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COP28 Global Innovation Hub – Brain and Mind Science: A fundamental part for a future where 11 billion people can live flourishing lives

December 3, 2023
Dubai, UAE
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Mission Innovation’s NCI and the UNFCCC Global Innovation Hub co-hosted the event, “Brain and Mind Science: A fundamental part for a future where 11 billion people can live flourishing lives” that focused on the science of the human brain and mind in relation to global sustainability and how to develop a world where all human beings can live creative and joyful lives. The event included discussions on how to support companies, cities and other stakeholders to create a skillset that makes humans open to new challenges. An assessment tool for Flow/ Mental Pollution was launched with identification of possible next steps to integrate brain/mind science into mainstream sustainability work and the post-SDG agenda.


Massamba Thioye, Project Executive, UNFCCC Global Innovation Hub

Dennis Pamlin, Executive Director, Mission Innovation NCI / Senior Advisor, RISE

Paweł Świeboda, Founder, NeuroCentury

Dr Gumagai Seiji, Professor, Institute of the Future of Human Society, Kyoto University

Harris Eyre, Lead, Brain Capital Alliance and Fellow, Rice University Baker Institute for Public Policy

Rym Ayadi, Professor at CASS Business School & Founder and President of the Euro-Mediterranean Economists Association (EMEA)

Pourya Salehi, Head of Urban Research, Innovation and Development Team, ICLEI

Paweł Świeboda from NeuroCentury, introduced the area of neuroscience and sustainability, what parts of the brain that relates to sustainability, ways of learning and what we can benefit from neuroscience in relation to flourishing lives, what research that needs to be done in relation to the impact that climate/environment has on the brain, and what requirements that computer science/AI has in relation to sustainability.

Dr Kumagai Seiji from Kyoto University, introduced Moonshot Goal9, a research and development program set on resolving difficult societal issues, where Goal9 is focused on “Enhancement of mental well-being by “Kokoro-Tech” (Kokoro meaning mind, heart, spirit), with the goal of trying to realize a mentally healthy and dynamic society by increasing peace of mind and viability by 2050.

Harris Eyre from Brain Captital Alliance, discussed being a physician in relation to mental health challenges and how nations should govern and measure brain capital as an additional economic asset similarly to traditional indicators such as GDP. He argued that many human brains are under “siege” due to many externally induced stress factors, such as climate shocks and fake news, that makes it very challenging to live flouring lives.

Rym Ayadi from CASS Business School and EMEA discussed a neuroscience-based policy that is integrated with economic policies, to better understand how economic models can be designed for the benefit of brain health and capital. It is to be considered as a “stock” that can be developed and empowered over time. She also argued that human action needs have a more value-based thinking, and that humans on individual and societal levels need to reshape how we view what is valuable in terms of sustainability in order to make more mindful decisions on a global scale.

Pourya Salehi from ICLEI discussed the relationship between brain/mind science and the ability to make fundamental and rapid transformations in society. He discussed what type of mindsets allow us to come up with policies and action that allow us to reach set goals, and the link between the global societies tendency to focus on results that generate instant rather than delayed gratifications, which is arguably what is needed long-term.