Monday, March 16, 2015

CfPs: International Sustainability Conference 2015, 25-28August, at SPRU (Science Policy Research Unit), University of Sussex, UK

International Sustainability Conference 2015
Tuesday 25th – Friday 28th August 2015
Hosted by SPRU (Science Policy Research Unit), University of Sussex, Brighton, UK

Call for papers
With a view to creating engaging, impactful content throughout the conference, the Programme Committee is looking for proposals for a range of high quality main and parallel sessions that address the overall conference themes. The organising committee invites participants to take an active role in constructing an exciting and challenging programme, and therefore may revert for a discussion about how your proposals fit within the emerging programme. We do not want to restrict participation to papers responding to the conference themes only, yet we are seeking to build a conversation between sessions throughout the conference. We are also open to ideas about doing things differently.  
We seek the submission of papers that advance the frontier of sustainability transitions knowledge and practical application. We invite scholars, and stakeholders from business, policy and civil society to submit ideas related to sustainability transitions on topics including the following:
  • How can insights from sustainability transitions scholarship help to rethink even bigger issues such as the future of capitalism, inequality, democracy, the economic crisis, war and violence, climate change and globalization? How can transitions theoretical frameworks (and in particular the socio-technical lens) be used to conceptualize these bigger issues?
  • How can we go beyond a focus on individual systems, regimes, sociotechnical innovations to an understanding of relationships between existing systems and a range of competing and/or coordinated niches?
  • How do sustainability transitions accelerate? Which policy-mixes, institutional changes and/or governance contexts will influence the process?
  • How do transitions unfold in different geographical, political and cultural contexts, and how does the understanding of sustainability in all its dimensions vary across contexts?
  • How does the agency of different types of actors (whether government, firms, users, civil society) contribute to accelerating or slowing down sustainability transitions? What kinds of resources is their agency based on, and what characterises successful strategies?
  • Can current transitions frameworks address global challenges including the evolving and changing role of cities, NGOs, nation-states, international organisations and transnational networks. How should we think about sustainability transitions from a global and transnational perspective?
  • How can we influence transformations as an academic community? What is needed to maximise our impact on policymakers and other stakeholders?
  • How can we advance conceptual frameworks, modelling, and methods for studying transitions – including quantitative and qualitative approaches?

What are we looking for at the 6th IST Conference?
    Global perspectives – including but also beyond Europe, in terms of themes and participation
    Active engagement with stakeholders from business, civil society and government in as many sessions as possible.
    Updating of STRN Research Manifesto (developed in 2010) which is available on the Network's website  

Submission requirements

Submissions should be made before 20 March 2015 (inclusive) via email to

Please see the guidance below on criteria for submissions.
    Paper abstracts (to be included in one of the conference sessions) - 600 word abstracts that provide information about the question, theory, method and findings, plus a brief biography of each author (10 lines each). Note that full papers will be required prior to the event.
    Research session proposals (3 original research papers, 90 minute session) with an invited commentator and chair. Paper authors and commentators with non-academic affiliations are welcome. We invite PhD researcher-led sessions, and welcome suggestions for new formats for sessions. Proposals should include a maximum 500 word description of the session and how it relates to the conference themes, plus (max.) 600 word extract of each paper. Biographies of all participants should also be included, including the invited commentator and Chair (10 lines each)
    Dialogue sessions (60-90 minutes) - Proposals should include a 600 word description of the session, issues to be covered and how it will stimulate debate about sustainability transitions, plus a brief (10 line each) biography of each participant (academic and non-academic). We invite new and innovative formats.
    Submission via email to
    Format: PDF or Microsoft Word
    Digital file names should follow the format – organiser (or author) last name, plus either IP for Individual Paper, RS for research session, and DS for Dialogue session. E.g. Schot_IP.

Additional submission guidance
Professor Johan Schot, Programme Committee Chair, Director of SPRU, E:

The conference is part of the activities of the Sustainability Transitions Research Network (STRN) and is linked to the journal Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions.

Further Details:

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