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January 2022 Newsletter
Happy New Year SCORAI members!

Welcome to our new year of bi-monthly newsletters and thank you as always to everyone who shared news and updates for all of our newsletters in 2021, we look forward to your continuing participation in the new year.

In 2022, our newsletter will be going out to you all every two months
, with the next newsletters set to arrive in your inboxes in March, May, July, September, and November 2022. This will let us fill each newsletter with even more news, actions, opportunities, and cutting-edge research from you all!

We also want to thank all of you who donated this past year to help keep the lights on at SCORAI and bringing us closer to our fundraising goal of $3,600. Thanks to your help, we are two-thirds of the way to that goal, and we hope you can continue to support us in the new year!

https://scorai.net/contribute

Your support is especially critical as we begin organizing our next international conference in 2023 and we thank you all for your help in making that event possible. Without you, there is no SCORAI.
 

Thank you!

Your Board: Ashley, Ginnie, Halina, Liz, Philip, Valerie

Spotlight on:
The Rizoma Field School

 


The Rizoma Field School is run by a member of the SCORAI Executive Board, Dr. Ashley Colby. RFS is a place that seeks to put forward ideas about a future that is not only sustainable, but regenerative. A place to consider resilient paths toward the future. The central principle guiding our teaching is how to make the human and natural world healthier and more diverse, which includes social equality, freedom and tolerance.

We have begun renovations on an original brick building on our property with the goal of creating a classroom space. Our orientation with this project is toward the traditional, sustainable, and long lasting.

In the past five years in Uruguay we have learned about different methods of bioconstruction, a kind of building that uses local, earthen and natural materials, as well as traditional construction methods. We would like to put together the best of the traditional and the modern to make a classroom that is a model for experimental learning!

So now we embark on an adventure without a guidebook or map, but with an orientation toward building thoughtfully, centering local knowledge and expertise. Toward learning as we go. Toward teaching about both our successes and failures in a classroom made by our successes and failures.

Learn more about our classroom renovation project here: https://rizomafieldschool.com/classroom-renovation/
Following SCORAI, however, is very compatible with sustainability @SCORAI_net

ICYMI

In Case You Missed It

A New Blog from SCORAI!


In Case You Missed It (ICYMI) is a new blog on the SCORAI website which collects interesting discourse on a popular thread on the SCORAI listserv. Sign up for the listserv HERE in case you missed any of these great conversations!

Edited by SCORAI Board Members Halina Brown and Valerie Brachya, ICYMI collects and organizes the range of responses on a popular discussion thread to make the texts more readable and to combine them into a main theme. 

The first ICYMI Blog discusses individual action and system change, and is based off a discussion started by SCORAI member Vanessa Timmer in late October 2021.

Read the full blog post at: 
https://scorai.net/icymi-in-case-you-missed-it/


ICYMI 2 discusses development and consumerism from Southern and Northern Perspectives, and was based off of a discussion on the listserv triggered by the use of the term ‘Sustainable Lifestyles’ by India at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow.

You can read more at:
 https://scorai.net/development-and-consumerism-from-southern-and-northern-perspectives/

We hope you enjoy these curated blogs and encourage you to continue to respond to discussions with ideas and thoughts from different perspectives and from around the world.

We look forward to picking up future fascinating threads!

Sustainable Consumption in the News


 
What is the Environmental Footprint of Christmas?
OECD Environment Focus

Concerns have been raised over the economic deadweight loss of Christmas, and gift giving in general, with a famous economic paper published in 1993 arguing that most typical gift giving actually destroys economic value.However, there has been limited attention paid to the very daunting task of calculating the overall environmental footprint of Christmas using life cycle analysis. One, only slightly tongue-in-cheek, infographic estimates the carbon footprint of Santa’s operations (including toy production and distribution by a sleigh pulled by reindeer) at around 70 million tonnes of CO2.
The Dark Side of 15-Minute Grocery Delivery
Bloomberg CityLab

