The program will reflect the three most important global challenges facing society today, climate change, biodiversity loss, and food security, and demonstrate the fundamental role root research has in helping solve these problems. Some of the big questions that will be posed are: how are roots affected by climate change, how do roots adapt and hence mitigate negative impacts? And many more questions. The answer to all these questions requires a joint effort of the root research community and a mutual exchange of chemists, biologists, physicists, modellers working in different ecosystems at different scales, i.e. from lab to field, from local to global. There is a need to inform each other about the latest methodological developments and advances in process understanding. However, there is likewise a need to improve data integration, system understanding and to develop strategies to contribute as a community to the global issues. This will be the challenge of ISRR 12.