ALC and the Donostia International Physics Center, in partnership with the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa organized last June 15 a conference titled “Social and scientific-technical knowledge at the service of SHD”.

This seminar brought together international academics and relevant public figures such as ALC´s Juan Jose Ibarretxe (former President of the Basque Country), Pedro Miguel Etxenike (President, Donostia International Physics Center), Peter Coleman (Executive Director, AC4 – Columbia University in New York), Josh Fisher (AC4 Director, AC4 – Columbia University in New York), Armando Geller (Scensei) and Andrea Bartoli (Dean, School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University). General Deputy of Gipuzkoa Markel Olano will take care of the introduction.

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During the last three years, ALC has been developing several research projects based on the Basque experience around sustainable human development from a multidisciplinary approach that included society, economy, environment and Human Rights. Indeed, we know very much about how this successful transformation experience happened in the last few decades, without considering why it happened and which are the main factors that allowed a small country to change itself in such spectacular way. 

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The outcome of this research work that will be discussed at the seminar indicates that the key to understand what the Basque Country has achieved so far – as well as to construct its own future – lies in the influence that cultural aspects had on the main strategic decisions taken, both in public and private spheres. We are talking about the big “K” (Kultura means culture in Basque) the shared values of the Basque society, the narratives that articulate this value system and its own individual and collective expressions.

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However, the challenge of fostering Sustainable Human Development in the Basque Country cannot be approached exclusively from Social Sciences. Scientific and technical knowledge should also be involved in this debate – in fact, the continuity of the human species could not have been possible without the scientific knowledge contribution -, by putting its own means at the service of Human Development. 

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For all these reasons, this seminar aimed to be a meeting point between different types of science, a space for the discussion of Sustainable Human Development and how both, scientific and social knowledge, could contribute together to this issue.