Over the last year, cities across the U.S. and Europe have seen a rapid rise in the number of dark stores — mini-warehouses stocked with groceries to be delivered in 15 minutes or less. Operated by well-funded startups such as Getir, Gopuff, Jokr and Gorillas, dark stores are quietly devouring retail spaces, transforming them into minimally staffed distribution centers closed to the public. This addictive convenience threatens to transform downtowns into dark cities, where the everyday commerce that gives streets their vitality has evaporated from view and been reconstituted on an app.
Climate impact on children driving sustainable consumption in Southeast Asia
Eco-Business
(free signup required for full article)

Consumers in Southeast Asia’s largest economies are more likely to switch to green products and services over fears that climate change will impact the lives of young people, a study has found.  More than half (58 percent) of Southeast Asians said that safeguarding the future for emerging generations was a key reason to spend more on sustainable products, according to a consumer sentiment study by United Overseas Bank, a Singapore-based finance group. The age group that is most likely to buy sustainable products with future generations in mind is Millennials, with 61 percent of 24 to 39 year olds in five key Southeast Asian markets—Singapore,  Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam—with this consumer mindset.
Ecologist and model Zinnia Kumar shares her guide to leading a more sustainable lifestyle in 2022
Vogue India

When it comes to being more mindful about what you consume and where your products come from, I have always thought that small, daily steps can create a large impact. Centring your life around sustainability may sound like a tall order, but I've found that incorporating incremental measures goes a long way towards building an environmentally conscious lifestyle. While I'm always battling to make the fashion industry a more ecologically ethical space, here are my tips on how to limit your environmental footprint and create a more sustainable lifestyle.

Featured Articles from 2021


 
We asked SCORAI members to share some of the articles and reports from 2021 which reflect the development of the research and practice of field of sustainable consumption: those that bring about major insights on well-travelled roads; contradict assumptions and dogmas we have come to accept; synthesize and clarify concepts; point toward policies and actions for the future; provide new and strong empirical evidence; and other contributions which you would share with a colleague who wants to know what the field of sustainable consumption is all about. Below are a selection highlighted by you all as reflective of the growth in the field this past year. 
 

Growth through contraction: Conceiving an eco-economy
William E. Rees
Real-World Economics Review

We are cursed to live in interesting times. The human enterprise is in a precarious state of “ecological overshoot” propelled by excessive economic activity and growing populations. Eco-overshoot exists when the human demand for renewable resources exceeds ecosystems’ regenerative capacities and waste discharges from people and their economies exceed ecosystems’ assimilative/recycling capacities. This is the archetypal definition of biophysical unsustainability.

 

Challenging social norms to recraft practices: A Living Lab approach to reducing household energy use in eight European countries
Laurence Godin et al.
Energy Research & Social Science

ENERGISE is the first large-scale European effort to reduce household energy use through a change initiative that adopted a ‘living lab’ approach informed by social practice theory. Two challenges were introduced to 306 households in eight countries: to lower indoor temperatures and to reduce laundry cycles. This contribution demonstrates the usefulness of a practice-centered design that takes habits and routines as an entry point for understanding how different ‘elements of practices’ can be re-crafted. A participatory ‘living lab’ approach that explicitly encouraged deliberation and reflexivity served to sharpen attention on practices as central to change. The paper discusses how ‘doing laundry’ and ‘keeping warm’, as very different types of practices, responded to the change initiative. Average changes in reported temperatures and wash cycles indicate that reductions are possible, without an emphasis on individuals or technologies as central to change. The paper ends with a discussion on the implications of our approach for energy sufficiency thinking and practice, emphasizing the merits of taking the complexity of everyday life seriously when designing change initiatives.

