Sustainability Frontiers Conference logo

Graphic: Lund University .

The Sustainability Frontiers Conference will take place online from 14–15 February 2022, providing a rare opportunity to listen to international researchers at the forefront of sustainability science. 

Take part in moderated discussions, breakout groups and discussion sessions as we focus on these five themes.  

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

The event is designed to be interactive and will not be recorded, so we invite you to a unique opportunity to participate live and discuss the future of sustainability. All sessions will be open to an unlimited number of participants who are required to sign up for the breakout thematic sessions. 

The conference will conclude with a forward-looking discussion by leading international sustainability researchers.

Program

Please note that the program will be continuously updated with speakers

Monday 14 February 2022

09.00 – 09.10 Conference opening remarks by Emily Boyd, LUCSUS and Somya Joshi, SEI

09.10-11.00 CET
Session 1: Decolonising

How to develop sustainability science with a decolonising approach?

This theme focuses on an emerging area of importance of decolonising sustainability science both in terms of decentring western knowledge frameworks, understanding structural change, and recognising diversity and tensions that exist in navigating sustainable futures.
09.10 Short keynote presentations followed by panel discussion
10.00 Breakout session (workshop) with concluding discussion

Panelists:
Lyla Mehta, The Institute of Development Studies
Bagele Chilisa, Botswana University
Anna-Lill Drugge, Umeå University
Moderator: Vasna Ramasar, Lund University

13.00-15.00 CET
Session 2: Resistance and social movements

How do resistance and social movements contribute towards action for/on sustainability?

This theme will examine ideas and practices of grassroots resistance, engagement and deliberation as part of actions for sustainability. Increasingly, processes and patterns of resource extraction and environmental governance are met by forms of popular resistance, giving rise to socio-environmental conflicts and inspiring the emergence of social movements. These confrontations can contribute to transitions towards more sustainable futures by shedding light on conflicting values, unsustainable resource uses and bottom up alternatives. In this perspective, social mobilisations can become forces of sustainability, locally and globally, addressing livelihoods, environments and the climate. An analysis of just transformations requires an engagement with why and how different social groups resist, where and at what scale. Resistance is crucial in social struggles related to justice and equality: to resist is often a mean to exist, opening up to the recognition of multiple intersecting social, environmental and climatic injustices.

13.00 Short keynote presentations followed by panel discussion
14.00 Breakout session (workshop) with concluding discussion

Panelists:
Salvatore Paolo De Rosa, LUCSUS, Lund University
Ana Maria Vargas Falla, Swedish International Centre for Local Democracy
Gustavo García-López, CES, University of Coimbra
Moderator: Ellinor Isgren, LUCSUS, Lund University

18.00-19.30 CET
Session 3: Degrowth

How does degrowth, post-growth and an agnostic approach on growth feature in sustainability?

This track will explore how post-growth perspectives can be used in transforming economic systems and facilitating sustainable transformations. Degrowth scholarship argues for a multi-scalar transformation beyond the growth-oriented economic paradigm to achieve long-term socio-ecological sustainability. Apart from reorganizing our economies without economic growth, degrowth also implies ‘doing different’, for example, by focusing on care, conviviality, simplicity, sharing, and the commons. The panel will discuss to what extent degrowth and post growth ideas inform just sustainability transitions and how it can be implemented.

Panelists:
Giorgos Kallis, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Eric Kemp-Benedict, Stockholm Environment Institute
Jennifer Hinton, Stockholm Resilience Center
Moderator: Mine Islar, LUCSUS, Lund University

Tuesday 15 February 2022

9.00-11.00 CET
Theme: Digitalisation and sustainability transitions

How does digitalisation, disruptive technologies and AI contribute to sustainability science?

This track will explore to what extent digitalisation transforms social practices in a direction that yields sustainability outcomes. Digitalisation will in the coming years have profound effects on energy, materials, and ecosystems. The panel will critically examine if digitalisation might be at odds with a just transition to sustainability unless digital regimes are re-imagined towards inclusive practices, democratic governance, and environmental regulation. The track will also explore which new technologies may help to accelerate sustainability transitions and what institutions are required to foster such innovations.

09.00 Short keynote presentations followed by panel discussion
10.00 Breakout session (workshop) with concluding discussion

Panelists:
Stefan Daume, Stockholm Resilience Center
Chinasa Okolo, Cornell University
Andrea Owe, Global Catastrophic Risk Institute
Moderator: Maja Essebo, LUCSUS

13.00-15.00 CET
Theme: Inner transformation and future imaginaries

How do inner transformation, imaginaries and futures providing opportunity for new insights and transformations, including the role of arts?

This theme focuses on an emerging area of importance that brings together inner and outer transformation, by emphasising the role of creativity, collaboration, empowerment in climate change and transformation processes, including the role of narratives and future imaginaries in generating conscious social change.

13.00 Short keynote presentations followed by panel discussion
14.00 Breakout session (workshop) with concluding discussion

Panelists:
Myanna Lahsen, Linköping University
Henrik Carlsen, Stockholm Environment Institute
TBA
Moderator: Diego Galafassi, LUCSUS, Lund University

18.00-19.30 CET
Final Session: Frontiers of sustainability science

How do these strands fit with other perspectives on sustainability? Where do we meet? How do we move forward? How do we continue to develop and thrive in the field of sustainability science?

This session presents the final synthesis discussion of the conference. It will look back at the development of the field, reflect on where we have come to, and also look forward toward new directions.