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ISDRS Q2 Newsletter 2020

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1. Message from the President
2. Announcements
3. Conference Announcements
4. Call for Papers
5. Second Utrecht Degrowth Symposium: From Circular Economy to Circular Society
6. “I Can’t Breathe,” Says Africa
7. To more Sustainability in Education through Cooperation with Industry
8. Our best vaccine: biodiversity
9. ‘Glocalization’ in a post-COVID-19 world

1. Message from the President

Dear All,
I hope that everyone is keeping well and offer my deepest sympathy to those who have lost loved ones during the Covid-19 outbreak. The Coronavirus continues its path across the world and continues to reveal the deep underlying inequalities both within and between countries. The need for something we might recognize as sustainable development could hardly be clearer or more urgent.

Since our last newsletter, a particular inequality has justifiably gained centre stage. The present attention to anti-racism is driven of course by the Black Lives Matter movement, given recent impetus by the appalling examples of police brutality in the USA. It almost defies belief that the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May is no longer the most recent example. Any illusion that this is a uniquely American problem, however, did not last long. For sure there are important variations, but a blend of conscious and unconscious racism, ingrained structural inequalities (of both opportunity and of potential to take advantage of whatever opportunities there are) appear to be universal. But that is not to say that such injustices are inevitable.

As an organization that is involved in researching, teaching and practicing sustainability, ISDRS undoubtedly has a role to play in increasing and disseminating understanding of structural inequalities and their impacts (nationally and internationally). In Nanjing last year, I argued that we could not ignore issues around us even if they did not appear to have a direct relationship to sustainability or our own particular research interests. Now it would be quite difficult to imagine anyone arguing otherwise. Nonetheless, we need to go further: ISDRS itself needs to consider its own position and characteristics. We remain a rather European organization in terms of the membership, albeit with strong contributions from elsewhere and a keen intention to be global.

ISDRS has always strived to be welcoming to everyone and anyone with an interest in sustainability. We try to facilitate a global membership through differentiated costs of membership and conference registration according to country. Unfortunately, the costs of operating do not permit a more generous approach (and we note also that academia can be a precarious profession in any country). Therefore, we need to find ways to make better use of the platforms we have, and to ensure that these are equally accessible to and representative of the work and concerns of members wherever they may come from, or with whichever community they may identify. I invite and encourage you to join in discussion. We will dedicate a discussion space at the conference to collect some initial thoughts, which will be shared for wider debate.

And speaking of the conference, I am very much looking forward to virtual visit to Budapest in July – with the promise of old and new friends joining in new debates!

Best wishes,
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2. Announcements

Conference update

We have been busy developing a virtual version of ISDRS2020. Including revised registration categories and fees, this includes a new category of 'visitor'. Our determination to provide a platform for scientific discussion, as ISDRS conferences have always been, is unchanged.
The conference schedule is currently under development and will be available early July. Participants will receive detailed information regarding the on-line format for both presentation and poster sessions.

The conference proceedings will be published as normal.

Please keep checking our website for updates.

New Institutional Member of ISDRS: Mid Sweden University

From May 2020, Mid Sweden University (MIUN, with Campuses in Östersund and Sundsvall in Sweden joined the ISDRS as new institutional member. Particularly the Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering, which made this membership possible, as well as the Sustainable Development Network within MIUN are looking forward to this collaboration. As a first step, three members of MIUN will also participate online in this years’ ISDRS conference in Budapest.
Campus Östersund_photo Sandra Lee Pettersson
© Sandra Lee Pettersson


Following the well-established tradition of recognising the most outstanding achievements in spatial development, urban and regional planning, and urban design, the International Society and Regional Planners (ISOCARP) will bestow the three category awards in 2020:
  1. Awards for Excellence, open to a wide range of professionals and institutions active in the field of urban planning and related areas; participants are invited to submit various tools used in planners’ daily practice: normative plans, strategic plans, urban projects, programmes, policies, research, software, etc.
  2. Gerd Albers Awards,given for the best individual publication: book, book chapter, journal article, and/or project report; for ISOCARP members only.
  3. Student Awards,addressing an individual or group student work at different levels (undergraduate-bachelor, graduate-master) with outstanding results in urban and regional planning or a related field.
The submission deadline is June 30, 2020. The winning entries will be advertised not only on the ISOCARP website and in social media, but also in special publications currently in preparation. Do not miss the opportunity to reward your work with some of the prestigious ISOCARP awards! Further information is available from ISOCARP Director for Awards, Ana Peric, and can also be found on the website.

