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ISDRS Q3 Newsletter 2021

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1. Message from the President

2. Announcements

3. FLOOD.Bi – Flood resilience: Information tool for Buildings

4. Building Resilience to Natural Hazards in the Context of Climate Change: Knowledge Integration, Implementation and Learning

5. What to do with Extended Producer Responsibility in the future of Circular Economy.

6. Insights from the (bio)pharmaceutical industry: on covid-19 – sustainability – SDG’s


1. Message from the President

The Pulse of Academia

As all different activities have a certain pulse, so does academia. When writing this in the end of September, 2021, university students in Sweden have been back to universities for 3-4 weeks after the summer break. While most universities in Sweden have had some mix of welcoming students on campus or online, we know for certain by now that major covid-19 restrictions will be lifted as of October 2021.

This is not the same in other countries around the world, but I certainly wish for students and faculty to join in on academic teaching, learning and research, regardless if made possible on campus or online. 19 months into the covid-19 pandemic, the world is still a planet on which many nations have hardly any access to vaccines and a minority have a high number of residents having taken their second shots; some even awaiting their so-called booster shots.

The pulse of ISDRS reveals that our most successful 27th annual conference mid-July as hosted by Mid Sweden University (the second online only conference) is more than nine weeks away, while our upcoming 28th annual conference as hosted by six universities in Stockholm, Sweden, is less than nine months ahead (please see separate announcement). Independent of the pandemic, it has been the awareness and intention of the ISDRS Board since ISDRS 2019 at Nanjing University, China, to include online participations into our conference formats in the future. No way did we anticipate that we would see two online-only conference in 2020 and 2021 come our way.

Coming up is the 28th annual conference of ISDRS in Stockholm, Sweden. Let us hope that the previous intentions to include online elements into our highly appreciated on campus conferences – or these days: our intentions to include on campus elements and online elements in explorative hybrid ways – can be fully realized in June 2022. I wish the organizing consortium of six universities in Stockholm best luck with launching ISDRS 2022 annual conference. Go Ersta Sköndal Bräcke University College, Stockholm School of Economics, Swedish Defence University, Stockholm University of the Arts, Södertörn University and University College Stockholm, go!

My best,

Peter Dobers, professor
ISDRS President 2021-2022
End of September 2021 in Stockholm
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2. Announcements

ISDRS 2022 Conference update

Exciting and bold conference theme of ISDRS 2022

15-17 June 2022 in Stockholm, Sweden

"Sustainable Development and Courage. Culture, Art and Human Rights"

First time ever in ISDRS history, a consortium of six universities have come together to welcome the extended ISDRS community and beyond to an exciting on-campus conference. Ersta Sköndal Bräcke University College, Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm University of the Arts, Swedish Defence University, Södertörn University, and University College Stockholm are very eager to create an inclusive and stimulating conference at which scholars from environmental and social sciences, from humanities and artistic research will gather, meet and discuss urgent research around Agenda 2030 and beyond.

"We are very eager to see this take place and are excited to increase intensity in preparations with merely 8 months or so to go to conference", says one of the conference chairs, associate professor Malin Gawell. In brief, the five days in total will have the following content:

14 June: A collaborative and inspiring PhD Day, and options of different Workshops in artistic forms of expression.

15-17 June: three days of conferencing, experiencing Stockholm views, suburbia and city pulse.

18 June: Sustainability Tours: Choose between several optional tours with sustainability and artistic contents, performances and experiences, while continuing networking and deepening talks with others in the conference community.

Themes and tracks for call for papers are opening. From November, you may submit abstracts.
Bookmark the website address and keep updated:

Comments? Suggestions? Mail us at:

See you in Stockholm in June 2022!

ISDRS 2022 conference core team

ISDRS New Professionals Group

ISDRS Mentorship Programme: Inspirational event 8 October 2021

As part of the ISDRS Mentorship programme, we are arranging a second internal inspirational event with members of the Young Academy of Sweden on 8 October 2021, 02:00-03.30pm CEST.

Dr Sofia Lodén and Dr Philippe Tassin, members of the Young Academy of Sweden, will share their experiences on how they have shaped their careers and what experiences have been challenging/rewarding, including smart strategies to navigate the international academic landscape.

If you are a mentee and a mentor in the programme, you should have received an invitation and a Zoom link to the event. For any queries regarding this event and the ISDRS Mentorship programme, please contact Hanna Ahlström:

Welcome to a collaborative and inspiring PhD day at ISDRS 2022!

