November 2019 Newsletter
SCORAI 2020 Conference
 Call for Abstracts Now Open

Accepting Submissions November 1- December 13, 2019

The 4th International SCORAI conference will be held from June 10-12, 2020 at Northeastern University, situated in the heart of Boston. This conference provides an opportunity to highlight cutting-edge research and innovative initiatives from different parts of the world, to expand linkages between knowledge and action, and to broaden connections among a diversity of researchers and practitioners. The theme for the 2020 conference is Sustainable Consumption & Social Justice in an Urbanizing World.

Researchers and practitioners from around the world are invited to submit individual abstracts for presentation or posters. During abstract submission, individuals will have an opportunity to request to be included for consideration in any of the open themed sessions. Abstracts that are not aligned with any of the themed sessions are also welcome. All abstracts will be reviewed by members of the International Review Committee.Abstracts will be reviewed on the basis of the following criteria: novelty, quality, and engagement with the conference theme. Accepted individual abstracts will be assigned to either a full paper session, a dialogue roundtable session, a flash-talk session, or a poster session. Individual abstracts should be 300-500 words long. When submitting your abstract, please indicate which of the conference themes it best fits (up three themes can be selected).

Stockholm Hub: SCORAI 2020 Conference organizers are collaborating on an innovative pilot initiative with KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm Sweden, which will host a Nordic Hub of the SCORAI 2020 Conference, with opportunities for remote participation for a limited number of participants. This hub will be offering both streamed and interactive sessions with Boston as well as a field trip, 
hub-specific sessions, and keynotes. 
When authors submit abstracts they may indicate a preference to present in Boston or in Stockholm. More information coming soon on the conference website.
Present your Research & Activism at the 2020 SCORAI Conference
2019 Fundraising
Without You, There is no SCORAI

SCORAI is a unique network run by volunteers, with nearly 1300 subscribers. Since 2008 we have served as a vibrant community offering high-quality exchanges on issues of sustainable consumption. Our activities include the listserve and newsletter, workshops and conferences, videos and publications, which are defining the field. 

The members of the SCORAI Executive Board, SCORAI Advisory Board, and others readily contribute their time and energy without compensation, but we still need financial resources to coordinate our growing network and support the exchange of ideas. To maintain activities at the current level we ask you to become a contributing SCORAI subscriber. We are seeking for your annual contribution of US $50 ($25 for students, retired and others in special circumstances) to reach the goal of $5,000 before the end of 2019. Of course, more generous donations are gratefully welcomed!

Become a contributing subscriber by making a donation on the SCORAI website today. Your contribution demonstrates your commitment and support for SCORAI as well as for sustainable consumption research, network formation, information dissemination, teaching, education, and communication. It is through these activities that we create new ideas and fruitful alliances.

With collegial and sustainable regards,
The SCORAI Executive Board: Halina Brown, Deric Gruen, Daniel Fischer, Philip Vergragt and Manisha Anantharaman
Contibute to SCORAI Today
Involving everyday people in energy change:
ENERGISE project summary video and final press release available!
As the ENERGISE project is soon to be concluded, the project team is happy to share a project summary video on the ENERGISE website and youtube about the project methodology, implementation process and outcomes.
The main project results have also shared with a more general audience through a press release that you can read online, with links to more ENERGISE materials, including detailed research findings.
Should we, researchers, perhaps share our findings and messages more often through such tools?
More information on ENERGISE is available on the project website, and you can join us on Twitter and Facebook as well.
How to teach sustainable consumption in higher education-- Your input needed!

As you may know, we are editing a new textbook within Routledge’s SCORAI book series on “teaching sustainable consumption” which will serve to provide examples of innovative and creative teaching methods and approaches. Many, many thanks to all of you who have already contributed. We know that many SCORAIers have developed creative and unconventional ideas to engage their students with sustainable consumption that we are not yet aware of. This is why we have decided to ask once more for your support of this seminal book project by sharing your examples. If you would like to participate, please follow this link ( and complete our short survey (5-10 min) by November 15. After which, we will come back to you for more elaboration.

Jen Dyer, Daniel Fischer, Marlyne Sahakian, Gill Seyfang
Upcoming Conferences
Listed in chronological order, from coming-soon to farthest out on the horizon.

SCORAI Brazil Members Gathering
Conference SemeAd
São Paulo
November 7, 2019

The very first face-to-face meeting of SCORAI Brazil took in São Paulo, Brazil, at the beginning of October 2019, during the Conference EnAnpad (see photo above). This SCORAI sub-group will have a second formal meeting in-person during the Conference SemeAd. At this conference on November 7th the group will be joined by Professor John Thøgersen (SCORAI Europe) from Aarhus University, Denmark, as a keynote speaker. On November 12, Professor Thøgersen will visit the University of Brasilia (Brasília, Brazil), where he will give the lecture: "Sustainability in the head or in the context? Empirical observations and implications for sustainability marketing". Registrations available at