Online discourse on Circularity and COVID-19


Large book on Sustainability and Law as an ISDRS Messina conference outcome

A 775pp. book on Sustainability and Law as one outcome of the 24th ISDRS conference held in Messina/Italy in 2018 has been recently launched with Springer International Publishers.
The book is co-edited by Volker Mauerhofer from Mid Sweden University (Sweden), Daniela Rupo from the University of Messina (Italy) and Lara Tarquinio from the d'Annunzio University, Chieti-Pescara (Italy) who share academic backgrounds in the environmental, social and economic dimensions of sustainable development.
Thirty-six chapters co-authored by more than 50 scholars from all continents comprise latest scientific knowledge and practical experiences about the multifaceted and transdisciplinary field of “Sustainability and Law”.
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3. Conference Announcements

2. International Conference-Dryland Agriculture

ISOCARP World Planning Congress 2020

Special Call for COVID-19 related Abstracts

As we are all aware, the current Coronavirus pandemic has brought about unprecedented changes in our societies and cities and has changed our focus in recent months. This may have deterred many of our colleagues from preparing and submitting abstracts for our Congress. Considering that this is still an ongoing and rapidly evolving situation, the International Society and Regional Planners (ISOCARP) will continue to accept the following special submissions:

  • COVID-19 related abstracts
  • Proposals for special sessions on Planning Practice and Planning Research
To submit your abstract, please follow the procedures here.
If you have any questions, please visit our website or contact us via
post oil
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4. Call for papers

Call for papers: Resources, Environment and Sustainability

Resources, Environment and Sustainability (RES) is a peer-reviewed transdisciplinary journal aiming at publishing high-quality original articles from a broad range of sustainable resource utilization, associated environmental stresses, and potential solutions to achieve resource and environmental sustainability.

The inaugural issue of RES is calling for submissions of innovative contributions to sustainable resource utilization and environmental sustainability, especially with multidisciplinary perspectives across natural, social and technological systems.

Manuscript Submission

All the authors should follow RES’s “Guide for Authors”, which can be accessed via this link and the standard submission procedures of Elsevier’s Editorial Manager (EM) system.

Submission access Click here

All submissions will be subjected to thorough peer review, revision, and re-submission processes.

All submissions will be peer reviewed in up to four weeks and All the articles on the first issue are free of publications.


The Worldwide Journal of Research with ISSN: 2734-231X is an open-access international journal that publishes articles in all research fields. Our aim is to publish all types of researches, including negative and confirmatory results in all disciplines, and to make these results available to the relevant scientific communities shortly after peer-review. Published articles are licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. This permits anyone to copy, distribute, transmit, and adapt the work provided the original
work and source is appropriately cited. Worldwide Journal of research is predicated on the need for researchers to have access to a source of information and an opportunity to share, through publication, new ideas, and solutions for sustainable development.

WE ARE CURRENTLY ACCEPTING RESEARCHES FOR THE NEXT ISSUE. Submitted papers will undergo double-blind peer-review process and once accepted, will be carefully edited by experienced academic editors comprising some of the world's leading researchers. Worldwide Journal of Research currently offers free submission, processing, and publication. Submit your papers now and get these privileges.
Submission of papers is through our website, which follows the platform and workflow by OJS/PKP.
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5. Second Utrecht Degrowth Symposium: From Circular Economy to Circular Society held online on the 15th of May 2020

Over 600 participants
The event brought together scholars and practitioners from various sectors including government, NGOS, businesses and academia to discuss a circular future beyond economic growth.
The symposium included interventions by Dr. Sanli Faezi (Utrecht University), Martin Calisto Friant (Utrecht University), Dr. Kersty Hobson (Cardiff University), Ilektra Kouloumpi (Circle Economy), Joey Hodde (De Ceuvel), Dr. Socrates Schoutens (Waag), Martine Postma (Repair Café) and Dr. Ernst Worrell (Utrecht University).
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6. “I Can’t Breathe,” Says Africa

4. million-belay-ali
Million Belay (PhD)
General Coordinator
Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa
Ever since I saw the video of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on the 25th May, killed by a police man who knelt on his neck for NINE MINUTES, while he was calling for his dead mother and for mercy, I have been upset and angry, as have been most people across the world and amongst different races.  I‘ve been watching the riots in the USA and all over the world and wondering whether this will pass by as just another of these events, or whether change really is on the horizon.
We know this systemic racism started four centuries ago and, through endless and varied legal and political processes, was designed to benefit one section of a society. All other systems are subservient to this system and all other people are subservient to a race, a large number of whom are fighting to keep the privilege they feel is rightfully theirs.