June 14th, 2022

  • Would you like to share your work with peers in a safe and supportive environment?
  • Would you like to explore how art may inspire sustainability research in new directions
  • Would you like to discuss what courage means in the context of intensified. sustainability challenges?
Then join us for a collaborative and inspiring PhD day!

ISDRS and the consortium of hosting Stockholm universities welcome early career
researchers, including doctoral and master students, to a one-day PhD workshop
on June 14th, 2022 in Stockholm. The aim of the workshop is to be an arena
where early career researchers working on sustainable development-related topics can
socialise with peers and senior academics and jointly explore the conference themes of
art and courage in relation to their on-going research projects.

The exact venue will be decided later. There will be opportunities for online participation in asynchronous activities and/or some parts of the day.

Any early career researcher attending the 28th ISDRS Conference, whose abstract is accepted and has paid the conference fee, is eligible to apply for this PhD workshop.

See you in Stockholm in June 2022!

Sara Persson and Saurabh Biswas
Leaders of ISDRS New Professionals Group

Global Pandemic Impact on Sustainability and Higher Education - Virtual Webinar Event Summary

Global Pandemic Impact on Sustainability and Higher Education - Virtual Event
October 7th 2021; 12pm-1:45pm U.S. Eastern Standard Time.

Organised by The European Union Association in the US and at the UN

The current global pandemic has impacted all aspects of human life including the way learning institutions work, operate and cooperate. In this virtual webinar event, our distinguished panelists will share their experience and perspective on this impact including the broader implications on sustainability.


Katrin Gebhard
Higher Education Attaché, Cultural Services
French Embassy in the United States

Peter Dobers
Södertörn University, Stockholm (Sweden)
Professor in Business Studies/Sustainable Development and Co-Creation
President of the International Sustainable Development Research Society

Pauline Deutz
University of Hull, Yorkshire (United Kingdom)
Faculty of Science and Engineering
Professor of Human Geography, Department of Geography, Geology and Environment
Past President of the ISDRS, PI Cresting: Circular Economy: Sustainability Implications & Guiding Progress

David R. Perkins
Assistant Professor, Missouri State University (United States)
Faculty Department of Geography, Geology and Planning
Teaching Economic Geography, Sustainable Geotourism and Sustainability
Co-chair for the International Society of Biometerology's Commission on Climate, Tourism and

We look forward to an informative event and welcome you to join us.

Format: Zoom Webinar.

There will be a Q&A session to conclude the event in which attendees are encouraged to present their questions to the panelists.
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Registration Open!

Registration for the CRESTING Conference 2021 is now open!
Circular Economy: Sustainability implications of a social transformation

📅: 15th December 2021
📍: Hybrid event – online and in London, UK.

In partnership with Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) & International Sustainable Development Research Society (ISDRS).

We look forward to welcoming an international audience to the conference to discuss the implications for sustainability of the development of a circular economy. A major element of resource policy globally, a circular economy is seen as reducing carbon emissions, protecting resource security, creating jobs and promoting the UN Sustainable Development Goals. However, the idea that the interests and outcomes of circularity coincide with those of sustainability is largely an untested assumption.

This event presents and debates the findings of the EU-funded CRESTING project examining the implications of circular economy with the aim of guiding progress towards a sustainable future. It will showcase the research output from 25+ researchers and 15 non-academic partners generated during the last three years.

Discussion will be led by our panel of international circular economy experts:

  • Walter Stahel, Circular Economy Thinker
  • Maja Göpel, System transformation expert, author and university lecturer
  • Patrick Schröder, Senior Fellow, University of Sussex
  • Kersty Hobson, Senior Lecturer, Cardiff University
  • Nancy Bocken, Professor in Sustainable Business, Maastricht Sustainability Institute
  • Hans-Christian Eberl, Policy Officer, European Commission
  • Zengwei Yuan, Professor, Nanjing University
  • Olawale Olayide, President, Africa Circular Economy Research and Policy Network (ACERPiN)
Online attendance is free; there will be a £25 fee for attendance at the RGS-IBG in London, UK.
For further information visit .

How do YOU imagine a circular economy?

Please take the 10-15 minutes survey “How do YOU imagine a circular economy?” and participate in the first global circular economy perception survey.

ImagineCircularity is a global initiative aiming to reach one million people around the globe. At its core is a short survey that exposes all participants to the basics of a circular economy and society, educates them, and gathers their views and perceptions of circularity.

Become one of a million participants and invest 10-15 minutes of your time to learn about the circular economy by taking the survey at Imagine Circularity; click button below.

The survey aims to improve circular economy understanding and implementation throughout the world. It follows open science and open data principles, thereby allowing for the co-creation of ground-breaking academic research on circular economy perceptions.