 

Through the Eye of a Needle: An Eco-Heterodox Perspective on the Renewable Energy Transition
Megan K. Seibert & William E. Rees
energies

This paper adds to the emerging body of literature highlighting cracks in the foundation of the mainstream energy transition narrative and offers a tripartite analysis that re-characterizes the climate crisis within its broader context of ecological overshoot, highlights numerous collectively fatal problems with so-called renewable energy technologies, and suggests alternative solutions that entail a contraction of the human enterprise. This analysis makes clear that the pat notion of “affordable clean energy” views the world through a narrow keyhole that is blind to innumerable economic, ecological, and social costs. These undesirable “externalities” can no longer be ignored. To achieve sustainability and salvage civilization, society must embark on a planned, cooperative descent from an extreme state of overshoot in just a decade or two. While it might be easier for the proverbial camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for global society to succeed in this endeavor, history is replete with stellar achievements that have arisen only from a dogged pursuit of the seemingly impossible.


Read more of your selected articles on our website: https://scorai.net/publications/

Calls for Contributions and Submissions

Call for Papers for The Sustainability Series: The Plastics Problem - Investigating Socio-economic Dimensions of Plastic Pollution

Deadline for abstracts: 13 February 2022
Deadline for manuscripts: 14 April 2022

Submit Abstracts and Learn More


The urgent need to tackle plastic pollution is undeniable. The rate of plastic production has been growing since its mass production began in the mid-1940s. To date, it is estimated that more than a cumulative 8,300 million metric tons (Mt) of virgin plastics have been produced, resulting in 6,300 Mt of plastic waste. Over half of this plastic waste has entered the environment. River discharges and mismanaged waste have largely contributed to plastic waste entering the oceans, where it persists as marine plastic pollution, causing negative environmental impacts from macro to nano.

The goal of this research topic is based on non-technological approaches to address plastic pollution. What interventions (eg., policies, education, social pressure, etc.) can change individuals' behaviors? What interventions, from policymakers or other sectors of society, can change industry behavior? What is the socio-economic feasibility of the proposed intervention measures? What are barriers (e.g., economic, political, educational, psychological, cognitive, etc.) to the desirable behaviors needed to achieve sustainable plastic governance, from production to use to disposal?

We invite studies focusing on primarily non-technological approaches to reducing plastic pollution, which may incorporate technological innovations. We accept various types of articles (see Article Types on the journal homepage) employing a broad range of methods focused in the following areas (non-exhaustive list):
  • Behavioral approaches (e.g., neuroscience, psychology, sociology, behavioral economics);
  • Conventional economic measures (e.g., market-based, rights-based);
  • Global, regional, national, and local policies aiming for zero plastic waste
  • Evidence-based policymaking (EBPM) (e.g., Life Cycle Assessment, cost-benefit analysis);
  • Governance (e.g., collective action, community-based resource management, civic ecology);
  • Regulation (e.g., national laws, international treaties);
  • Model and simulation analysis involving socio-economic dimensions;
  • Environmental education and education for sustainable development (ESD).

Guest Editors
Takuro Uehara, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan
Mateo Cordier, Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Versailles, France
Juan Baztan, CEARC, Marine Sciences For Society, Guyancourt, France
Call for Contributions for the De Gruyter Handbook of Degrowth: Propositions and Prospects

Deadline for abstracts: 15 February 2022
Learn More

Please send submissions (with subject heading of “[last name] degrowth handbook contribution proposal”) to eastwole@plattsburgh.edu AND k.heron@bbk.ac.uk

This De Gruyter Handbook of Degrowth aims to critically appraise degrowth’s propositions and prospects. It will bring together proponents of degrowth along with those who engage critically with these ideas from a wide variety of disciplines to assess degrowth’s contributions to some of the most pressing issues of our times. In so doing, the handbook will capture and reflect the current state of degrowth scholarship and debates, making it an ideal introduction to degrowth for undergraduates and postgraduates or a point of reference for researchers.

Following Emanuel Wallerstein, the handbook takes an ‘undisciplinary’ approach to degrowth, welcoming contributions from within and outside of the academy. We are especially keen to feature the work of new researchers as well as established scholars in order to capture the critical emerging debates. We invite chapter proposals that further research on degrowth, or provide critical reflections on degrowth.