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7. To more Sustainability in Education through Cooperation with Industry

Julia Krause
University of Applied Sciences Dresden

In our modern world in order to achieve different personal and professional targets, it is important to collaborate with different parties and stakeholders – not just within companies and with all their suppliers and clients but between different groups in a society. Collaboration is also one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and is something that can contribute enormously to the success of every idea.
Universities, especially applied universities, try to use many examples from industry and real economy to illustrate theoretical aspects. However, it is high time to level up this kind of interaction to a new standard – not just using those case studies and examples, but by active involving both sides into the teaching and learning process and by implementing existing questions and problems of the industry into educational curriculum. In this way, to create new educational environment, that is very relevant, very up-to-date and extremely needed. Not just doing theoretical exercises, but to work on real problems, to design solutions that can be used tomorrow and to provide real results by implementing theoretical knowledge and practical experience of both parties.
6.3. Model for educating on Sustainability with pictures
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8. Our best vaccine: biodiversity

7. IMG_1555
During the last months, our lives have changed in ways we had imagined before; the way we work and relate to each other is different. A virus, COVID-19, has generated an unprecedented crisis, with important economic, social and environmental consequences. On an economic level, many companies had been forced to stop their activity while others have reinvented or transformed their operations to adapt to the needs of the moment: masks, gloves, cleaning gels, ventilators.

Socially, this crisis has highlighted the importance of some aspects, which have not received the necessary attention and resources: family care, health, education. Moreover, this crisis is widening the social gap, making it is clear that many resources, such as technology, are not available to everyone.

What is the relationship between the COVID-19 emergence and the environment? The origin of the problem is our relationship with the environment. This crisis caused by the coronavirus, which appeared more than 9,000 km from our homes as if by magic, has been a direct consequence of the exploitation of nature by humans. In this case, an exotic practice, such as the use of pangolin for human consumption, has been the trigger for an unprecedented pandemic.
7. 20190710_151348
This is not something new, similar situations related to different viruses that crossed between species and reached people, already has occurred with SARS (2003), H1N1 (2009) and MERS (2012), although with less geographical impact.
Image: Pixabay, from the Pexels platform:
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9. ‘Glocalization’ in a post-COVID-19 world

Arijit Paul, Romana Rauter, Rupert J. Baumgartner
Institute of Systems Sciences Innovation and Sustainability Research
University of Graz
“Glocalization, the simultaneous occurrence of both universalizing and particularizing tendencies in contemporary social, political, and economic systems.” [1]

While the world is still reeling under the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, we want to remain hopeful and share our thoughts about how to become more sustainable in a post-COVID-19 world. In our commentary, we identify glocalization of supply chains as an opportunity for a better future that arises out of the COVID-19 crisis.
There lies a trade-off between resilience and economic efficiency in the networks of global supply chains [2]. Building economic efficiency demands cost minimization, inventory reduction, and maximization of asset utilization [3]. Optimization of all these objectives in a global network results in a very few global supply chain hubs, which control most of the global movements of goods and materials. Relying only on such a few global supply chain hubs creates significant bottlenecks in the event of a global supply chain shock, like the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, and risks substantial disruptions to the global value chain network with potentially catastrophic consequences for the world economy.
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This newsletter is presented by the International Sustainable Development Research Society on a regular basis to all registered Followers and Green members. If you want to receive this newsletter, please register here.
Contributions to the newsletter and announcements of relevant activities are welcomed.
Please send any contribution to the co-editors:

Olawale Olayide, Marlen Arnold

Followers and Green members are invited to share innovative, creative and critical ideas about about the further enhancement of sustainable development in a short essay form. This would have a size of between 500-2000 words, follow the general rules of academic publishing (proper references etc.), but it would fill the gap between journal/conference abstracts and official journal publications.
Please provide submissions in a word document and not PDF format, any images must be submitted as a media file (.jpeg, .png or similar).
Disclaimer; the ISDRS is not responsible for any content displayed on the websites that are hyperlinked in this newsletter.

Get more involved with ISDRS

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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