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ISDRS Team visits USA

ISDRS Team visits USA April 2019 to deliver thought provoking discussions on the Circular Economy and the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Pauline Deutz and Peter Dobers

Representatives of ISDRS travelled to New York and Washington D.C. to be part of expert panels providing thought provoking discussions on how the Circular Economy might contribute to meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The visit (31 March to 5 April) helped to establish connections with researchers and policy makers interested in the circular economy.

The team presented to a specialy convened event at the United Nations, hosted and introduced by Ms. Wenyan Yang, Chief, Global Dialogue for Social Development Branch, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs Division for Inclusive Social Development (second from right in above picture). Prof Chris Dickey, Director of Global Health, NYU College of Global Public Health, also spoke (second from left in above picture).   The focus of this session was on social aspects of circular economy research.  Tomás Ramos (far left) presented work arising from Track 1c, Assessing Sustainability. He considered the significant role of indicators within the SGD process and the current research challenges around designing and implementing indicators

A further example of a social focus was provided by Peter Dobers’ (left) presentation of the EU H2020 ‘Accomplissh’ project, which relates to topic group 9b (Scale of governance).  However, social research is typically understated in ISDRS research compared to economic and environmental aspects of sustainability.  This event, hosted by a specifically social branch of the UN, comprises a valuable opportunity to both take stock of what we do and consider how we might better engage with social researchers.

A second policy-focused event was held at EU Parliament Liaison Office in Washington DC (left).  Here the team presented approaches to CE research including life cycle analysis, public sector/sustainability indicators, and geographic/social approaches. The audience comprised representatives of several member states’ EU delegations. Prof Victoria Kiechel, architect in the American University Global Environmental Politics Programme, moderated the session.  For this, ISDRS drew on the expertise in the EU H2020 ‘Cresting’ project (Pauline Deutz, Roberta Salomone and Tomás Ramos from left to right), relating to the topic group 5c Circular Economy, Zero Waste and Innovation.  As at the UN, information on the Nanjing conference (ISDRS 2019) was presented on behalf of Zengwei Yuan who was unable to attend.

At the New York University the team presented to students, primary from the Stern Center for Sustainable Business and the College of Global Public Health.  The panel was introduced by Prof Tensie Whelan Director, Center for Sustainable Business and Prof Chris Dickey.  Roberta Salomone’s (left) presentation concerned the potential to use life cycle analysis as a tool for assessing the benefits of circular approaches to resource management. There were some enthusiastic points of debate from the audience in response to Peter Dobers’ encouragement to look forwards 20 years – following the presentation of his research from 1999 that successfully envisioned steps to dematerialisation that have since been taken.  Discussion with staff leading the research, teaching and administration of sustainability was held at George Washington University, Washington DC. 

These events were all organised by the European Union Association in cooperation with the International Sustainable Development Research Society (ISDRS), New York University, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA) and the ASEM-UN NGOs group. The support of the European Union Association in particular is gratefully acknowledged.

The panel comprised (from left to right in the picture to the left) Dr Pauline Deutz, ISDRS president and Reader in the Department of Geography, Geology and Environment, and president of ISDRS; Professor Roberta Salomone, host of ISDRS 2018 in Messina and ISDRS board member; Department of Economics, University of Messina; Dr Tomás Ramos, board member of ISDRS, Centre for Environmental and Sustainability Research, School of Science and Technology (CENSE), NOVA University;  Prof Peter Dobers, vice president of ISDRS,  from Södertörn University in Sweden.  In addition, Prof Zengwei Yuan, Nanjing University (host of ISDRS conference 2019) had intended to join the group, but did not receive a visa to visit the US.  His research and the Nanjing conference were briefly introduced by the other panel members.

For more on ISDRS:

For further information from the panel, please contact any one of the following:

Dr Pauline Deutz, University of Hull (United Kingdom), ISDRS president and conference chair 2012:

Prof Peter Dobers, Södertörn University (Sweden), ISDRS vice president and conference chair 2007:

Prof Roberta Salomone, University of Messina (Italy), ISDRS board member and conference chair 2018:

Prof Tomás Ramos, NOVA University (Portugal), ISDRS board member and conference chair 2016:

Prof Zengwei Yuan, Nanjing University (China), ISDRS conference chair 2019:

ISDRS – Routledge partnership benefits you


Routledge is one of the largest publishers in the field of Sustainable Development research and actively supports knowledge dissemination for achieving the SDG's via its Sustainability Hub.

Your benefits

You will have a 20% discount on any Routledge book purchased online: for this you need to use the special discount code: ISDRS in the purchasing procedure on their website.


ISDRS also acts as General Editor of a new series entitled Routledge/ISDRS Series in Sustainable Development Research. Members of ISDRS and the topics groups will initiate new volumes in this series. If you have any suggestion, please contact the executive board of ISDRS. See for more information the ISDRS Series Flyer.


