Catherine Rhodes and Martin Rees will be on the panel "The Urgency of Societal Change: Building a Sustainable and Equitable Future" on Monday 3rd May at The Desirable Tomorrows International Conference.
Founded in 1920, the Federal University at Rio de Janeiro celebrated its centenary last September. The timing was unfortunate. The COVID-19 pandemic completely derailed the original plan for a major ‘conventional’ international conference, which had to be postponed. However, there turned out to be a silver lining.
The reimagined Desirable Tomorrows event will begin in April 2021 and will extend through the whole month of May. With it taking place at a particularly challenging moment in history, it presents the institution, the organisers, and panelists with a golden opportunity to embark on critical reflection and future-oriented thinking, debates, and proposals geared towards producing progressive responses to the challenges we face today and will face in the coming years and decades.
In sum, this month-long conference aims to become a landmark in this rebuilding effort by engaging leading figures in academia, the media, government, and civil society to reflect upon multiple paths and options for a post-pandemic society and polity. Given the variety of possibilities of ‘alternative futures’, but also the constraints for their materialisation, the overarching question for every panel and discussion becomes: how can the ‘desirable’ and the ‘possible’ be cross-fertilized?