The Social Sciences and Humanities Network

Update April 2024: scroll down for the network's latest webinars. Open to members and guests alike!

"Nature and human culture are inextricably linked", as acknowledged at the eighth IPBES Plenary. Thus, "IPBES requires expertise in theory, methods, and empirical data from the social sciences and humanities." The SSH Network is dedicated to enhancing these contributions to the work of IPBES, and engaging more experts and knowledge from the social sciences and humanities.

The SSH Network is an ONet Member Organisation and receives support from the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA).


"Meaningful assessments of the state of biodiversity, and potential policies, practices and technologies to conserve and sustainably use it require the integration of knowledge on genes, species and ecosystems with knowledge on humans and societies."

~ Report to the eighth IPBES Plenary in 2021



SSH logoOur objectives and activities

We enhance the contributions of the social sciences and humanities in IPBES by:

  • Engaging a broader spectrum of the SSH disciplines and approaches in IPBES.
  • Attracting more SSH expert nominations for IPBES assessments.
  • Facilitating other engagements with IPBES from SSH scholars.
  • Improving the integration of SSH knowledge and perspectives within IPBES structures, processes and outputs.
  • Functioning as a meeting place for SSH scholars engaged in IPBES, interested in IPBES, or having IPBES as a study object.

>> Download the SSH Network poster (pdf)



Our scope and leadership

The SSH Network was established by IPBES in 2020, and is led by Håkon B. Stokland. Additional team members include Håkon Aspøy, Paulina Karimova and Thomas Edward Sutcliffe. Thomas currently represents the SSH Network on the ONet facilitation team.

It is an open network for anyone interested in the role of the social sciences and humanities in IPBES. If you are interested in joining the network, please sign up: we look forward to meeting you.

Do you have further requests or questions? Please email Håkon.



The SSH Webinar Series

The SSH Network hosts an ongoing webinar series. Shortly after they are presented, webinar recordings are usually made openly available on the YouTube Channel of the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, @Naturforskning.

To watch the recordings, please see our dedicated page. Alternatively, please find a playlist of SSH Network Webinars on YouTube.


Upcoming webinars

We also advertise on the ONet Events pages.


Poster of the SSH Network webinar series. It currently includes the following events: Facilitating science-policy engagements that work and last, 9 April 2024. The Politics of Transformation at the Climate-Biodiversity Frontier, 23 May 2024. IPBES - an expert organization or a transformative agent, 12 June 2024. See the ONet events page for details and updates.


Watch this space for future SSH Network webinars.



Publications on the SSH Network

Report on progress in piloting a community of practice for the social sciences and humanities (the SSH Network)
A report on the piloting and establishment of the SSH Network is included in the Information on work related to building capacity for the IPBES 8 Plenary (IPBES/8/INF/9), pages 16-22. It is available for download, in pdf and docx format.

An introduction to the SSH Network
Stokland, H.B., Stenseke, M., Emery, M.R., 2022. A network to enhance the contributions from the social sciences and humanities to IPBES. Ecosystems and People 18 (1), pp. 95-98. Open access at

Session by the SSH Network at IPBES-9 Stakeholder Day
The SSH Network held a session at IPBES-9 Stakeholder Day in Bonn, 2 June 2022. It included a presentation of the network by Håkon Stokland and a panel discussion led by Marie Stenseke. A recording of the session is available to watch below (starting at 33:07) or on YouTube.




#IPBES9 Stakeholder day