Security in all its guises to be discussed at 2018 World Social Science Forum

The last four decades have seen the development of new forms of war and conflict, environmental change, emerging risks from new technology and growing tensions due to increasing numbers of refugees and displaced people. At the same time, insecurity is increasingly being used to justify attacks on freedom and democracy. While security has become one of the most pressing concerns of our times, its various aspects are intertwined in ways that make it impossible to address them independently from one another. “Security” is a multidimensional reality which must be approached accordingly.

The 2018 fourth World Social Science Forum is dedicated to “Security and Equality for Sustainable Futures”.

Between 25 and 28 September 2018, over 1000 participants from 60 countries will converge in Fukuoka, Japan, to debate various dimensions of security, interrogating how the demand for security relates to societies’ quests for equality and sustainability. It will ask how scientists and other stakeholders can and do contribute to advancing knowledge on security and equality, and will identify critical research priorities on security, as well as data and knowledge gaps, globally and in specific regions.

Five multisectoral plenary events with leading scientists from across the world will set the tone for debate on topics such as existential risks, artificial intelligence, security in Southeast Asia and new forms of conflict. A further 15 invited sessions will focus on cross-cutting issues such as gender security, social progress, biosecurity, migrations, resilience, and the approaches and types of research relevant to addressing them. A high-level round-table held in partnership with UNESCO will highlight policy questions for dealing with security issues in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), while a session with government science advisors will look at social policy developments in the age of Big Data. Over 90 parallel sessions will also take place over the course of four days.

The Forum is the first major scientific activity to take place under the auspices of the new International Science Council, the largest international nongovernmental membership organization for science. In line with the Council’s aim to be the global voice for science, the Forum will bring together scientists from across the disciplines alongside civil society partners and other stakeholders.

The 2018 World Social Science Forum is co-organized with a consortium of academic and research institutions led by Kyushu University, and supported by Science Council Japan and Japan Science and Technology Agency.