Science Forum 2018 (SF18), Win more, lose less: Capturing synergies between SDGs through agricultural research, was held from 10-12 October 2018 in Stellenbosch, South Africa.

The objective of SF18 was to identify substantial interactions between the SDGs (both positive and negative), the role of agricultural research in augmenting synergies and managing trade-offs, and the ensuing implications for the science-policy interface. Results will contribute to the discussion of developing research themes and frameworks in CGIAR.



DAY 1 (Wednesday, October 10, 2018)


PLENARY - Setting the scene: how are synergies and trade-offs between SDGs being addressed in policy and research?

Chair: Jennifer Thomson, ISPC Member; Emeritus Professor, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Jennifer Thomson - Opening


Opening welcome


Keynote speakers


PLENARY - TOPIC 1 (Interactions between increasing staple crop productivity, resilience to climate change, improving nutrition and sustaining agro-biodiversity)

Chair: Patrick Webb, ISPC Member, Professor of Nutrition, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, USA




PLENARY - Foresight and SDG interactions

Chair:  Rodomiro Ortiz, ISPC Member; Faculty (Chair) Professor of Genetics and Plant Breeding, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden







  1. Breeding for multiple objectives - Crops to End Hunger Initiative - USAID and ISPC (Lapa - Nietvoorbij campus)
  2. Impact assessment of AR4D in the era of the SRF and SDGs: Challenges, methods and guidance - SPIA (Olive grove - Infruitec campus)
  3. Foresight  and SDG interactions: Using foresight to assess the basis of SDG interactions under future scenarios - ISPC (Basement - Nietvoorbij campus)


DAY 2 (Thursday, October 11, 2018)


PLENARY - TOPIC 2 (Interactions between intensifying livestock and aquaculture production for food and nutrition security, and: a) increased vulnerability to antimicrobial resistance and zoonoses; b) land use change)

Chair: Maggie Gill, ISPC Chair; Professor of Integrated Land Use, School of Biological Science, University of Aberdeen, UK






PLENARY - TOPIC 3 (Grappling with complex systems: the water-energy-food nexus experience)

Chair: Holger Meinke, ISPC Member; Head, School of Land and Food; Director, Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA), University of Tasmania, Australia







  1. Managing the roles of livestock and fish in sustainable food systems - ILRI, WorldFish and FAO (Olive grove - Infruitec campus)
  2. Synergies and tradeoffs among SDGs: the climate dimension - CCAFS and Sustainable Amazon Foundation (Pinotage - Nietvoorbij campus)
  3. Nexus, Systems, Landscapes: Does Your Sector Still Matter? Rethinking the Agricultural Research Agenda to Help us Tackle Tradeoffs - CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE) , IWMI and IFPRI (Lapa - Nietvoorbij campus)
  4. Managing tradeoffs: how do we translate research into evidence? - Cornell University and Nature Plants (Basement - Nietvoorbij campus)


DAY 3 (Friday, October 12, 2018)


PLENARY - Report back from breakout sessions

Chairs: Nighisty Ghezae, ISPC Member; Director, International Foundation for Science, Sweden and Rodomiro Ortiz, ISPC Member; Faculty (Chair) Professor of Genetics and Plant Breeding, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden


PLENARY -  Strengthening the science-policy interface

Chair: Karen Macours, Chair, Standing Panel on Impact Assessment (SPIA); Associate professor at the Paris School of Economics and researcher at French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA)






PLENARY - Implications for CGIAR and way forward

Chair: Leslie Lipper, Executive Director, ISPC Secretariat