Themes include but are not exclusive to:
  • Global South perspectives on degrowth
  • Intersections and contradictions between degrowth and Marxism, feminism, race and anti-colonialism
  • Social movements and degrowth
  • Degrowth, post-growth and eco-modernism
  • The application of degrowth in different areas: agriculture, architecture, cities, tourism, development, etc.
  • Current/emerging debates pertaining to degrowth
  • Degrowth, Green New Deals and Climate Justice
We invite interested participants to submit a chapter title and abstract of around 300 words by the deadline of 15 February 2022.

Contact Information
Dr. Lauren Eastwood, Käte Hamburger Kolleg/Centre for Global Cooperation Research, University of Duisburg-Essen
Dr. Kai Heron, Department of Politics, Birkbeck College, University of London
Call for Papers for Organizational and Consumption Perspectives on Sustainable Food Culture

Deadline for abstracts: 21 February 2022
Deadline for manuscripts: 15 June 2022

Submit Abstracts and Learn More


In debates on sustainable production and consumption, all actors in food supply chains, food and eating are increasingly problematized as one of the major contributors to issues such as climate change, loss of biodiversity, and degradation of land and water resources. There is an urgent need for a more sustainable food culture, i.e., addressing sustainability in food and eating and order to diminish the ecological impacts of food production and consumption while paying attention to their economic, social and cultural dimensions. Although food sustainability has been investigated from different aspects, there has been little research on sustainable food culture as an endeavor that connects organizations and consumers together from multiple perspectives. Culture refers to the system that produces and co-ordinates meanings and knowledge and is characterized by more or less shared practices, identities and values. Culture is thus present in all aspects of daily lives of individuals, organizations, and societies. It comprises of knowledge, beliefs, art, morals, custom and any other capabilities and habits, and is affected by various economic, political, legal, religious, linguistic, educational, technological and industrial environments and is researched via a range of theoretical frameworks. Research to date concludes that culture is paramount in driving sustainable societies.

This Research Topic (RT) will provide insights into a sustainable food culture through both organizational and consumption lenses and will do so by covering topics such as (but not limited to):
  • Sustainable dimensions in food companies (i.e. economy, environment, society, and food safety) and their inter-relations
  • Contributions of organizations to developing a sustainable food culture (including consumption, habits and behavior, procurement, production, and management)
  • Sustainable food supply chains
  • Sustainable food and catering procurement
  • Education, training and awareness for a sustainable food culture
  • International, national and other legal contexts for promoting sustainable food production and consumption
  • Dimensions of sustainable food consumption (ecological, economic, social, cultural and ethical) and their inter-relations
  • Sustainable food practices in different cultural contexts
  • Sustainable triggers in food purchasing patronage
  • Critical analysis and approaches to fade out unsustainable food consumption and production
  • Role of UN SDGs in achieving a global sustainable food culture
  • Sustainable culture of food production / consumption in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and after
We welcome empirical, methodological, and theoretical papers, as well as reviews that provide insights into the area of sustainable food culture via consumption and organizational lenses. The papers may focus on a particular geographical area, food system, stakeholder group, policies and laws, or include comparative analyses (e.g. between countries, cultural contexts, food supply chains, or social groups). The papers should contribute to perspectives pertaining to sustainable food organizations and food consumption, such as (but not limited to) those originating in sociology, organizational theory and behavior, social psychology, geography, political studies, food technology, philosophy, marketing and consumer studies, or (food) sustainability science.

