HomeGo back home
15th Annual International Sustainable Development Research Conference
The conference motto is `Taking up the Global Challenge: Analysing the implementation of innovations and governance for sustainable development`. With this motto we focus the Conference on the scientific analysis of the key factors explaining successes (and failure) in the many practices of implementation of innovations and governance for sustainable development, both in the North and the South, and in the West and the East.
The International Sustainable Development Research Society (ISDRS) is pleased to announce its 15th annual conference. The conference takes place in Utrecht, The Netherlands, July 5-8, 2009. The 15th annual conference of the International Sustainable Development Research Society is hosted by the Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development and Innovation, Utrecht University, The Netherlands.
We welcome studies explaining the success of sustainability strategies and practices in national, sectoral and regional cases, cross country comparisons and in international relations. We provide a platform for debate on studies applying different research methodologies. As the central thread we will promote the debate on the key question whether the developments in these practices and their mainstreaming are sufficiently substantial to face the fast growing global wealth and its implications in the coming decades.
The 15th Annual ISDR Conference is a peer reviewed conference. Abstracts are sent to reviewers and written comments are provided to the authors. Papers from the conference are considered for publication in special issues of international scientific peer reviewed journals. The conference has several supporting journals, including Sustainable Development, Business Strategy and the Environment, Journal of Cleaner Production, Progress in Industrial Ecology, Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management and European Environment.
International Sustainable Development Research Society
The International Sustainable Development Research Society (ISDRS) aims to foster and communicate the importance of sustainable development in a global society. The society is a coalition of academic researchers, teachers, government, non-governmental organisations and industry. It promotes inter- and transdisciplinary research and education for sustainable development. As an open and inclusive society, our vision is to establish a forum where diverse research communities can come together creating a transparent dialogue on key problems, issues, initiatives, policies and strategies needed to make progress on sustainable development a reality.
The society builds upon the 14 year history of the International Sustainable Development Research Conference and its associated journals. The conference continues to be hosted annually in different countries. In 2004 it was held in Manchester (UK), in 2005 in Helsinki (Finland), in 2006 in Hong Kong (China), in 2007 in Västerås (Sweden) and in 2008 in New Delhi (India).
For 2009 we announce the 15th Conference in Utrecht, The Netherlands. It is organised by the Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development and Innovation, Utrecht University, the Netherlands, on 5-8 July 2009.
With 'Taking up the Global Challenge' as the motto we focus this year's 15th version of the ISDR Conference on the scientific analysis of the key factors explaining successes (and failure) in the many practices of implementation of innovations and governance for sustainable development, both in the North and the South, and in the West and the East. Our starting point is that the need for sustainable development is clearly enough stated with far-reaching targets for the next few decades. The need for fundamental changes have been sufficiently identified in documents, programs and presentations like UN Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, Global Environmental Outlook GEO-4 and European Environmental Outlook, the Gore's Inconvenient Truth, the Eleventh Hour, the IPCC 4th Assessment Reports.
In various parts of the world environmental policies have partly been successful in the last 2 decades in achieving a decoupling of welfare growth and their negative impacts. Some are optimistic about opportunities for further and sufficient successes in creating eco-efficient economies via the route of faster diffusion of (sometimes radical) new technologies, while others argue that more substantial changes in the 'affluent' lifestyles and it's institutions are needed to allow for a fairly distributed welfare for future generations on our single globe.
Recent accelerating global developments emphasize the relevance of the key question linked to these debates: what do current practices of implementing sustainability initiatives and strategies (in the fields adaptation to climate change, creating sustainable cities and rural communities, promotion of sustainable production and consumption, nature conservation and protection of biodiversity) teach us about the speed and rate of adoption: are they substantially contributing to the global challenge and what factors do determine their success? These questions should be seen in the context of:
- Ongoing welfare growth, growing populations and further urbanisation, combined with faster depletion of resources and exploitation of still untouched ecosystems;
- With a fast growing middle class in booming economies in developing countries picking up western consumer behaviour (and it's impacts);
- Requiring continued work towards factor 10-20 eco-efficiency improvements and where possible technological 'jumps' in the coming decades, working towards circular economies (zero-emission, recycling, climate neutral, cradle-to-cradle, etc.);
- But simultaneously addressing the key question whether the 'affluent innovation promise' will be met in time or whether redistribution and re-life styling are inevitable?
- In this context special attention is needed for the issue whether fast growing developing countries can achieve required high levels of society wide eco-efficiency fast enough, either on their own resources, with support or by adjusting conditions in global production and consumption systems?
The conference gives us the opportunity to examine these key questions, using the experiences of the many practices nowadays implementing sustainable development in the various domains of society (new technologies, new materials, renewable energy, regional development, water management, nature conservation, sustainable production and consumption) in countries all over the world. We will focus on the lessons as shown in academic research on the factors determining their success and link these to the applied innovative policies and multi stakeholder approaches developed to support these practices.
We challenge all contributors to present these experiences in forms contributing to answering the main conference questions:
- What are the main lessons learnt about key factors determining success in implementation?
- Are these practices substantial and robust enough to meet the world wide challenge for the coming two decades? Is the speed and rate of developments fast enough?
