IST 2020: August 18-21, Vienna 1

“Governance in an Era of Change –Making Sustainability Transitions Happen”


We are actively monitoring the global COVID-19 outbreak and its potential consequences for the IST2020 Conference in Vienna this summer. As many other countries, Austria is taking decisive measures to fight further spread of the virus and to support health services, businesses etc. We are extremely pleased by your submissions to IST2020 and all preparations for notification of acceptance will continue as planned. However, given the circumstances, we will delay registration until we are better able to assess the situation. We will get back to you after Easter (mid of April) with new information on registration and organization of IST2020. For all updates, please check this website and our social media channels on a regular basis. Please stay tuned and be safe!

European Parliament has declared a climate emergency, following a number of countries and local communities worldwide. Proposals for a “Green New Deal” have been advanced on both sides of the Atlantic, seeking broad-based support. Calls for “just transitions for all”constitute an integral part of the Paris Agenda and the Green Deal proposed by the President of the European Commission. These and other recent developments create the impression that there is a growing realization of the necessity of immediate and profound systemic change, in order to tackle the manifold global crises of our times. However, business-as-usual and one-size-fits-all approaches won’t be successful in providing the most effective and suitable multi-level and place-based actions, policies and governance approaches that will substantially boost transitions in this respect. Against this background,the call for IST 2020 “Governance in an Era of Change –Making Sustainability Transitions Happen”invites researchers to put these developments into perspective. Following up on last year ́s focus on“Accelerating sustainability transitions”, we specifically invite contributions that address structural issues and causes for current challenges together with the design and implementation of transformative governance and policies for systemic change. Contributions may want to shed light on issues such as the role of the state, the role of non-state actors (e.g. intermediaries, social movements)or new forms of governance tackling multiple, interacting, and potentially overlapping transitions.We also welcome contributions that address the challenges and opportunities of “just transitions”, including e.g. trade offs between different sustainability objectives.

The 11th Sustainability Transitions Conference will take place in Vienna.
It will be hosted by the Austrian Institute of Technology and the Vienna University of Economics and Business (Institute for Law and Governance/Research Institute for Urban Management and Governance).

Find more information at

The call for submissions can be found here.

For any inquiries contact

Key Dates

  • 20th December 2019 – Abstract submission opens
  • 31st January 2020 – Abstract submission deadline
  • 31st March 2020 – Expected Notification of Acceptance
  • 1st April 2020 – Early bird registration starts (including child-care registration)
  • 1st May 2020 – Early bird registration deadline, Child-care registration deadline
  • 1st June 2020 – Presenter registration deadline
  • 2nd July 2020 – Full papers submission deadline
  • 5th August 2020 – Regular registration deadline
  • 18th August 2020 – Late afternoon session for newcomers to sustainability transitions studies
  • 18th-21st August 2020 – IST 2020 conference

Session Formats

IST2020 follows previous IST conferences by providing a range of formats to stimulate scholarly debate as well as dialogue with practitioners:
Full paper sessions: 90 minute sessions for presentation and discussion of original research papers (typically 3 per session). Authors are required to submit a draft of their full paper in advance of the conference. Full papers are also eligible for nomination for the best paper award (details to follow).
Speed talk sessions: 60 minute sessions for 3 to 5 speed talks, which briefly introduce new research ideas, data and analytical insights, and early stage work to provide a basis for collective discussion. We encourage contributions from practitioners as well as researchers. Submission of full papers is not required for speed talk sessions.
Posters: Posters will be displayed for the duration of the conference in a designated poster area. Authors will also have an opportunity to present their posters during a dedicated poster session in the conference program. A prize will be offered for the best poster presentation.
Dialogue sessions: 60- or 90-minute sessions, which aim to stimulate discussion and debate around a particular thematic focus. These sessions are proposed by an external session organizer / chair with pre-agreed speakers. Dialogue sessions should be conceived to maximize audience participation. The session organizer should propose the precise format of the session, which could be a panel, a sequence of speakers, a debate or workshop. We specifically invite proposals that feature non-academic participants and innovative formats. Submission of full papers is not required for dialogue sessions.


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