Editors
Ilija Djekic, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia
Mari Niva, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
Peter Glavič, University of Maribor, Maribor, Slovenia
Diana Gregory-Smith, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Olawale Olayide, Faculty of Multidisciplinary Studies, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria
Cheryl Desha, Griffith University, Nathan, Australia
Roberto Caranta, University of Turin, Turin, Italy
Federica Murmura, University of Urbino, Carlo Bo Urbino, Italy
Steven McGreevy, Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto, Japan
Sylvia Lorek, Sustainable Europe Research Institute, Köln, Germany
Call for Papers for a topical collection, "The Role of Education in the Implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals – How Sustainability Education Influences Consumption and Production Systems and Contributes to Achieving Sustainable Development Goals" in the journal Discover Sustainability

Submission deadline: 31 March 2022
Submit Abstracts and Learn More


The consumption and production systems impact economies, the environment, and societies significantly worldwide and in all sectors. Apart from the significant environmental degradation, the high levels of resource use and the waste and pollution associated with both production and consumption phases of the lifecycle, including resource extraction, the production of intermediate inputs, distribution, marketing, use, waste disposal and re-use of products and services are paralleled by inefficient, polluting, and ultimately costly phases of development. These vary from the traditional decision-making and policies to scarcity, volatility, and pricing levels unaffordable for our economy’s manufacturing base. Impacts of consumption and production patterns reflect the ability of many economies and societies to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Based on the perceived need to drive markets in the direction of innovation and sustainability, thereby enabling the transition to a green economy, The special issue “The role of Education and UN Sustainable Development Goals – How Sustainability Education influence consumption and production systems and contribute to achieving sustainable development goals” is proposed as part of the journal “Discover Sustainability”.

This Topical Collection has two main focuses. Firstly, it welcomes submissions based on scholarly research, analyses, and reflections on how sustainability education affects consumption and production systems. Secondly, it invites scholars to introduce and discuss innovations, tools, and instruments to evaluate teaching and learning and pedagogical approaches, different disciplinary practices that can be integrated to deliver transdisciplinarity education, transition design research framework – from research to practice and practice to research, collaborative research, transnational research, and the mechanisms of systems that are external to the education system but are related to, the role of career counselling for the marginalised communities as a socio-economic and environmental mechanism for challenging and transforming current education inequality for sustainable development in the context of climate change, covid19, 4IR, and SDG’s, all in context of how we can harness innovation in Sustainability Education, and overcome the challenges of sustainable consumption and production, in a way that the achievement of the SDGs is not compromised. There is a vast awareness that through effective collaboration and communication and sharing experiences and insights, the world may be better able to cope with real-world challenges.

 
Collection editors:
Dr Renuka Thakore, Dr Kushal Adhikari, Dr Isa Elegbede, Dr Jos Eussen, Dr Mahwish Ali, and Dr Ewa Duda; if you have any queries, contact r.thakore@ucem.ac.uk

 
Call for Papers for special research topic in Insights in Sustainable Consumption: 2022

Deadline for manuscripts: 15 April 2022
Submit Manuscripts and Learn More


We are now entering the third decade of the 21st Century, and, especially in the last years, the achievements made by scientists have been exceptional, leading to major advancements in the fast-growing field of sustainability research. Frontiers has organized a series of Research Topics to highlight the latest advancements in research across the field of sustainability, with articles from the Associate Members of our accomplished Editorial Boards. This editorial initiative of particular relevance, led by Prof. Sylvia Lorek (Specialty Chief Editor of the Sustainable Consumption section), together with Dr. Henrike Rau, is focused on new insights, novel developments, current challenges, latest discoveries, recent advances, and future perspectives in the field of sustainable consumption.

The Research Topic solicits brief, forward-looking contributions from the editorial board members that describe the state of the art, outlining, recent developments and major accomplishments that have been achieved and that need to occur to move the field forward. Authors are encouraged to identify the greatest challenges in the sub-disciplines, and how to address those challenges.

The goal of this special edition Research Topic is to shed light on the progress made in the past decade in the sustainable consumption field, and on its future challenges to provide a thorough overview of the field. This article collection will inspire, inform and provide direction and guidance to researchers in the field.