- Is full society wide implementation achievable within the available time scope and what is needed for that?
- What are the views in Asia, Africa and Southern America on these issues?
- Are western approaches also applicable in the context of these countries? Are current macro-economic conditions for this fair?
These questions require solid empirical research and case work, which needs to be linked to the overall perspectives in sustainability science. The conference offers a platform for answering these questions, open for the various relevant disciplines and their methodologies. Roughly, the working field of the conference can be described as environmental studies; the broad array of social science and environment related disciplines, connected to the development and implementation of strategies of change towards sustainable development, closely connected to the analysis of sources of environmental degradation and assessment of needed social, technological and economic changes. In this way, just like in recent years, the conference is linked to the field of business, local planning, policy studies, management, innovations, global issues, development planning, knowledge and technology transfer to developing countries and developing country issues.
We welcome studies explaining the success of sustainability strategies and practices in national, sectoral and regional cases, cross country comparisons and in international relations. We provide a platform for debate on studies applying different research methodologies.
As the central thread we will promote the debate on the key question whether the developments in these practices and their mainstreaming are sufficiently substantial to face the fast growing global wealth and its implications in the coming decades.
We will structure the debate in 5 main themes and their various track subjects: 'Sustainability Science' with the overarching perspective, the three fields of application: 'climate change and energy', 'sustainable land use and regional planning'; and 'innovation for sustainable production and consumption' and finally 'governance for sustainable development'. In all these themes we convene developing and developed world perspectives.
Conference Themes and Tracks
The conference addresses 5 main themes, with each various tracks. The deadline for submitting abstract to the various tracks is January1st, 2009.
We encourage high quality work: best papers will be nominated for the BEST PAPER AWARD.
Additional Topical Track 0
Track 0: Responding to the Financial Crisis: Opportunities for Ecological Transition from/within a Collapsed Economy
Additional deadline for abstracts for the new Topical Track 0: February 16th, 2009, 10:00 am CET
Sustainability Science: determining the need for transitions & assessing progress and trends
Track 1A: Sustainability Science: definitions, concepts, indicators and implications of sustainable development, principles (precautionary principle), and resilience.
Track 1B: Long term change towards sustainable societies: Scenarios, forecasting and backcasting.
Track 1C: The role of education and universities in sustainable development - Role of academia in Regional Sustainability Initiatives.
Track 1D: Analysis of ethics, values and religions in relation to sustainable development.
Climate Change and Energy
Track 2A: Strategies for mitigating Climate Change: and emission trading:
Track 2B: Impacts of large scale application of biomass for energy.
Track 2C: Climate Change and Adaptation Strategies: Preparing for sea level rise, flooding and droughts.
Sustainable Land Use & Regional approaches
Track 3A: Sustainable and Healthy Cities: urban development, health risks and spatial planning: Compact city debates - Sustainable development and urban housing-construction.
Track 3B: Sustainable development and transportation: planning for alternatives to car travel, sustainable mobility in cities and national infrastructures.
Track 3C: Sustainable management of water and ecological resources by coherent land use planning.
Track 3D: Sustainable development and architecture, housing & construction.
Track 3E: Sustainable Agriculture.
Track 3F: Sustainable development Ð Liberalization of land markets and new processes of land grabbing.
Innovation for Sustainable Production and Consumption
Track 4A: Innovation and Transition management.
Track 4B: Clean products and production: implementing Zero.
Track 4C: Industrial symbiosis, eco-industrial parks and eco-industrial networking and regional sustainability.
Track 4D: Applying Material efficiency, recycling and new bio-based materials.
Track 4E: Sustainable consumption, consumer responses and new markets for eco-products.
Track 4F: Corporate Social Responsibility & Entrepreneurial Strategies.
Track 4G: Free trade, development and globalisation, sustainable global product chains.
Track 4H: Impacts of Corporat Social Investments.
Governance for Sustainable Development
Track 5A: New Environmental Policy Instruments and Environmental Policy Integration.
Track 5B: Global governance for Sustainability: Who's sustainability? Environmental Justice.
Track 5C: Institutional arrangements and multi-stakeholder cooperation for sustainable development.
Track 5D: Participation in local action for sustainable development.
Track 5E: Redefining economic system conditions for sustainable development.
Track 5F: The Global Institutions and Governance of sustainable development.
Best paper award
At this conference we will select nominees for the Best paper award.
- During the paper review process a first selection will be made.
- At the start of the conference we will have a list of 5-10 nominees.
- The jury will attend their presentations.
- The award ceremony is planned in the closing planetary session on the final day.
The award includes:
- a certificate
- a financial incentive
- and publication of the article in the journal Sustainable Development in 2009
- Dr. T. Banuri, Stockholm Environmental Institute
- Mrs J.C. Cramer, Minister of Environment, the Netherlands
- Keynote by European Environmental Agency, Copenhagen
- Dr. Teresa Fogelberg, Deputy Chief Executive, Global Reporting Initiative
- Prof. dr. Rajendra K Pachauri, Chairman IPCC & Tata Energy and Resource Institute