Berlin International Week (BIW): Sustainability and Responsibility in the 21st Century
at Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Recht Berlin (HWR)
Department of Cooperative Studies (Campus Lichtenberg)
November 1-10, 2019

• Seminars, lectures and discussion about sustainability, responsibility and sustainable innovation
• Project work on a real-life challenge brought in by companies and other organizations to
contribute to one of the sustainability goals
• International teachers from different parts of the world
Full conference details here

The Transformative Innovation Policy Consortium (TIPC) Annual conference
Valencia, Spain
November 4-5, 2019

The TIPC Annual Conference will be held in collaboration with the EU SPRI, STRN and Globelics networks as partners of the internetwork dialogue on Transformative Innovation.  Hosted by Ingenio CSIC-UPV in Valencia, Spain, the focus will be on understanding how scholars and practitioners across the globe are interpreting and enacting transformative innovation policies through research and policy actions. It aims to offer a platform for advancing the building of a global research community on transformative innovation, to identify people and projects (established or early stage) working at the intersection of innovation, policy and transformative change in Global North as well as Global South contexts.

Paradigms, Models, Scenarios and Practices for Sustainability
University of Clermont Auvergne (UCA), Clermont-Ferrand, France
December 4-6, 2019

This symposium is jointly organized by the Jean Monnet Center of Excellence on Sustainable Development (ERASME) and Platform 21 for Sustainable Development. The conference focuses on the following themes: 1) How do the different sciences approach the question of sustainability, are there important differences between the social sciences, the engineering sciences, the sciences of life and earth?, 2) What are the dimensions and themes that embody or escape the discourse on sustainability?, 3) What are the paradigms that embody today the very idea of ​​a strong sustainability?, 4) What models , methods and scientific tools leave much room for strong sustainability?, 5) What are the scenarios for 2025, 2050 or 2100 that most embody the very idea of ​​strong sustainability? 6) How can sustainability be financed, 7) How can sustainability be evaluated? Full information here:
Sustainable Consumption & Social Justice in an Urbanizing World
 4th International SCORAI Conference
Northeastern University, Boston MA, USA
June 10-12, 2020

This international conference will convene scholars and practitioners to focus on sustainable consumption as it relates to urban issues and social equity. With growing social and racial inequities and widening disparities among and within communities, patterns of consumption are shifting as are notions of “sustainable consumption”. In an increasingly urban world where climate disruptions are exacerbating vulnerabilities of all kinds, there is growing acknowledgement of a need for systemic changes to alter societal expectations of resource use and consumption patterns.  At the same time, a consumer culture continues to perpetuate inefficient, resource-intensive practices that contribute to environmental destruction of all kinds. As corporate interests profiting from extractive, high-consumption, oppressive practices are strategically resisting change, coalitions of activists and advocates are advancing incremental and transformative change in different places at different scales. See the conference website with full details and a link to submit your paper and poster abstracts here:

Publications by Members

Meditating for the Planet: Effects of a Mindfulness-Based Intervention on Sustainable Consumption Behaviors
Environment and Behavior
Sonja M. Geiger, Daniel Fischer, Ulf Schrader, Paul Grossman

Recent research suggests that mindfulness may foster sustainable consumption behavior through the reduction of the so-called attitude–behavior gap, or by weakening material values while increasing subjective well-being. The current controlled longitudinal study tested these propositions by employing a sustainability-adapted mindfulness-based intervention (sMBI) to two different samples (n = 60 university students; n = 71 employees). Although the intervention successfully enhanced mindful experiences in both samples, we found no evidence for neither direct effects on sustainable consumption behavior or related attitudes, nor for the reduction of the attitude–behavior gap. However, the intervention led to greater well-being in the student sample and suggested a decline of materialistic value orientations in both samples. The results blunt previous claims about potential causal effects of mindfulness practice on sustainable consumption behavior. Nevertheless, they indicate that the sMBI affects behavior-distal variables, such as material values and well-being, which in turn could influence consumption behavior in the long run. Full text here:

‘It connects me to the earth:’ marginalized environmentalism and a resistance to capitalist logic among subsistence food producers in Chicago
Environmental Sociology
Ashley Colby

Using qualitative methodologies to explore subsistence food production in Chicago, this paper suggests that in the process of self-producing food, self-provisioners are becoming more acquainted with the ecological conditions of their existence, thereby countering the logic of the capitalist food system which inherently distances and alienates. Some of the reported practices of subsistence food production include composting, water saving/reduction, food localization, closed-loop nutrient cycling, soil remediation, and promoting biological diversity. This research suggests that those seeking to study positive human-environment innovation should look beyond those that simply identify as political environmentalists. We must begin to look at populations that are marginalized by the relatively privileged environmentalist community in order to learn about important directions in sustainable futures.

