ICSS International Conference on Sustainable Sciences

ICSS International Conference on Sustainable Sciences

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Time: 2017.08.24 – 2017.08.26
Location: Stockholm, Sweden

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Session proposal deadline 28 Febrary 2017

Global Goals – new approaches to knowledge generation – challenges and solutions from local to global scales

Call for sessions

The Future Earth community, and those wishing to join this global community, are invited to
propose sessions for the International Conference on Sustainability Sciences Conference
(ICSS), August 24-26, 2017, through the Future Earth Knowledge Action Networks.
The focus of the 2017 ICSS Conference is to create a working forum for the Future Earth
Knowledge-Action Networks, facilitate cross-fertilisation of their work and stimulate the
emergence of breakthrough ideas for SDG Implementation. The conference has the aim to
feed into UN’s High Level Political Forum (HLPF) in 2018 and as such is aligning to the themes
of that meeting. Selected outcome of the conference will be published by Springer in the
Sustainability Science journal and an e-book, to provide the foundation for improving
science-policy dialogues.

Key dates

  • 31 st Jan 2017 – Call for session proposals opens
  • 28 th Feb 2017 – Call for session proposals deadline
  • 17 th Mar 2017 – Notification of successful sessions


Kicking off with a day focused on innovations, including those at the interface between science and
policy, the ICSS 2017 conference will enable the Future Earth Knowledge-Action Network
communities to work together to create new perspectives on emerging global environmental
change science that are relevant to societal partners. The main body of the conference will be
comprised of sessions proposed by the Future Earth community intended to advance the
development of Knowledge-Action Networks.

Ultimately, our vision is for the conference to feed into the UN’s High Level Political Forum (HLPF)
in 2018, which is framed as “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies”. The HLPF will specifically focus around the following themes:

  • SDG 6 Clean water and sanitation
  • SDG 7 Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 15 Life on Land

Therefore, session proposals that aligned with these themes will be prioritized, but we are open to
all ideas.

Through an agreement with the editor in-chief of Sustainability Science (Springer), selected
outcome of the ICSS 2017 conference will be published as a special 2018 issue of the journal. These
articles and an e-book will be the foundation of a science-policy dialogue to provide high-quality
input to the UN High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) 2018 theme of transformation toward
sustainable and resilient societies.

We are looking for sessions with topics that develop new knowledge to give the underpinning for
policy options to meet the SDGs, integrating solutions and knowledge from across diverse
domains. Inspiration for session topics: How do we provide electricity for the basic needs of 9
billion people within planetary boundaries? What changes to our diets can help us meet the Paris
agreement, what are the consequence for health, economics and deforestation, and how do we
mobilise this change? How do we provide the 10 fastest growing cities with clean water and
sanitation in a sustainable way?

To achieve the goal of deeper integration and collaboration across Future Earth’s
Knowledge-Action Networks, the conference we will bring together several communities and
create a rich and varied programme: Future Earth Knowledge-Action Network communities; early
career researchers engaged with Future Earth and the ICSS, and the research and practitioner
teams working together on selected Sustainable Development Goal Labs (SDG Labs), see the ICSS
conference website below for information on these. The ICSS 2017 conference will be linked with
the Resilience Conference (21st-24th Aug) through a common science-policy-practice day, which
helps bring in policymakers, stakeholders and a broader scientific expertise.

The overall agenda of the 2017 ICSS:

  • Aug 24 DAY 1: Science-policy day, highlighting innovative solutions, with the Resilience Conference
  • Aug 25 DAY 2: Selected sessions from Future Earth Knowledge-Action Networks and SDG Labs
  • Aug 26 DAY 3: Selected sessions from Future Earth Knowledge-Action Networks and SDG Labs

The call is open to all . However, we ask that each proposal becomes connected to Future Earth,
formally or informally, through one of the Knowledge Action Networks (contact details below) for
which your session proposal is best fitted. Where a proposal spans a number of Knowledge-Action
Networks, simply select on and highlight which other KANs areas are addressed. Proposals that
span more than one KAN are welcome.
There will be some limited funding available to support speakers.
The ICSS conference web page


Guidelines for sessions

  • Each session may be ½-day (3 hours) or ¼-day (1.5 hours).
  • Every Knowledge-Action Network is welcome to submit multiple session concepts to the Conference. Note that there is a limit to the number of session slots available.
  • Knowledge-Action Networks are encouraged to submit in combination – to show synergies or to address tradeoffs.

Structure for the session proposals

The proposal should be ca 1-2 A4 pages and include:

  • Title of the session
  • Future Earth KANs where the session fits in terms of areas addressed
  • A description of a coherent and focused session topic. It must clarify the goals and the relevance of the Session, define a leading question, key issues, and the scientific relevance of the session in the context of the SDGs and the HLPF 2018 topic.
  • Proposed session design and overview of activities with short motivation
  • Proposed list of speakers, panel members, facilitators and other key persons. Note: The conference has limited funding available for travellers from specific countries so please include country of residence and indicate who should be considered for support. The conference invitation strategy is based both on winning proposals and geographic, gender and generational balance. For this reason, please describe how your team adds to the diversity of the conference.
  • Preliminary schedule for the session
  • Special requirements for the session (e.g. equipment, room type).
  • Describe which SDGs that will be most relevant for the session
  • Personal details for the chair and other session organizers (name, professional affiliation, telephone number, e-mail address).

Criteria for session selection

Session proposals will be selected by a Programme Planning Committee on the basis of the need to
organize a well-balanced programme and according to the following criteria:

  • Relevance of the session for the focal SDGs and for the Knowledge-Action Networks
  • Novelty/innovation of the topic and content
  • Structure and organization of the session. Interactive sessions are preferred over those with passive audiences.
  • Interdisciplinarity; inclusion of a wide array of disciplinary expertise. Stakeholder inclusion is an additional benefit.
  • Equality in representation of gender, North-South origin, and early and advanced career researchers.
  • Inclusive process; that the process to develop the session has been open for many to contribute to, for instance through the Open Network.

Applying and contact

Please inform the Future Earth secretariat coordinator for each respective Knowledge-Action
Network about session proposals that are being prepared. The coordinators and development
teams have an oversight of what is being proposed, they can link initiatives and endorse proposals
that are well in line with each Knowledge-Action Network. You can see a list of KAN contacts

Send your (1-2 page) proposal, or direct the questions you may have regarding ICSS sessions, to
Erik Pihl, Research Liaison Officer at the Future Earth secretariat hub in Sweden, copying the
relevant KAN Coordinator:
+46 8 6739 777 (phone) / +46 73 037 7372 (cell)

KAN coordinators

Food Water Energy Nexus | Jon Padgham | jpadgham@start.org
Health | Fumiko Kasuga |Fumiko.Kasuga@futureearth.org
Urban | Jean-Patrick Toussaint | jeanpatrick.toussaint@futureearth.org
Natural Assets | Hannah Moersberger | hannah.moersberger@futureearth.org
SDGs | Erik Pihl | erik.pihl@futureearth.org
Transformations | Rebecca Oliver | rebecca.oliver@futureearth.org
Oceans | Craig Starger | craig.starger@futureearth.org
Sustainable Finance & Economics | David Oram | david.oram@futureearth.org
Sustainable Systems of Production and Consumption | Hein Mallee | hmallee@chikyu.ac.jp
Emergent Risks | Markus Reichstein | mreichstein@bgc-jena.mpg.de
Decarbonisation | Erik Pihl | erik.pihl@futureearth.org

To register for this event please visit the following URL:


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