Guest Editors
Sylvia Lorek, Sustainable Europe Research Institute, Köln, Germany
Henrike Rau, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Munich, Germany
Call for Papers in Focus on Intergenerational Sustainability

Deadline for submissions: 31 August 2022
Submit Manuscripts and Learn More

Anthropogenic impacts to Earth's systems have placed humanity in a precarious position in which our gross consumption could lead to nonlinear changes to Earth Systems which could be non-conducive to societal development as we know it. As humanity's knowledge of Earth's planetary boundaries, and our transgression of them continues, it is of increasing importance that we begin to place our environmental research and assessments within the context of a 'safe operating space for humanity'. This is needed to ensure global sustainability research results work towards the definition, and transformation to, an intergenerational sustainable state as opposed to sustainable development focused solely on rate of change. This means understanding and obeying the boundaries and carrying capacity limits of the natural environment, whilst providing good life for everyone. Therefore, we should not focus on (potentially marginal) incremental improvements, but on understanding the environmentally safe operating space, and searching for ways to return from the current ecological overshoot to living within this space with just and good life for everyone.

This paradigm shift presents an opportunity to consider novel development pathways across sectors and regions, as well as the reconsideration and repurposing of previous research to place a focus on how the developments align with intergenerational sustainability. Thus, in this special issue we welcome research across spatial and temporal scales that provide quantitative or qualitative environmental research/assessments of product(s), systems, sectors, consumption profiles, relevant policies, or economic structures which integrate intergenerational environmental sustainability into the research/assessment.

This broad topic stretches across fields, and we welcome submissions covering (although not limited to):
  • 'Safe and just operating spaces'
  • Doughnut economics
  • Sustainable consumption corridors
  • Sustainable lifestyles
  • Degrowth and economic reconfiguration
  • Planetary boundaries
  • Environmental economics
  • Global carbon budget allocations
  • Sustainable cities in the context of localized planetary boundaries
  • Technological and behavioural change pathways
  • Life cycle assessment/use of LCA studies in the context of sustainable consumption
  • Rebound effects and/or systemic interconnectedness which could potentially hinder sustainable consumption
  • System-level and individual lock-ins potentially hindering from reaching an environmentally sustainable society
The Guest Editors encourage the addition of social and justice perspectives within research articles. Particularly those that add perspectives of potential positive or negative social impacts (and feedbacks) associated with certain environmental developments, and universal basic services/needs to ensure a 'good life' while remaining within the Earth's carrying capacity.

Guest Editors
Jukka Heinonen, University of Iceland
Brynhildur Davíðsdóttir, University of Iceland
Kevin Joseph Dillman, University of Iceland

Upcoming Events

 
Listed in chronological order, from coming-soon to farthest out on the horizon.
 
Symposium of the International Research Network on Sustainable Fashion Consumption 2022
30 March - 1 April 2022  | Technische Universität Berlin, Berlin

Fashion consumption and production have doubled since the beginning of the 21st century, leading to fundamental changes in how we acquire, use, and dispose of our clothes. Consumption of fashion and textiles has been recognised as the fourth most polluting lifestyle domain in Europe, after mobility, food, and household energy use. Challenges of overconsumption and resulting post-consumer textile waste are becoming increasingly evident, especially in the urban context.

The first symposium of the international research network on Sustainable Fashion Consumption (SFC) aims to bring together academic scholars and practitioners to share and discuss ongoing research in the field in efforts to contribute to a transition towards more sustainable forms of fashion consumption.

We would like to invite abstracts (max. 300 words) for scientific studies that address one or several of the indicated themes. Papers can be at different stages of completion and research-in-progress is welcome. Abstracts will be peer-reviewed and selected contributions will be invited. After the end of the symposium, there is a possibility to publish presented research as an edited volume with PALGRAVE. Deadline for abstracts: 1 November 2021.