15 PhD positions at Nottingham Trent University, UK

15 Social Science PhD opportunities in sustainability and renewable energy

Nottingham Trent University has been awarded funding for a Marie Skłodowska Curie Innovative Training Network. The project title is Smart-BEEjS Human-Centric Energy Districts: Smart Value Generation by Building Efficiency and Energy Justice for Sustainable Living. The 15 doctoral projects cover a very wide range of social science disciplines, in order to look at the development of Positive Energy Districts from a range of human-centric perspectives. The students will be based in one of eight partner institutions, located across Western Europe. The innovative training programme will include at least one placement in a partner private, public or third sector organisation.

For more details please follow this link:

The deadline for applications is 30 June 2019, with a target start date for successful candidates of 1 October 2019. We encourage interested applicants to contact us as soon as possible with expressions of interest. We can then work with them to develop proposals before the final deadline.

Please note that, under the terms of Schengen and UK Visas & Immigration,  we are unable to offer positions to anybody who requires sponsorship to work in the UK or the Schengen Area.

Job Opportunity: Lecturer – Human Geography

Lecturer - Human Geography, Monash University in Melbourne, Australia

The School of Social Sciences at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia seeks applications for a continuing appointment as Lecturer in Human Geography with expertise in corporate sustainability management. The School of Social Sciences is recognised internationally for its quality education, innovative research and international engagement.

Monash University is the largest university in Australia and regularly ranks in the top 100 universities worldwide. Monash has six globally networked campuses and international alliances in Europe and Asia. The appointment will be based at the Clayton campus in Melbourne. Melbourne was named the “Most Liveable City in the World” for seven consecutive years by The Economist.

Applicants demonstrating potential and achievement in core fields of research and teaching in Human Geography will be highly regarded. Strong skills in corporate sustainability management are mandatory. Preference will be given to those with expertise in the geography of environmental sustainability and business sustainability.

Deadline Wednesday 12 June 2019, 11:55 pm AEST

Side-Event CBD-COP Egypt November 2018

ISDRS & IUNCBD jointly organized a side-event at the UN Biodiversity Conference 2018, the 14th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity - COP 14, Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, 17-29 November 2018

The side-event was on November 20, 2018, 18.15 in Building 2, Luxor – Asia and the Pacific Room, see CBD-COP website.

We have presented policy briefs on available recent research related to various CBD thematic programs and cross-cutting Issues, connecting to the research related to various ISDRS topics groups and the work in the fields by IUNCBD.

The ISDRS-Policy Briefs presented are available here:

Volker Mauerhofer’s report on the side event:

The PROGRAM of the side event was:

  1. Welcome & introduction: Volker MAUERHOFER (ISDRS/ISEE) & Pierluigi BOZZI (IUNCBD): Designing Research to Support Biodiversity Policy – ISDRS & IUNCBD Methods & Experiences
  2. Joji Carino, Forest Peoples Programme: Indigenous and Local Knowledge made visible: Contributions to Research, Policy and Global Futures
  3. Hien NGO (IPBES): IPBES:The state of science and knowledge…and what comes next
  4. Andreas OBRECHT (UN Environment): InforMEA: knowledge for policy, law and research
  5. Bolanle O. OBOH (University of Lagos – IUNCBD): Call to Action for Africa Biodiversity: Partnerships between Science Policy & Society
  6. Final discussion



– Presenting and discussing outcomes and lessons learnt in transdisciplinary biodiversity and sustainable development Science/Policy projects and research

– Discussing experiences and gaps in the stakeholders participation and contribution to science and policy making

– Identifying future challenges and perspectives, methodologies and tools, strategies needed to fully and effectively involve stakeholders in science/policy



Call for papers


A) Edited Book: “Industrial Symbiosis for the Circular Economy: Operational experiences, best practices and obstacles to a collaborative business approach”, to be published by Springer; deadline for abstracts 15 Oct; deadline for full papers 31 December 2018. Click here Springer Book -Call- Final

B) Journal special issue "Life Cycle Thinking and Industrial Symbiosis: Challenges for A Sustainable Growth" Deadline for papers in June 2019. Click here for more information.

Business Strategy and Development Special Issue on Sustainability

Business strategy and development
Special issue on sustainability

The role of SDGs for progressing sustainability

Call for manuscripts
The journal is presently planning a special issue on the relation between economy and a sustainable development.

The idea of a sustainable development stresses the creation of resilient ecological, social and economic systems by respecting the natural and given limits of ecological viability and capacity (Arnold, 2017). Sustainable development aims at societies where living conditions and resource use continue to meet human needs without undermining the integrity and stability of the natural systems. In September 2015, the United Nations General Assembly formally adopted the "universal, integrated and transformative" 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The goals have to be implemented and achieved in every country in the period from the 2016 to 2030. This constitutes a major challenge to the global and national economy as well as business enterprises. Following sustainable principles has often been regarded as an obstacle to economic profit, but few investigations have been made on the matter. There is also the question of how it might boost the economy. Last but not least, it is an urgent matter to achieve a sustainable economy.
Thus, the critical question as to whether and how companies implement SDGs in their strategies, innovations, and diversity concerns remains largely unsolved. How do companies implement SDGs in their strategies, innovations, and diversity concerns? Looking particularly at companies there is a great variation from strategic planning and processes integrating sustainability challenges and initiating sustainability-related organisational learning (Arnold, 2015). The integration of diverse stakeholders as well as taking gender issues more into account can be clues for accomplishing SDGs into strategies, activities, new business models and new inclusive models. However, there are also critical voices concerning the SDGs in terms of an allegedly fractal framework resulting in contradictory goals, neglecting trade-offs widely or retarding the realisation and progress of specific goals.
The special issue should bring new perspectives and excellent research on these questions. In this regard the special issue is seeking for different types of submissions (e.g., original research paper, review article, commentaries) from various scholarly domains. We also encourage manuscripts embedding multiple perspectives or diversified methods.

