Strategic Thinking for Sustainability (ST4S) in Mastering Good Resilience through Strategic Sustainability and Environmental Assessment | 2 days (6-7 May) CANCELLED




Practice in Impact Assessment (IA) is largely driven by project development, even in planning and program making. The assessment of impacts generally focusses on the results of development. This limits the capacity of IA to address the purpose and the objectives of development, and to place it within time, space and governance contextual issues. In addition, long-term impacts and integrated assessments are limited by insufficient information and by smart ways of handling uncertainty. Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) was meant to fill this gap by starting earlier, assessing non-site-specific development intentions, using broader, long-term approaches. Sustainability Assessment (SA) was meant to help ensure the intertwined consideration of social, economic and environmental issues. Taken together SEA and SA have a great potential to enable transitional processes towards sustainability.

The main purpose of this course is to lead participants to learn creative ways in impact assessment to enable sustainability using strategic thinking. Learning techniques include dialogues, sharing of experiences, short presentations and case-studies. Expected learning outcomes include 1) what is the added-value of using strategic thinking in impact assessment; 2) how to apply strategic thinking in impact assessment; 3) why a strategic-based approach if different from an effects-based approach.

Level: Advanced

Prerequisites: Basic knowledge of policy-making, planning and some level of experience with Strategic Environmental Assessment, Sustainability Assessment or Environmental Impact Assessment

Language: English

Duration: 2 days (6-7 May)

Min/Max: 10-35

Price: US$480

Instructor: Maria R. Partidario, Full Professor, Instituto Superior Tecnico (IST), Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal, and Adjunct Professor University of Aalborg, Denmark (Portugal)



Maria R. Partidario

Maria R. Partidario, PhD, full professor at IST (Instituto Superior Técnico), University of Lisbon, Portugal, and adjunct professor at Aalborg University, Denmark, is a long-standing researcher, author, trainer and consultant on SEA, environment, planning and sustainability; Maria created a strategic thinking approach for sustainability (ST4S), bridging together SEA and SA in a strategic sense, but which principles could apply generally to other forms of Impact Assessment. This ST4S concept has been put into guidance, published in Portuguese, English and Spanish. She has trained 1000+ professional participants throughout the world in 1 to 5 days training courses, both in the context of IAIA pre-meeting courses and in national contexts (in Europe, Latin America, Middle East, South East Asia and Africa). Maria is an advisor to various United Nations agencies and to multi-lateral and bi-lateral organizations, having been involved in 80+ strategic environmental assessments in practice, while her experience also includes many other projects in other fields of practice (EIA, sustainable tourism, urban planning, community engagement in sustainability driven projects in fisheries, farming, oceans, spatial planning, etc.). Maria was President of the International Association for Impact Assessment in 1997-98, and awarded the IAIA Individual Award in 2002 and the 2015 Lifetime achievement award for contributions made to the advancement of SEA internationally.