For more conference information & to register: https://sustainablefashionconsumption.org/symposium-on-sustainable-fashion-consumption/

2022 GamiFIN Conference
26-29 April 2022  | Hybrid, Online and in Tampere, Finland

This year GamiFIN will be organised as a hybrid event, making it possible for all attendees to participate either live or remotely. The region of Tampere is the second largest urban area in Finland, and one of the greatest cultural and industrial centers of the nordic countries. Tampere is the home of several international gaming companies, a thriving gaming start-up scene and the city also hosts the Finnish Museum of Games. The city itself is situated between two lakes and surrounded by forests: Tampere is a shining example of the Finnish approach to combining Nature and Innovation.

GamiFIN is a leading international conference for gamification research, which is chaired by the professor of gamification, Juho Hamari and gamification scholar Jonna Koivisto. GamiFIN 2022 conference welcomes 1) paper submissions, 2) posters, and 3) doctoral consortium applications from a wide array of topics around e.g. gamification, serious games, VR/AR/MR, esports, streaming.

The conference is organized by the Gamification Group and past keynotes have included notable scholars from the field of gamification such as Lennart Nacke, Sebastian Deterding, Richard Landers, T.L. Taylor, Elisa Mekler and Kristian Kiili.

https://gamifinconference.com

Nordic Environmental Social Science Conference (NESS): Emergency and Transformation
7-9 June 2022  | University of Gothenburg, Sweden

If global environmental changes, including climate change, have taken decades to build up to an emergency, last year saw the almost instantaneous spread of a fatal virus that in a matter of weeks pushed global society into a humanitarian crisis, and soon also into a deep economic crisis. The Covid-19 emergency will most definitely be a watershed in modern history, but where the rain will flow is too early to tell.  The 15th Nordic Environmental Social Science Conference (NESS), will be a chance for environmental social scholars to meet and discuss where the crises have brought us.

  • What are the urgent contributions of environmental social science to these emergencies?
  • Is the crisis an opportunity for accelerating since long necessary green transformations or a moment for patience, where resources should be directed toward the most urgent needs?
  • Either or – what are the lessons learned by the Covid-19 crisis for a green transformation?
  • Is the ‘strong society’ now back on the arena after decades of liberalizations, marketizations, and ‘just in time’?
  • What are, then, the implications for democracy, governance, economic policies, and public discourses?
While the interconnectedness of emergency and transformation will gain special attention during the conference, we welcome contributions in areas related, but not restricted, to climate change, biodiversity, food, water, energy, natural resource extraction, bio-economy, rural and urban sustainability, and conservation. The conference workshops will cover various aspects of environmental social science, from the local to the global, from empirical papers over policy-relevant papers to conceptual and theoretical contributions. As is the tradition of NESS, the workshops are at the center of the conference, with plenty of time devoted to presentation and discussion of submitted papers.

Register to attend or submit your paper: https://www.gu.se/en/globalstudies/ness-nordic-environmental-social-science-conference-emergency-and-transformation#NESS-Conference-2022

Sustainability Research & Innovation Congress 2022
20-24 June 2022  | Online and onsite in Pretoria, South Africa 

SRI2022 will be a hybrid meeting, bringing together sustainability professionals and practitioners from all over the world, to attend both online and onsite. Similar to SRI2021, organizers anticipate an interactive meeting with significant opportunities for mixing and exchanging information – dialogues, training sessions, workshops, and innovation demonstrations, with plenty of space for sponsors and cyber-enabled engagement. SRI2022 will be designed to service a more diverse group of participants from different geographies, language groups and across sectors. For a global transformation to sustainability, we need a broad coalition of experts and change-makers.

An important objective of SRI2022 is to amplify the voice of sustainability science and innovation in the Global South, specifically for the African continent, through raising awareness and propelling discussions about sustainable priorities for Africa. Africa has much to offer to the global discussion on sustainability, and SRI2022, together with its host Future Africa, will provide a critical platform for collaboration with local, African and international partners.

Learn more or submit your paper: https://sri2022.org

Publications by Members

Inflated lives and a clean tech privilege in Washington State: Policy amidst spatialized affluence
Energy Research & Social Science
Boucher, J. L. and Mérida, W.

