Contact Us  |  Search:  
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Science and Technology for Sustainability Program
Science and Technology for Sustainability Program
Policy and Global Affairs
Home About Us STS Roundtable Sustainability Across The Academies
Quick Links


Download a description of our program

Upcoming Events

Urban Sustainability in China and the US
December 16, 2019, Washington, DC

Nobel Prize Summit 2020: Our Planet, Our Future
April 29-May 1, 2020. Washington, DC

Additional information will be forthcoming in 2020

View a list of Sustainability-related meetings at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Recent Events

Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability
July 30-31, 2019, Washington, DC

Strengthening Sustainability Program at the Undergraduate and Graduate Levels
February 13, 2019, Washington, DC

Reducing Food Loss and Waste Workshop

October 17, 2018, Washington, DC

Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability
November 12-13, 2015

The National Academy of Sciences 
2100 C Street NW
Lecture Room
Washington, DC

The most recent meeting of the Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability was held on November 12-13, 2015 in Washington, DC.  As the second event of the Roundtable’s 2015-2016 initiative, the November 12 Roundtable meeting evaluated economic and social indicators and metrics in the context of urban sustainability.  The purpose of the session was to assess what indicators and metrics have been found to be the most useful for promoting sustainability as well as identify knowledge gaps related to developing indicators that integrate across the ecological, social, and economic sciences.  During the meeting, panelists from government, academia, nongovernmental organizations, and philanthropic community examined examples of select social and economic indicators and metrics that incorporated various disciplines, particularly those being used to inform policy and action related to sustainability practice and research.  A published summary of the event will be issued in early 2016.  
Our dinner speaker was Katherine Wallman, Chief Statistician at the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, who described the U.S. coordination of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Indicator selection and monitoring of progress.
The second day featured presentations addressing issues related to developing indicators and metrics for United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. To support the goals, the UN is preparing to catalyze a global partnership for sustainable development data, including plans to build capacity of countries to collect data to monitor and evaluate progress on the SDGs.  Given the broad nature of the SDGs, it is critical that there will be a wide availability of well-defined indicators firmly grounded in science, with data that can support them, to underpin targets for each of the Goals. The Roundtable heard presentations of examples of current UN and USAID efforts related to UN SDGs process.  
For the session on NRC updates, Roundtable members reviewed and provided suggestions on current and planned STS program activities. Roundtable members raised suggestions for future Roundtable topics and activities.  


Thursday, November 12, 2015
8:30 am           Breakfast available
9:00 am           Welcome, Introductions and Meeting Goals
David Dzombak (NAE), Carnegie Mellon University, STS Roundtable Co-Chair
Lynn Scarlett, The Nature Conservancy, STS Roundtable Co-Chair
Jerry Miller, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
Measuring Progress towards Sustainability: Social and Economic Indicators and Metrics for Urban Sustainability
9:15 am            Introduction to Panel
David Dzombak (NAE)/Lynn Scarlett, STS Roundtable Co-Chairs
9:25 am            Keynote Remarks                                            
Heather Tallis, The Nature Conservancy (Rethinking Sustainability Indicators: Evidence from the Globe to the Ground)
10:00 am         BREAK
10:15 am         Panel I: Overview of Social and Economic Indicators and Metrics: Characterizing the Issue
Moderator: Steve Bergman, Shell International Exploration & Production Company
·      Diane Pataki, University of Utah (Urban Ecological Indicators)
·      Charles Redman, Arizona State University (Models for Supporting Sustainability Decision Making)
·      Robin Morris Collin, Willamette University College of Law (Social Equity and Urban Sustainability)
11:15 am         Q&A and Discussion
11:45 am         LUNCH
12:45 pm         Panel II: Examples of Innovative Public Sector Sustainability Indicators and Metrics
Moderator: Richard Spinrad, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
·      Duane Verner, Argonne National Laboratory (Using Climate Data to Inform Critical Infrastructure Resilience and Urban Sustainability Decision-Making)
·      Gerardo J. Ruiz-Mercado, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Sustainability Indicators for Chemical Processes)
·      Michael Culp, Federal Highway Administration (Sustainability Indicators for Transportation)
1:45 pm           Q&A and Discussion
2:15 pm           BREAK
2:30 pm           Panel III: Examples of Innovative Private/NGO Sustainability Indicators and Metrics
Moderator: Lynn Scarlett, The Nature Conservancy
·      Matthew Mehalik, Sustainable Pittsburgh (Sustainable Pittsburgh)
·      Fiona Cousins, Arup (Sustainability Performance and Metrics)
·      Nancy Kete, Rockefeller Foundation (City Resilience Index)
·      Maureen Hart, International Society of Sustainability Professionals (Measuring Sustainability for Communities)
3:50 pm           Q&A and Discussion
4:20 pm           Discussion and Next Steps 
                          Moderator(s): David Dzombak (NAE)/Lynn Scarlett, STS Roundtable Co-Chairs
4:50 pm           Wrap up and plans for next day (STS Roundtable Co-Chair)
5:00 pm           Adjourn
5:00 pm           Reception (Great Hall)
6:00 pm          Working Dinner (Great Hall) 
Speaker: Katherine Wallman, U.S. Office of Management and Budget
Friday, November 13, 2015
8:30 am         Breakfast available
9:00 am         Welcome and Feedback from Previous Day
                        David Dzombak (NAE)/Lynn Scarlett, STS Roundtable Co-Chairs
Developing Sustainability Indicators and Metrics for United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
9:10 am         Introduction to Panel
                        Alan Hecht, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
9:15 am         2015 Global Sustainable Development Report
                        Richard Alexander Roehrl, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs
9:35 am         Science, Technology, and Innovation for Sustainable Development Goals
William Colglazier, American Association for the Advancement of Science
9:55 am         USAID Perspective on Sustainable Development Goals 
                        Ann Mei Chang, U.S. Agency for International Development
10:15 am       Q&A and Discussions
10:45 am       BREAK
Current Activities (STS Roundtable Co-Chair)
                        David Dzombak (NAE), Carnegie Mellon University
11:10 am       Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Challenges and Opportunities (Consensus report expected in mid-2016)
                        Paulo Ferrão, University of Lisbon
11:20 am       Partnerships, Research, and Innovation for Urban Sustainability: Confronting Local Sustainability Challenges in a Global Environment (Meeting held October 15, 2015)
                        Mark Lange, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
                        David Dzombak (NAE), Carnegie Mellon University/Paulo Ferrão, University of Lisbon
11:40 am       STS Program and Publication Updates
           Jerry Miller, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
Future Activities (STS Roundtable Co-Chairs)
11:50 am       Proposals from Roundtable Members for Future Roundtable Topics 
                        All Members
12:20 pm       Wrap up (STS Roundtable Co-Chairs)
12:30 pm       Adjourn

Disclaimer: This website contains unedited verbatim presentations made by meeting participants and is not an official report of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. Opinions and statements included in this material are solely those of the individual authors. They have not been verified as accurate, nor do they necessarily represent the views of other meeting participants, the committee, or the Academies.