"Pooling collective intelligence to solve the "Feed, Care, Protect" planetary challenges launched by the University of Montpellier and its partners!

With a view to the Montpellier Global Days 2024, the University of Montpellier and CGIAR, together with partners from the I-SITE Program of Excellence, launched the Montpellier process with an international event on October 2 and 3 at the Institut de Botanique. Entitled "Pooling collective intelligence", the workshop brought together representatives of global organizations and groups of international experts to devise collective responses to major societal challenges around the "feed-care-protect" pillars. The aim: to draw up a common roadmap by March 2024 and structure a community of practice and learning on the interfaces between science and policy to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Why this event?

In March 2022, the University of Montpellier, CGIAR and the HLPE (high-level panel of experts on food security and nutrition) of the United Nations Committee on World Food Security (CFS), organized the event: "Feed-Care-Protect: intelligence to accelerate food systems transformation at local and global levels" with the support of Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole. The aim of the event was to organize a collaborative workspace to address the challenges of "feed-care-protect". Today's expertise is sector-based and extremely fragmented, while the multiple, interrelated crises call for new forms of collective intelligence. The Montpellier declaration, signed by the speakers, announced a "Pooling collective intelligence" event, a call that will be relayed by the scientific journal Nature in December 2022.

The Montpellier process will provide a further opportunity for the prestigious international expert groups (IPCC, IPBES, HLPE-FSN, OHHLEP, IGS-GSDR, etc.) to work together.1) to meet in Montpellier in March 2024. What's at stake? To agree on the best ways of working together to solve the major challenges facing the planet and humanity, and to anticipate crises, at a time when the United Nations has announced a decade of science. The aim is to pool knowledge and strengthen collective intelligence, so as to share convincing messages with political decision-makers and elected representatives, investors, civil society and science. These decision-makers "expect" clear, coordinated messages (COP, G20, etc.) that have an impact, both immediately and in the long term, and thus shape the post-2030 international agenda. That's why the chairmen of the expert groups and representatives of the UN agencies met with other stakeholders on October 2 and 3, 2023 in Montpellier, to co-construct the March 2024 agenda and drive the collective ownership and momentum needed to make the Montpellier process a success.

The different objectives of the "pooling collective intelligence" event on October 2 and 3

  • Create shared ownership and commitment to the Montpellier Process and the March 2024 event by bringing together leaders from international expert groups, UN agencies and other stakeholders.
  • Shaping the March 2024 event, so that it can generate a long-term collaborative dynamic.
  • Explore the value, opportunities and challenges of creating synergies at the interfaces between science, expertise, society and politics. Identify common principles, priority topics and working methods.
  • Formulate concrete commitments in the Montpellier process so that science can better contribute to the challenges facing the planet and humanity, both locally and globally.

A rich program over two days, with contributions from experts and a host of celebrities

The program aimed to agree on a common vision of collaboration between expert groups, the interfaces between science and policy-making, and priority areas for action. After opening and welcoming speeches by Philippe Augé, President of the University of Montpellier, Andrew Campbell, Managing Director of CGIAR and Clare Hart, Vice-President of Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole, responsible for international outreach and European cooperation, With the presence of the Chairman of the United Nations Committee on World Food Security, the Presidents of IPBES, HLPE-FSN and OHHLEP, and representatives of numerous organizations including the IPCC, participants were able to operationalize the implementation of the Montpellier Process and, in particular, the Montpellier Global Days in March 2024.

Practical information:

  • Date: Monday, October 2 and Tuesday, October 3, 2023
  • Location: amphi Flahault, Institut de Botanique - 163 rue Auguste Broussonnet 34000 Montpellier, France
  • Program: here
  1. IPCC: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
    IPBES: intergovernmental science-policy platform on biodiversity and ecosystem services
    HLPE-FSN: high level panel of experts on food security and nutrition
    OHHLEP: one health high-level expert panel
    IGS-GSDR: independent group of scientists/ global sustainable development report