ImagineCircularity was co-developed by REVOLVE Circular and the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development from Utrecht University’s Faculty of Geosciences.

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3. FLOOD.Bi – Flood resilience: Information tool for Buildings

Self-protection against floods is becoming increasingly important. This is especially true for the protection of residential buildings. The Leibniz Institute for Ecological Spatial Development (IÖR) has developed the information tool FLOOD.Bi together with the Saxon State Office for the Environment, Agriculture and Geology (LfULG) in the EU project STRIMA II.

The FLOOD.Bi tool serves to provide information on flood hazards, flood-induced potential damage to buildings and the identification of appropriate mitigation measures for residential buildings and can be accessed by clicking 'tool' button below.

4. Building Resilience to Natural Hazards in the Context of Climate Change: Knowledge Integration, Implementation and Learning

In the series Studien zur Resilienzforschung (Studies on Resilience Research) published by Springer, Regine Ortlepp and colleagues from ISDRS institutional member IOER have published a new book:

Gérard Hutter, Marco Neubert, Regine Ortlepp (Eds.): Building Resilience to Natural Hazards in the Context of Climate Change: Knowledge Integration, Implementation and Learning

The edited volume advances the "state of art" of urban resilience research through focusing on three important processes of building resilience: knowledge integration, implementation, and learning. The editors adopt an interdisciplinary approach to this volume of the Springer series on resilience. The volume includes contributions from civil engineering, physical geography, the social sciences, and urban planning.
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5. What to do with Extended Producer Responsibility in the future of Circular Economy.

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) has been an essential policy instrument in the era of circular economy 2.0 (see Reike et al., 2018). It has been applied around the world in very different formats. Circular economy 3.0 requires a far more structural transformation of the economy. How can this be achieved? Look at this video (subtitled in English), based on the experiences in the Netherlands.

Reike, D., Vermeulen, W.J.V., Witjes, S., 2018. The circular economy: New or Refurbished as CE 3.0? — Exploring Controversies in the Conceptualization of the Circular Economy through a Focus on History and Resource Value Retention Options. Resour. Conserv. Recycl. 135, 246–264.
Vermeulen, W.J.V., Backes, C.W., Munck, M.C.J. de, K.Campbell-Johnston, Waal, I.M. de, Carreon, J.R., Boeve, M.N., 2021. WHITE PAPER on Pathways for Extended Producer Responsibility on the road to a Circular Economy. Utrecht University.

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6. Insights from the (bio)pharmaceutical industry: on covid-19 – sustainability – SDG’s

In a recent publication in Journal of Innovation Management on Big Pharma’s search for a COVID-19 vaccine (access it HERE), Segers & Gaile-Sarkane explored the unprecedented triumph of rapid innovation with regard to COVID-19 vaccines. The sense of urgency has prompted academic research institutions, big pharmaceuticals and dedicated biotechnology companies to develop vaccines targeting the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus disease. It puts an increasing strain on global production, supply and value chains. Simultaneously, new business models have come to the forefront as it leverages public private partnerships and enhances voluntary collaboration between firms. Questions and concerns remain with respect to the urgently needed scaling up of vaccine manufacturing capacity and supply. There is an ongoing discussion about removing intellectual property rights and patents (open IP) on COVID-19 vaccines (Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights - TRIPs by the World Trade Organization).
But how is the (Bio)pharmaceutical industry approaching emerging sustainability issues related to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s), in particular SDG#3?
There are many challenges for the (bio)pharmaceutical industry where sustainability and connecting big pharma to the UN Sustainable Development Goals is concerned, in particular with regard to #SDG3: to bring access to life-saving and affordable medicines, universal health coverage and access to quality health care. This has to do with innovative new drugs, specialty medicines as well as vaccines (given the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic) and patient-centered innovation. Multi-stakeholder industry partnerships will advance sustainable development. The public private partnership business model is increasingly important to tackle the global challenges: (bio)pharmaceutical companies (i.e. pharma and biotech) working together with governments, healthcare authorities, hospitals, patient associations and other healthcare professionals and stakeholders in the ecosystem.
A number of good practices can be found, e.g. the Japan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (JPMA) and Pharmaceutical firms taking the lead.

Jean-Pierre Segers, Faculty of Engineering Economics and Management (FEEM), Riga, Latvia
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Janaina Macke, Olawale Olayide and Marlen Arnold

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ISDRS maintains several topic groups closely related to the UN SDG's with the goal of organising the annual call for papers preceding each conference. These working groups focus on different areas of sustainable development corresponding to each theme.
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