation

The Tenth International Forum of NGOs

Gloria Benedikt contributes to the Tenth International Forum of NGOs in Official Partnership with UNESCO.

ID 36801364 © Klodien | Dreamstime.com

ID 36801364 © Klodien | Dreamstime.com

“Science as a common good of humankind” 

The 10th international Forum of NGOs under the theme  “Science as a common good of humankind” was organized by the NGOUNESCO Liaison Committee in close cooperation with the UNESCO Secretariat and with the active participation of UNESCO’s partner organizations. It brought together 600 participants form over 50 countries in Moskau.

The first objective of the forum was its usefulness: how to elevate the quality of the debate on the role of science in our society. The second objective to explain, to provide benchmarks and empower, and create the right conditions for the development of a critical mind, an informed consent and a productive dialogue, as science concerns us all while being the subject of prejudices, expectations, fantasies and fears. Finally, the science forum  provided the opportunity to alert and engage civil society, for a better understanding of the relationship between scientific knowledge and the current challenges of our society.


 It focused on issues related to ethics and social sciences, a necessary alliance between scientists to “provide solutions to complex and urgent problems of global public interest and to defend the values inherent in science at a time when it is increasingly difficult to make them heard”, as evidenced by the recent merger of the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the International Social Science Council (ISSC), two of UNESCO’s earliest partners in the creation of the International Science Council (ISC), as a global nongovernmental organization representing natural and social sciences.

In the panel session ‘science and art for peace’ Benedikt emphasised the need of stories to support the transition into a sustainable future. People think in stories rather than facts and data. If we want to get more people on board, we need to wave the SDGs into a coherent story. The sustainability transformation does not require a revolution in science but a revolution for the mind, she pointed out. To reach people, science needs a new kind of language, combining knowledge gained from science which appeals to reason, with art, which appeals to emotion. Both parts make us human, she emphasised, both parts drive us.

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Last edited: 03 September 2020


Gloria Benedikt

Science and Art Project Leader

Full Program

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313