Towards the IST 2021 – call for papers, website and key dates

Update: The abstract submission system is now open! We look forward to receiving your submissions.

“Mainstreaming sustainability transitions: From research towards impact”

With the call for IST 2021 – “Mainstreaming sustainability transitions: From research towards impact” we invite reflection on how we, as a research community, can make sure that our work has real-world impact supporting transition processes towards a more sustainable future. How we can go beyond our current ambition of supporting socio-technological change processes, and push more towards having real impact?

Transitions research has become an established field and the idea of ‘sustainability transitions’ is broadly accepted in policymaking; however, there is an urgent need to translate this expanding field into practical actions for policy and governance measures to accelerate transitions towards sustainability. We have a responsibility to our community to take advantage of this opportunity and to demonstrate that transitions research can support – and be part of – policymaking and governance for sustainability and meeting the Sustainable Development Goals.

Transitions involve all societal groups, require extensive behavioral change from many actors and affect current structures, systems and institutions. Processes of individual and collective learning and reflection are a precondition to such changes. Transitions thinking has been brought to the attention of high-level policy-makers in countries and international organizations such as the EU, OECD and IPCC. Non-governmental organisations, social movements and social innovations have been explicitly integrated into transition experiments. New methodologies are being developed or integrated from other fields, leading to new opportunities for achieving impact through research itself. It is now time to further mainstream transitions theory, research and practice into societal and political sustainability discourses, into policy practice across all policy domains as well as into other research fields.

Therefore, beyond the established core themes of the STRN research agenda we in particular invite contributions that engage with these issues of mainstreaming sustainability transitions.  The call for papers can be found here.

 We are planning on organizing IST 2021 along a hybrid format to allow participation and interaction from around the world (the concrete final conference format is subject to change according to the development of the global Covid-19 situation). The conference is hosted by Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI.

For more information, please go to

Please direct any queries to

Key Dates

Jan. 15, 2021 – Abstract submission system opens

March 15, 2021 – Abstract submission deadline

May 15, 2021 –  “Early bird” registration opens

July 1, 2021 – Presenter registration deadline

Aug. 1, 2021 – Full paper submission deadline & Global South Scholarship application deadline

Sept. 10, 2021 – Regular registration deadline

Oct. 5 – 8, 2021 – IST 2021 conference


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