Healthy diet as a global sustainable development issue. Reasons, relationships and a recommendation.
chapter in Children’s rights and sustainable development: Interpreting the UNCRC for future generations, Claire Fenton-Glynn (Ed.)
Lucia A. Reisch & Wencke Gwozdz

Children often fare the worst when communities face social and environmental changes. The quality of food, water, affection and education that children receive can have major impacts on their subsequent lives and their potential to become engaged and productive citizens. At the same time, children often lack both a private and public voice, and are powerless against government and private decision-making. In taking a child rights-based approach to sustainable development, this volume defines and identifies children as the subjects of development, and explores how their rights can be respected, protected and promoted while also ensuring the economic, social and environmental sustainability of our planet.

Implementing impact measurement and management & The Corporate Toolbox
chapters in Business and the Sustainable Development Goals - Measuring and managing corporate impacts, Norma Schönherr & André Martinuzzi (Eds.)
Norma Schönherr, Lucia A. Reisch, Andrea Farsang, Armi Temmes, Adele Tharani & André Martinuzzi

This innovative and engaging book discusses the contribution of business to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations in 2015. It critically analyses selected impact measurement and management tools to highlight their respective benefits and limitations, and also provides guidance on critical management decisions to support high-quality impact measurement and management. The analyses underlying this book are the result of a three year research project conducted by an international consortium in the EU-funded research project GLOBAL VALUE - Managing Business Impact on Development. The research is complemented by examples from corporate practice and expert interviews to demonstrate and measure the contribution of business to sustainable development in the context of the SDGs.
The Right Way to Flourish: Reconnecting with the Real World
John Ehrenfeld

In this ground-breaking book, pre-eminent thought leader in the fields of sustainability and flourishing, John R. Ehrenfeld, critiques the concept of sustainability as it is understood today and which is coming more and more under attack as unclear and ineffective as a call for action. Building upon the recent work of cognitive scientist, Iain McGilchrist, who argues that the human brain’s two hemispheres present distinct different worlds, this book articulates how society must replace the current foundational left-brain-based beliefs – a mechanistic world and a human driven by self interest – with new ones based on complexity and care. Flourishing should replace the lifeless metrics now being used to guide business and government, as well as individuals. Until we accept that our modern belief structure is, itself, the barrier, we will continue to be mired in an endless succession of unsolved problems.

The Power of Existing Buildings
Island Press
Robert Sroufe

In The Power of Existing Buildings, academic sustainability expert Robert Sroufe, and construction and building experts Craig Stevenson and Beth Eckenrode, explain how to realize the potential of existing buildings and make them perform like new. This step-by-step guide will help readers to: understand where to start a project; develop financial models and realize costs savings; assemble an expert team; and align goals with numerous sustainability programs. The Power of Existing Buildings will challenge you to rethink spaces where people work and play, while determining how existing buildings can save the world. The insights and practical experience of Sroufe, Stevenson, and Eckenrode, along with the project case study examples, provide new insights on investing in existing buildings for building owners, engineers, occupants, architects, and real estate and construction professionals. The Power of Existing Buildings helps decision-makers move beyond incremental changes to holistic, results-oriented solutions.
Integrated Management: How Sustainability Creates Value for Any Business
Emerald Publishing
Robert Sroufe

Integration has been a key theme across the general management, organizational behaviour, supply chain management, strategy, information systems and the environmental management literature for decades. Sustainability continues to be, at the “top of the agenda” in the C-suite. Despite this, specialists in academia and organizations lack the peripheral vision to understand the power of a more integrated approach that will empower functional groups to become best-in-class without forcing trade-offs that pull down other groups connected to overall operations. Integrated Management is the key driver of innovation and profitability in progressive companies. It reduces risks while pursuing new opportunities, and the checks and balances for prudent management are baked in the strategy for modern go-to-market synergy and growth. What can be done, then, by individuals, functions, organizations, value chains, and even whole cities to integrate and align sustainability? To answer this and other questions, the information in this book finds enterprises already on the path toward integrated management and strategic sustainable development. It considers the opportunity we have to enable an enterprise value proposition that includes environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance. Integrated management applies a proven strategic planning approach to uncover the tools and actions available for change management and performance measured with an Integrated Bottom Line (IBL). Using evidence based examples from best-in-practice enterprises, proven management tenets, models and tools alongside emerging technologies, we can develop integrated solutions aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Welcome New SCORAI Affiliates!

A warm welcome to 5 new SCORAI affiliates who have joined us during the past month, bringing our total membership to 1289 individuals:

Dirima Cuthbert, The University of Western Australia    
Lindsey Newkirk, Elysium Events, Williams, Oregon 
Mary Gilmore-Maurer, University of Aberdeen    
Daniel Vare, KTH - Royal Institute of Technology    
Verena Kitowski, Fairphone BV



SCORAI (Sustainable Consumption Research and Action Initiative) was founded in 2008 as an international knowledge network of researchers and practitioners committed to advancing sustainability by focusing on societal patterns of consumption. SCORAI recognizes that technological innovation alone is insufficient to achieve sustainability; changes are required in societal institutions, cultures, and economic systems. SCORAI’s mission is to facilitate a transition to a more sustainable society by generating knowledge that impacts discourse and supports change agents.

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