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Amid growing focus on sustainability and Agenda 2030, and on the pathway toward Stockholm+50, two leading Swedish centers, LUCSUS and Stockholm Environment Institute will co-host an online conference for the sustainability community, to reflect on achievements and gaps, and to look forward to the next decade in the development of sustainability science.

Sustainability focuses on meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of other social groups and future generations to meet their needs. It also addresses the growing inter-generational gap as well as inequity within and between nations within the present-day timeframe.

The conference will focus on five emerging topics for sustainability science and include an environmental justice/equity and governance perspective throughout all sessions. It will also be an opportunity to gather together research networks around new topics.

Themes:

  • Decolonising: How to develop sustainability science with a decolonising approach.
  • Resistance and social movements: How do resistance and social movements contribute towards action for/on sustainability?
  • Degrowth: How does degrowth, post-growth and an agnostic approach on growth feature in sustainability?
  • Digitalisation and sustainability transitions: How does digitalisation, disruptive technologies and AI contribute to sustainability science?
  • Inner transformation and future imaginaries: How do inner transformations, imaginaries and futures providing opportunity for new insights and transformations, including the role of arts?

Background and aim

This conference idea came out of a network meeting for Sustainability Centres organised by Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science late in 2020. This conference also builds on the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine virtual public workshop, Progress, Challenges, and Opportunities for Sustainability Science 2020, and Clark & Harley (2020) Sustainability Science: Toward a Synthesis. 45:331-386 Annual Reviews. With a European perspective lead by Swedish sustainability researchers, this conference will continue the dialogue to include gaps, new angles and perspectives, in particular on the nature of promoting equity and justice in nature society relations and in sustainability efforts.

The specific aim of the conference is to build on existing efforts, and to chart priorities and actions to guide the field so it is even more relevant and can make more profound impacts, especially in European contexts.

Format

The online conference is structured over two days with international keynote panel speakers, moderated discussions, breakout groups and discussion sessions. It is designed to be interactive and to allow for people to meet and discuss topics and to get new insights on emerging topics. The conference finalises with a forward-looking discussion with leading international sustainability researchers.

All sessions will be open to unlimited people but participants will be required to sign up for the breakout thematic sessions. The conference will not include any paper presentations, but our aim is that the outcome will be a synthesis report/article focusing on guidance for global sustainability frontiers and a collection of insight papers on the frontier areas in Global Sustainability.

The conference will not be recorded. We invite you to a unique opportunity to participate live and discuss frontiers of sustainability.

Organisers

The conference is led by two leading Swedish sustainability centers/organisations, Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS) and Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI).

LUCSUS Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS) is a sustainability centre for research, teaching and impact where researchers work to understand, explain, and catalyse social change and transformations in relation to material limits in the biosphere. https://www.lucsus.lu.se

SEI
SEI is an international non-profit research and policy organization that tackles environment and development challenges. SEI connect science and decision-making to develop solutions for a sustainable future for all. https://www.sei.org