22.12.2014, Rob Raven
Tags: 2015, IST conference, SPRU

CfP IST 2015

Call for Papers

6th International Sustainability Transitions (IST) Conference

Sustainability Transitions and Wider Transformative Change Historical Roots and Future Pathways

25th - 28th August 2015

Brighton, University of Sussex Campus (Falmer), UK


Event overview


The 6th International Sustainability Transitions (IST-6) Conference will be hosted by SPRU (the Science Policy Research Unit) at the University of Sussex in Brighton (UK). As in previous years, the IST conference will provide opportunities for scholars to share theoretical, empirical and practical advances in the field of sustainability transitions. The conference is part of the activities of the Sustainability Transitions Research Network (STRN) and is linked to the journal Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions.


Sustainability transitions are transformations of major socio-technical systems of provision and use in areas such as energy, water, mobility, and food, towards more sustainable ways of production and consumption. This is a multi-disciplinary field with inputs from economics, science and technology studies, geography, political science, management, sociology and history.


2015 Theme - Sustainability Transitions in the Long Run


  • This year's theme ‘Sustainability Transitions in the Long Run' seeks to place sustainability transitions in a long term perspective, considering its historical roots and future pathways. The conference will not only explore transitions in individual systems, but also investigate broader transformations of entire economies, societies and political systems. We seek submission of papers which advance the frontier of knowledge and practical application. We invite scholars, and our stakeholders from business, policy and civil society to submit their ideas and themes related to sustainability transitions on topics including the following:
  • How can insights from sustainability transitions scholarship help to rethink even bigger issues such as the future of capitalism, inequality, democracy, the economic crisis, war andviolence, climate change and globalization? How can transitions theoretical frameworks (andin particular the socio-technical lens) be used to conceptualize these bigger issues?
  • How can we go beyond a focus on individual systems, regimes, sociotechnical innovations to an understanding of relationships between existing systems and a range of competinfand/or coordinated niches?
  • How do sustainability transitions accelerate and which policy-mixes, institutional changesand/or governance contexts will influence the process?
  • How do transitions unfold in different geographical, political and cultural contexts and howdoes the understanding of sustainability in all its dimensions vary across contexts?
  • How does the agency of different types of actors (whether government, firms, users, civil society) contribute to accelerating or slowing down sustainability transitions? What kinds ofresources is their agency based on and what characterises successful strategies?
  • Can current transitions frameworks address global challenges including the evolving and changing role of cities, NGOs nation-states, international organization and transnational networks. Or how should we think about sustainability transitions from a global andtransnational perspective?
  • How can we influence transformations as an academic community? What is needed tomaximise our impact on policymakers and other stakeholders?
  • Contributions to advancing sustainability transition studies, including quantitative andqualitative approaches, including papers which discuss how to advance conceptual frameworks, modelling, and methods for studying transitions.


What are we looking for at the 6th IST Conference?


  • Global perspectives - including but also beyond Europe, in terms of themes and participation
  • Active engagement with stakeholders from business, civil society and government in as many sessions as possible.
  • Updating of STRN Research Manifesto (developed in 2010) which is available at the website


Call for papers


With a view to creating engaging, impactful content throughout the conference, the Programme Committee (the yet to build conference website will provide names) is looking for proposals that address the overall conference themes via a range of high quality main and parallel sessions. The organising committee invites participants to take an active role in constructing an exciting and challenging programme, and therefore may revert for a discussion about how your proposals fit within the emerging programme. We do not want to restrict participation to papers responding to the conference themes only, yet we are seeking to build a conversation between sessions throughout the conference. We are also open to ideas about doing things differently.


Submission requirements


Submissions should be made electronically via email to IST2015@sussex.ac.uk between 1 February 2015 and 15 March 2015 (inclusive) according to the guidance below.

  • paper abstracts (to be included in one of the conference sessions) - 600 word abstracts which provides information about question, theory, method and findings, plus a brief biography of each author (10 lines each). Note that full papers will be required prior to the event.
  • Research session proposals (3 original research papers, 90 minute session) with an invited commentator and chair. Paper authors and commentators with a non-academic affiliations are welcome. We invite PhD researcher-led sessions, and suggestions for new formats for sessions. Proposals should include a maximum 500 word description of the session and how it relates to the conference themes, plus (max.) 600 word extract of each paper. Biographies of all participants should also be included, including the invited commentator and Chair (10 lines)
  • Dialogue sessions (60-90 minutes) - Proposals should include a 600 word description of the session, issues to be covered and how it will stimulate debate about sustainability transitions, plus a brief (10 line for each) biography of each participant (academic and non-academic). We invite new and innovative formats.


Additional submission guidance


  • Submission via email to: IST2015@sussex.ac.uk Information about online submission will follow).
  • Format: PDF or Microsoft Word?
  • Digital file names should follow the format - organiser (or author) last name, plus either IP (individual paper), RS for research session and DS for Dialogue session. E.g. Schot_IP.
  • Queries should be sent to Programme Committee Chair & Director of SPRU, Johan Schot - J.W.Schot@sussex.ac.uk.


Key dates 


  • 16 March 2015:Deadline for session proposals and abstract submission
  • 15 April 2015:Outcome of abstract review and acceptance decisions to be communicated and if necessary discussed between program committee and proposers
  • 15 May 2015:Finalization of draft program.
  • 7 August 2015:Deadline for Submission of full papers.
  • 15 August 2015:Final program.
  • 25 - 28 August 2015:IST 2015 (starting 25th around 5pm and ending August 28th around 2pm).


Link for more information: a website with full information about the conference will be launched early in 2015

14 March at 20:12

Is there travel funding available for PhD students?

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