Future Earth has announced the formation of its new Secretariat, with a unique and innovative structure spanning three continents.

The FE Secretariat will be comprised of five global hubs which will function as a single entity. The five hubs are located in Canada (Montreal), France (Paris), Japan (Tokyo), Sweden (Stockholm) and the United States (Colorado).

The Secretariat will be formed by an international consortium of several lead organisations:  Montreal International (Montreal, Canada), the Ministry of Higher Education and Research (Paris, France), the Science Council of Japan (Tokyo, Japan), Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (Stockholm Sweden), and in Colorado, USA, the University of Colorado (Boulder) and Colorado State University (Fort Collins). This is complemented by regional hubs co-ordinated by the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (for Latin America), the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (for Asia), the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research (for Europe) and The Cyprus Institute (for the Middle East and North Africa). Discussions to develop an African hub are underway, with plans in other regions also under consideration.

The Secretariat consortium notes that “This is an innovative model for traditional academic approaches to research and engagement, but one increasingly adopted throughout the private sector, because a globalized world demands innovative and collaborative approaches. We believe a globally distributed leadership model will serve the international community best in advancing new knowledge and novel approaches to solve humanity’s most pressing global sustainability challenges.” They are currently working with the Alliance to refine details of their proposal ahead of agreeing a Memorandum of Understanding. Members of the consortium are also in discussion with the Future Earth Interim Secretariat and the Science and Engagement Committees in order to plan a smooth transition, with a view to becoming operational by the end of 2014.

More information, key contacts, and statements from members of the Alliance are available on the ICSU website. More information on Future Earth can be found on the Future Earth website, and follow them on Facebook or Twitter to be the first to hear about new stories from their blog and to find out the latest news from the initiative.