The power of science and innovation could put the world back on track to a better, more sustainable future.
A report by the United Nations Office of Sustainable Development, was launched in Korea's western city of Songdo, highlighting the lack of global progress on achieving the world's Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
"Unfortunately, a fair number of goals we're moving backwards on, and you can think in terms of inequality, biological diversity, climate and waste. So in some countries we're seeing growing levels of inequality. So in some countries we see GDP is growing. But it doesn't mean everyone is getting better off."
A key source of "transformative" change is needed, and that's science and technology.
"We could think about a systematic way of approaching how the science could influence the policy-making. We need to have evidence-based policies and make a shift for sustainable development."
Experts gathered to discuss how such potential can be captured, through "six entry points," to put the world back on the path of sustainable development, involving eradicating poverty, and achieving good health, education, clean energy, and equality.
Experts say science-based approaches can better address the developmental needs of each social context.
"We also call for action for labour unions, governments CSOs, unis, schools to build community based social network so they can they become agents of change for reducing inequality of all forms. It's critical that countries like Korea which has done a lot in terms of IT and internet to be at the forefront of this agenda."
There also needs to be a flow of information and collaborations to bridge the global digital divide.
Over 60 percent of the world's R&D takes place in high-income countries, according to the GSDR report.
"When you have scientific discovery or innovations, there's a tendency for those who are already ahead to get further ahead, leaving others behind and therefore you have a stretched inequality. How do you make sure everything's fairly distributed and that we can also minimize the negative consequences for the environment."
For the world to advance together using science and technology, experts say new ways of forming partnerships and financial cooperation are needed for effective, transformative changes.
Oh Soo-young, Arirang News, Incheon.