1963-2018 - 55 years of Research for Social Change

  • 0
  • 0

Back | Programme Area: Translating Research into Policy and Practice—Bonn Programme

Global Research and Action Network for a New Eco-Social Contract

  • Project from: 2021 to 2025

The United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) in partnership with the Green Economy Coalition (GEC) is building a Global Research and Action Network to explore the promise of a new eco-social contract as a way of responding to pressing social and ecological challenges. The network is a space for dialogue, debate, co-construction and action around the meaning of a new eco-social contract; good practices for its design; and mechanisms for its application. Research, practice, advocacy and policy decision-making communities working for social, climate and environmental justice are invited to join in this endeavour.


The Global Research and Action Network for a New Eco-Social Contract brings together organizations and individuals from the research, practice, advocacy and policy decision-making communities working for social, climate and environmental justice in a progressive knowledge and action alliance.
The network’s mission is threefold. First, to broaden understanding around the idea of a new eco-social contract. Second, to define its terms, which would enable a just transition to climate-resilient, green and fair economies. And third, to identify the actions, institutions and processes available to stakeholders at multiple levels to define eco-social contracts that integrate climate and environmental justice, racial justice, respect for human rights, decent work, gender equality, intergenerational justice, the rights of the natural world, and biological and cultural diversity.

What does the network do?
The Global Research and Action Network for a New Eco-Social Contract convenes a community that bridges disciplines and sectors, thus catalysing an intersectional approach between the social, climate and ecological justice movements. Led by a secretariat hosted jointly by GEC and UNRISD, members participate in, and have access to, a range of activities to pursue the network’s mission—such as an online platform for engagement, webinars, surveys, joint research, publications and their dissemination, discussion forums, knowledge exchange, capacity building and networking opportunities. The network welcomes both organizations and individual members.

🟢 Download the Project Brief to learn more about the network. This brief is also available in Spanish and French.

Join the Network!

We are looking for more members to join the Network, so come and co-create a new movement with us! The Network's first meeting, held on 22 February, was a vibrant and collaborative event, so sign up below to join the Network and be with us for the next one.

Membership is open and free for organizations and individuals in the research, practice, advocacy and policy decision-making communities, in the public and private sectors. → More information on membership

If you are interested in joining the network and contributing to a new eco-social contract that is inclusive, climate-proof, and adapted to the complex challenges of the 21st century, → fill in our online form.

For questions and further information, please contact one of the focal points: Najma Mohamed (GEC) or Paramita Dutta (UNRISD).


A New Eco-Social Contract: Vital to Deliver the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
The 20th century social contract—an implicit bargain between economic imperatives of growth and productivity, and social imperatives of redistribution and social protection—has broken down and cannot sustain the transformative vision of the 2030 Agenda. The breakdown of the social contract manifests itself in multiple global crises and the deep divisions in our societies. Inequalities in many dimensions have grown, particularly in the last 40 years, and people feel left out and left behind. The failure of our economic model to account for the natural boundaries of our planet has led to environmental destruction and human precarity because of climate change, extreme weather events and health pandemics such as Covid-19.

For the 21st century, UNRISD believes, the contract is in need of a fundamental overhaul. First, it must ensure human rights for all—importantly, this means bringing in those not fully benefitting from previous social contracts, such as women, informal workers and migrants. Second, it must ensure larger freedom for all in a fast-changing world, including security and protection as new challenges emerge. Third, it must spur the transformation of economies and societies to halt climate change and environmental destruction.

🟢 Download the Issue Brief to learn more

Bulletin Board

The Network is more than the sum of its parts: its strength and impact arise from partner activities drawn together by its convening power. This part of the website is dedicated to events, communications initiatives and other activities by the Network itself, its Members and Partners.

Public Webinar and First Network Meeting
On 22 February 2022, the network will be holding its first meeting, bringing nearly 100 members together for the first time.
The network meeting will be preceded by a public webinar, "Rethinking the Eco-Social Contract" which is open to all who are interested.

Side Event of the 60th Commission for Social Development

In this side event, proposed jointly by Finland, UNRISD will explore how to build solidarity between different actors and movements who are working towards a new eco-social contract and a just and green recovery from COVID-19. Read more.

Frontiers Research Topics: Various Calls for Papers

With their unique mixes of varied contributions from original research to review articles, Research Topics unify influential researchers, the latest key findings and historical advances in pressing research areas.

Various calls for papers are now open covering poverty and its eradication, and from a sociological perspective, Sustainable Development Goals 1 (No Poverty), 3 (Good Health and Wellbeing), 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure), 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities).

Call for Papers to a Special Issue of Genealogy

Theme: Intergenerational Solidarity at the Beginning of the 21st Century. Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 May 2022.

This Special Issue aims to underline that intergenerational solidarity should not be narrowed down only to health care and social care sectors. Generations are not only age groups but also socio-cultural and economic formations. It also calls attention to minimizing the risk of inequalities and conflicts related to the economic consequences of population ageing, sustainability issues (ecology and public finances), and generational changes of cultural values (Klimczuk 2017). → Read more about this call

Green Economy Coalition Global Meeting 2021: Code Red for nature & people
    29 Nov - 3 Dec 2021: A collaborative space in which to reconnect with diverse global networks, share solutions, build allies and drive action towards a recovery from COVID-19 which fast-tracks economic policy that could protect nature and people. Find out more and sign up here.

Financial Crises, Poverty and Environmental Sustainability in the Context of SDGs and Covid-19
    30 November 2021 (11.00 - 12.30 EAT/UTC+3): This webinar, the fourth in a series coordinated by the joint UNDP-UNEP Project Poverty-Environment Action for the SDGs, looks at how financial crises impact on the environment and sustainability transition. Participants will develop recommendations on how to effectively manage poverty-environment dynamics in the context of a green and fair recovery from the pandemic. See the flyer for more information and sign up here.

Launch of the Global Research and Action Network for a New Eco-Social Contract, kindly hosted by the Bonn Symposium.
    • Date : 10 November 2021
    • Time: 16:00 – 17:30 CET
    • Place: UN Campus Bonn/Online via Zoom

The Network will develop further activities in collaboration with its members, which can include webinars, surveys, joint research, publications and their dissemination, discussion forums, knowledge exchange, capacity building and networking opportunities. Check back here to find out more.

Project Partner

The Green Economy Coalition is global network which aims to accelerate an inclusive and sustainable transition to a fairer, greener economy. With more than 50 member organizations, including multilateral agencies, civil society, businesses, thinktanks, youth and citizens’ movements, it works with partners around the world to give citizens a voice, hold governments to account, and drive real economic change.


UNRISD work on the New Eco-Social Contract Network is supported by funding for the UNRISD Bonn Programme provided by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and by institutional funding from Sweden, Switzerland and Finland.