Forum on FLEW, 2019

2019 International Forum on Innovations  in THE FOOD, LAND, ENERGY, and Water Systems in Asia

The unique dynamic variability of the monsoon climate and a broad range of geophysical settings, interwoven with a diverse social culture, densely populated communities and disparate economies, makes Asia an ideal test bed to solve broad challenges for resource management in the 21st century.  Its ecological and social systems are diverse and complex, and they have become deeply intertwined over the millennia.   They impact billions of people, and they are vulnerable. Asia’s population, too, is growing rapidly, and millions of people are aggregating in large urban centers.  These demographic trends impose new burdens at the nexus of food, land, energy and water (FLEW), and the underlying natural resource base—a base that is already under strain.  

A surge in extreme climate events exacerbates this situation.  Recent changes in the frequency, duration, magnitude, and spatial extent of these events carry profound implications for what is arguably the world’s most complex mosaic of social and ecological systems.  The grand challenge is unmistakable: we must secure water, energy, food and land for Asia, even as the forces of change play out over the coming decades.  This will require a broad, systems approach that is regional rather than constrained by national borders, that is integrative across the nexus rather than narrow and issue-specific, and that deals realistically with the impact of climate.

A significant step in achieving these goals was taken in November of 2017 when the NAU-MSU Asia Hub was established as a joint initiative of Nanjing Agricultural University, Michigan State University and a select group of partner institutions in Southeast Asia.  The mission of the Asia Hub is to generate knowledge that leads to solutions to real world problems, especially those that threaten to disrupt the sustainability and resilience of Asia’s ecosystems.

The NAU-MSU Asia Hub Network creates opportunities for the best researchers from Nanjing Agricultural University, Michigan State University, and regional partner institutions to work together on cool science that matters.  Our priority is FLEW—not as separate issues but as key components of a complex and dynamic system that is fundamental to everyone on the planet and that must be sustained.   FLEW integrates biophysical factors such as soils and land with economic and social structures that drive decision making in the real world.   The Asia Hub Network creates a “space” for a variety of disciplinary and global perspectives to intermingle and coalesce into novel concepts and ideas.  That’s the cool science.  But the Network also tethers these ideas to real world problems in interesting places.  That’s the part that matters.


Meeting Objectives

1.     Learn about the latest challenges and funding priorities for FLEW in Asia.

2.     Review innovative approaches and discoveries from the 16 projects that were funded previously.

3.     Discuss top research priorities for the future of the Asia Hub

4.     Develop a priority FLEW research agenda for Asia

5.     To develop a framework to link FLEW Science to Policy


Preliminary Meeting Agenda

May 22, arrival and registration

May 23, morning: Opening Ceremony and Keynote Speeches

8:30 – 10:00        Opening session:Introduction of partners, signing of Memoranda of Understanding;Announcement of a new Nexus journal, and photos

10:00 – 10:30      Coffee break

10:30 – 11:00       Keynote speech 1

11:00 – 11:30      Keynote speech 2

11:30 – 12:00      Keynote speech 3 from Future Earth

12:00 – 13:30      Lunch

May 23, afternoon: Research Priorities

13:30 – 14:00    MAIRS-FE

14:00 – 14:30    NEXUS KAN

14:30 – 15:30    Research capacity and priorities of regional partners I.

  Central Asia

  South Asia

15:30 – 16:00    Coffee break

16:00 – 17:00    Research capacity and priorities of regional partners II.

  Southeast Asia

  East Asia

17:00 – 18:00    Break/Informal discussion

18:00                Reception and dinner

May 24, morning: Asia Hub Initiatives and Progress

8:30 – 9:00      Status of the NAU-MSU Asia Hub Network and vision for the future

9:00 – 10:30     Status reports of ongoing projects I.

10:30 – 11:00    Coffee break

11:00 – 12:00    Status reports of ongoing projects II.

12:00 – 13:30    Lunch

May 24, afternoon

1:30 – 15:00      Panel I. FLEW research needs and priorities in Asia.

15:00 – 15:30    Coffee break

15:30 – 17:00     Panel II. What we have learned and where we are going

18:00 – 20:00    Dinner

May 25, Post Meeting Workshop (with regional partners) by invitation only

Morning: Introduction, projects updates, future activities

 Afternoon: Proposal development and joint publications


Hotel Reservation

Name: Jiangsu Conference Center (江苏省会议中心钟山宾馆)

Address: NO.307 East Zhongshan Road, Nanjing 21006, China

Tel: 400-8800307,86(25)84818888

Single/Double room: 440 RMB per night.

If you need to make a reservation, please write your request on the registration form.



Register Online:

Or Email your registration information which includes “Name, Title, Institution, Email Address, and Hotel Reservation Request”to



Asia Hub Initiative

Nanjing Agricultural University

Michigan State University


Future Earth NEXUS KAN

Future Earth GLP-North America Nodal Office


Meeting Contacts

NAU: Ms. Mia (Xiumin) Cai (

MSU: Prof. Steve Pueppke (

Asia Hub and NEXUS KAN: Prof. Jiaguo Qi (

MAIRS-FE: Dr. Wei Wan (