Addressed major topics and guiding research questions include, but are not restricted to, the following:
Corporate Sustainability
- How are the SDGs directly addressed by SMEs and large companies and embedded in the companies’ strategy?
- Will the SDGs guide to and aim at a new corporate sustainability understanding and management?
- Are there differences between local operating and multinational companies in facing SDGs?
- What kind of trade-offs and rebound effects might occur by objecting to SDGs?
- How can SDGs be linked to national sustainability strategies best?
Sustainability and Innovation
- Are SDGs explicitly integrated into innovation development?
- Are there differences between types of innovations or new design forms in different SDGs?
- What is the impact of the creative industries like design and art?
- What kinds of inclusive or frugal innovations are stimulated by the SDGs?
- What new types of business models are linked to innovation and sustainability?
Sustainability and Gender
- What role does gender play in achieving the goals of the SDGs?
- How could a more active use of gender issues have?
- What role do female stakeholders play in fostering the implementation of SDGs?
Sustainability Theory and Science
- Are the SDGs old wine in new skins?
- What determines a real progress concerning sustainability practice and management by introducing SDGs?
- How can sustainability theory and science be enriched by SDGs?
- Is the establishment of the SDGs a new driver for growth?
- What is the additional benefit of introducing SDGs compared to already existing concepts?

Guidelines for submission and important dates
Authors should refer to the Business Strategy & Development website and the instructions on submitting a paper. For more information click here
The manuscripts should not exceed 6.000 words and be submitted by January 1 2018.
Questions related to expectations, appropriateness of topics, and so forth are highly welcomed and may be directed to the co-editors.

Co-editors and contacts

Professor Dr. Astrid Skjerven, Oslo and Akershus University College of the Applied Sciences, Department of Product Design.

Professor Dr. Marlen Gabriele Arnold, Chemnitz University of Technology, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Corporate Environmental Management,

Katja Schneider, Chemnitz University of Technology, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Corporate Environmental Management,

Sustainable Development
Special issue on architecture and planning

Call for contributions

Nuno Martins, researcher, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon
Astrid Skjerven, professor, Department of Product Design, Oslo and Akershus University College, Oslo
Martina Keitsch, professor, Department of design, NTNU, Trondheim
Michael U. Hensel, professor, Oslo School of Architecture and Design, Oslo

The issue will pay special attention to the current facts that shape our world, as listed by the Sustainable Development Goals in the Goal 11: Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. Half of humanity is today living in cities, 95 per cent of urban expansion in the next decades will take place in the developing world and 828 million people live in slums, a number that keeps rising.
Contributions from the followings areas will be particularly welcomed:
•Discussion of key concepts, methods and applications in cutting-edge sustainable urban design and architecture.
•Discussion of the impact of innovative ecological design approaches and appliances in development projects.
•The role of stakeholders in the design of the sustainable city and region development.
•The dimensions of green design and architecture - fostering sustainable lessons in vernacular building traditions and enhancing communities and heritage-based projects.
•Community-based studies that look at the environmental, economic, social, but also cultural and ideological dimensions of sustainability, embracing the concept of well-being.

Time schedule
Submission of abstracts: within July 31 2017
Feedback from editors: within August 15 2017
Submission of full papers: within September 15 2017
First peer review: within October 15 2017
Submission of revised papers: within November 15 1017
Second peer review: within December15 2017
Information on selected papers within January 15 2018
Publication: June or July 2018

Please send abstracts of 800-1200 words in PDF format to: and

23rd ISDRS conference, June 14-16 in Bogotá, Colombia

The International Sustainable Development Research Society (ISDRS) is pleased to announce its 23rd Annual conference to be held on June 14-16 in Bogotá, Colombia; hosted by the Universidad de los Andes School of Management (UASM)!

Inclusive Sustainability for Development: How to engage academy, government, communities and business

The ISDRS 2017 Core Themes are:
Theme I.         Sustainable Development Science
Theme II.        Ecosystem Pressures and Limits
Theme III.       Climate Change and Energy
Theme IV.      Sustainable Land Use & Sustainable Cities
Theme V.        Sustainability: Transitions and Innovations in Organisations
Theme VI.      Society, Quality of Life and Sustainability
Theme VII.     Institutions and Governance Structures for Sustainable Development


  • Abstract Submission Opening: 24 October 2016
  • Abstract Submission Deadline: 31 December 2016
  • Accepted Abstract Notification: 15 February 2017
  • Early Bird Registration Online: 31 March 2017

For more information about the conference, visit: