Welcome to 

Desirable Tomorrows
International Conference

April 29, May 3, 4, 11, 18, 25, 31, June 7 2021


Click here to access the live streaming (BRT - Brasilia Time Zone)

Presentation – Conference format and goals 

Founded in 1920, the Federal University at Rio de Janeiro celebrated its centenary last September. The timing was unfortunate. The COVID-19 pandemic completely derailed the original plan for a major ‘conventional’ international conference, which had to be postponed. However, there turned out to be a silver lining.

The reimagined Desirable Tomorrows event will begin in April 2021 and will extend through the whole month of May. With it taking place at a particularly challenging moment in history, it presents the institution, the organisers, and panelists with a golden opportunity to embark on critical reflection and future-oriented thinking, debates, and proposals geared towards producing progressive responses to the challenges we face today and will face in the coming years and decades.

The Conference embarks upon fundamental issues, distributed by five panels and a closing session:

Panel 1 - The Post-COVID World: Trends and Challenges;

Panel 2 - The Urgency of Societal Change: Building a Sustainable and Equitable Future;

Panel 3 - Climate Change, Biodiversity, and Environmental Governance, A Global Challenge and its Implications;

Panel 4 - Artificial intelligence and its impact on society;

Panel 5: Frontiers in Biotechnology and Medicine;

Panel 6 - Energy Transition - A 21st-Century Challenge; Closing Panel - From Here to Where? Geopolitics, Politics, Technology, and Economics for a Post-COVID World.

In sum, this month-long conference aims to become a landmark in this rebuilding effort by engaging leading figures in academia, the media, government, and civil society to reflect upon multiple paths and options for a post-pandemic society and polity. Given the variety of possibilities of ‘alternative futures’, but also the constraints for their materialisation, the overarching question for every panel and discussion becomes: how can the ‘desirable’ and the ‘possible’ be cross-fertilized?


Denise Maria Guimarães Freire (UFRJ, Dean of)

Ana Célia Castro (UFRJ/CBAE, Director)

Adalberto Vieyra (UFRJ)

Adilson de Oliveira (UFRJ)

Leonardo Burlamaqui (UERJ/Levy Economics Institute)

Marta de Azevedo Irving (CBAE)

Colégio Brasileiro de Altos Estudos - UFRJ
Fórum de Ciência e Cultura - UFRJ
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