In this study, we analyze policy and the socio-spatial distribution of clean technology privilege—electric vehicles (EVs)—in Washington State. We examine EV penetration in relation to zip code variables like social demographics and population density. Data was acquired from the US Census and Washington State’s vehicle registry (N = 576). After regression and geographic analyses, we find that median income, an Inflated Life Proxy (ILP), and education have the highest associations with EV concentrations. The ILP was constructed by dividing zip code median home values by median incomes. We also find associations between EV penetration and the distribution of broadband internet. As the highest EV adoption shares are found in areas of the highly educated and affluent—a clean tech privilege—we argue that, despite years of state and federal incentives, EV diffusion in Washington State has not progressed beyond early adoption. As the association between greater household income and greenhouse gas emissions is well established, we urge decision makers toward more progressive economic policies—consumption, wealth, and income taxes—in order to direct civil society towards greater economic moderation and equality, generally. If only consumers with a clean tech privilege are adopting EVs, then current emission reduction strategies may be annulled by the otherwise high carbon lifestyles of the affluent.

A safe and just space for urban mobility: a framework for sector-based sustainable consumption corridor development
Global Sustainability
Kevin Joseph Dillman, Michał Czepkiewicz, Jukka Heinonen, and Brynhildur Davíðsdóttir

The exponential growth of humanity's resource consumption over the last half-century has led to ecological decline while people's basic needs have not been universally satisfied. The ‘doughnut economy’ and sustainable consumption corridor concepts have gained global attention, providing frameworks in which the maximum allowable environmental impacts and the minimum social levels acceptable to lead a good life establish a guiding pathway to meet human needs whilst remaining within the Earth's carrying capacity. We apply this thinking to the urban mobility sector in this article in an attempt to formulate a ‘safe and just space’ for urban mobility.

From Audits to Projects: Evaluating New York State Policy to Encourage Home Retrofit Projects
buildings
Elizabeth L. Hewitt & Jean L. Boucher

 

This research explores socio-spatial characteristics of home retrofit projects in New York State and their association with the state’s free home energy audit program. Prior work by the authors found that zip codes with more elder individuals and higher levels of education are more likely to undertake an energy audit; it was also found that higher incomes may be negatively correlated with audit decisions. Less understood is the follow-up decision after an audit to undertake a retrofit. From a policy and climate perspective, the actionable retrofit decision is far more impactful than the informational audit, making it an important area of further research. This work examines this understudied area using a combination of datasets, including census data, American Community Survey (ACS) data, and retrofits data provided by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). Findings indicate that many of the same socioeconomic characteristics that predict audits are influential in retrofit projects as well (age, education, higher home values). A strong statistical relationship was found between audits per capita and subsequent retrofit projects, which is to be expected, as NYSERDA requires audits of residents desiring efficiency retrofits. However, this also indicates that the role of the audit in information transfers may be highly influential in encouraging home energy efficiency projects. This finding underscores the policy importance of offering low- or no-cost energy audit incentives to encourage greater participation in home retrofit programs.

We're very pleased to welcome 5 new SCORAI members who joined the network for the new year, bringing our organization's total membership to 1,395 individuals. New members include:
  • Cora Hallsworth, OneEarth and BCIT Centre for Ecocities, Victoria, Canada
  • Katey Beaton, VEIC, Burlington, USA
  • Merle Naidoo, Reitaku University, Nagareyama, Japan
  • Andreas Huber, Leuphana University, Lünburg, Germany
  • Tim Crownshaw, University of Victoria, VIctoria, Canada

About SCORAI 

 
SCORAI (Sustainable Consumption Research and Action Initiative) is an international knowledge network of researchers and practitioners committed to building a flourishing and ecologically-sound society by changing the way we consume. We advance research, disseminate knowledge, impact policies and support campaigns. SCORAI recognizes that technological innovation alone is insufficient to address climate change and environmental threats. Therefore we support transformative changes in the economy, institutions and culture.
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