10 YEARS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT:
New Multi-Disciplinary Approaches and Methodologies
2-4 September 2013, London, United Kingdom
Debates on the meaning and measurement of Sustainable Development (SD) are old than the World Association for Sustainable Development (WASD) and many other organizations. Although the Brundtland Report is 'only' 25 years old and it is almost 45 years since the UN Stockholm Conference on 'the Human Environment'. So, do we know what SD is after more than four decades?
More than several hundred definitions of SD and numerous sets of proposed indicators and measurements have been counted by WASD and other organisations over the last many years. Moreover during the last ten conferences organised by WASD, various major topics relating to SD have been critically discussed:
- (2012: UAE) Change, Innovate and Lead for a Sustainable Future
- (2011: USA) Sharing Knowledge Making a Difference: The Role of International Scientific Cooperation
- (2010: St Lucia) Towards Epistemic Sovereignty: (Re)-thinking Development in a Changing Global Political Economy
- (2009: Bahrain) The Impact of the Global Financial Crisis on the Environment, Energy and Sustainable Development
- (2008: UK) Managing Science and Technology for a Sustainable Future
- (2007: Australia) Managing Knowledge, Technology and Development in the Era of Information Revolution
- (2006: Italy) Global and Local Resources in Achieving Sustainable Development
- (2005: UAE) Bridging the Divide: The Role of Technology & Trade
- (2004: UK) The Role of Academic Institutions and Societies in Achieving the Millennium Development Goals
- (2003: UK) Globalization and Sustainable Development: The Road Ahead
This conference focuses on the question what do policy makers actually need to know for policy formation? What exactly we are we trying to sustain, how much of it and how to value it; the underlying boundlessness of the concept of SD and whether 'decoupling' or the 'green elasticity of growth' has anything to offer policy makers. In doing so, the conference will adopt a holistic approach to critically examine the inter-relationship between the natural, the governmental, the economic and the social dimensions of our world and how science and technology can contribute to solutions. It is therefore essential that research and policy development fully takes account of the differing perspectives of SD and make explicit the particular perspective(s) that they are taking. No single definition necessarily fully captures the concept, but by being clear about our meaning of the concept and the underlying assumptions, we can progress our understanding of our common future challenges and their relationships to SD.
The conference aims to discuss a range of questions relating to strengthening the linkages between industry, universities and research institutions as well as reconnecting these institutions to the SD discourse by exploring the role of professionals, universities and research institutions in achieving SD. Therefore a number of issues relating to the role and relevance of professional bodies, universities and research institutions to the contemporary discourse of development will be examined during the conference. More importantly the conference aims to critically discuss the role of academics and professionals in supporting and enhancing the process of economic and social development and the major obstacles for science and technology in developing countries (DCs). It is hoped that the outcomes of the conference will help develop a framework for the analysis of the role of academic and research institutions in achieving SD and help policy-makers to constructs an "ideal role" for universities and research institutions in DCs and outlines how performance can be evaluated in pursuit of the goals of SD.
Attending this conference is an opportunity for academics, government officials, policy makers to get together and share their knowledge as a first step toward a transformational plan that they can tailor to suit their unique circumstances for a sustainable future. Similar to previous conferences organised by WASD, this multidisciplinary conference is expected to attract large number of global experts and scholars in addition to WASD members all over the world.