The Dresden Nexus Conference (DNC), since its inception in 2015, creates dialogue on nexus thinking that fosters research and capacity development activities in the sustainable and integrated management of water, soil, and waste. Water and soil play prominent roles as critical environmental resources in our societies and supply chains; the availability and quality of these resources are increasingly threatened by rapid urbanisation and modern lifestyles. The addition of waste as a resource makes DNC unique among other recent nexus discussions.

Furthering nexus thinking requires looking in-depth not only at the sciences, but also at the science-policy interface, implementation, monitoring, and real-world cases. This requiresmodelling at various spatiotemporal scales, applying management strategies under different governance contexts, and dealing with the trade-offs between ecosystem functions and services to integrate the role of institutions in policy and decision making. To accomplish all the above, DNC brings together experts  from the sciences and practice as well as decision-and policy makers from different fields and various organisations including universities, United Nations (UN) agencies, governmental ministries, the private sector, and civil society from around the  world. There was a clear consensus among those who attended DNC2015 and DNC2017 that nexus thinking could play a pivotal role in maximising the environmental resources use efficiency, especially under the conditions of global change.