Reimagining the Scholarly Conference

The On Sustainability Research Network was founded on a commitment to providing innovative spaces for members to interact, converse, and learn from each other. In this critical moment, we must re-imagine the scholarly conference. We should consider our climate impacts, public health obligations, the need to dismantle the enduring blockages of access and participation for segments of our local and global communities, while at the same time supporting the development of meaningful personal relationships.

We are taking on these challenges by offering a blended conference experience, with session types explicitly designed to make the most of both online and in-person social knowledge processes. In conversation with our Research Network Members, we have been reflecting upon the kinds of scholarly conferences we need for our sustainable social futures.

You do not need to commit either to a place-based or virtual presentation at the time of submission. You can present both ways, or change your mode of the presentation if your preferences change. The choice to participate virtually could also be a moral decision – for the planet, for security, or when the financial burden of travel is too great. We aim to foster spaces that align with principles of social justice and community development.

This way we build for our Research Network Members flexible, and at the same time resilient, spaces for communication, engagement, and participation.

Themes and Special Focus

On Sustainability Research Network is brought together by a common concern for sustainability from a holistic perspective, where environmental, cultural, economic, and social interests intersect. We seek to build an epistemic community where we can make linkages across disciplinary, geographic, and cultural boundaries. As a Research Network we are defined by our scope and concerns and motivated to build strategies for action framed by our shared themes and tensions.

The Seventeenth International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic & Social Sustainability features research addressing the following annual themes.

  • 2021 Special Focus - Accelerating the Transition to Sustainability: Policy Solutions for the Climate Emergency
  • Theme 1: Ecological Realities
  • Theme 2: Participatory Process
  • Theme 3: Economic, Social and Cultural Context
  • Theme 4: Education, Assessment and Policy

Plenary Speakers

The Seventeenth International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic & Social Sustainability will feature plenary sessions by some of the world’s leading thinkers and innovators in the field.

Christian Felber

Christian Felber

Initiator of Economy for the Common Good, Affiliate Scholar IASS Potsdam, and Author, Vienna, Austria

Ilona Otto

Ilona Otto

Senior Researcher, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Potsdam, Germany

Marjan Minnesma

Marjan Minnesma

Founder and Director, Urgenda Foundation, Netherlands

Diederik Samsom

Diederik Samsom

Head of Cabinet EC Vice-President Frans Timmermans, Former Politician and Environmental Campaigner, Netherlands

Conference Chairs

David Humphreys

David Humphreys

Professor of Environmental Policy, The Open University, United Kingdom

Philipp Pattberg

Philipp Pattberg

Professor, Transnational Environmental Governance and Policy, and Head, Department of Environmental Policy Analysis, Institute for Environmental Studies, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands

Sjoerd Kluiving

Sjoerd Kluiving

Associate Professor, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology/Amsterdam Sustainability Institute, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands

Conference Partner

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