From the Global to the Local: International Sustainability Conference

Aug 29, 2008 Apr 30, 2009

Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania

April 23-25, 2009

Call for Papers: From the Global to the Local: International Sustainability Conference

Villanova University is hosting an international interdisciplinary conference on Sustainability, April 23-25, 2009. The Conference aims to bring together scholars, activists, and government and corporate professionals from across the United States and around the world to learn from each other in exploring the multiple dimensions of Sustainability. This conference is the capstone event of Villanova’s Year of Sustainability, which begins in September 2008 with the “Mendel in the 21st century Symposium,” a celebration of the 80th anniversary of Villanova’s granting of the Mendel Medal honoring the legacy of Augustinian priest Gregor Mendel, an icon of interdisciplinary scientific investigation; recipients of the Medal include botanist Peter Raven, philosopher Holmes Rolston III, and biologist Meg Lowman.

Sustainability, by one definition, means development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations. Other understandings contest this definition, asking whether it is too centered on human needs and marginalizes the needs of other planetary inhabitants. Whatever definition we apply, all meanings of sustainability imply a responsibility to other members of our earth community. We seek the sharing of perspectives on this vital responsibility via a range of formats, including panels, poster sessions, workshops, and roundtables that address the scientific, humanistic, political, economic, and ecological challenges and opportunities of true Sustainability. Papers should examine philosophies, practices and policies of sustainability from broad intersections, including but not limited to:

Sustainability and the Natural Sciences
Sustainability and the Humanities
Sustainability and the Social Sciences
Sustainability and Engineering: Energy, Water, and Environmental Systems
Sustainable Economic Development and Green Entrepreneurialism
Sustainability and the Law
Sustainability and Public Policy
Sustainability and Health
Sustainability and Citizen Activism
Sustainability and Faith
Sustainability and Social Justice
Sustainability and Gender
Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility
Sustainable Agriculture
Sustainability in Higher Education
Sustainability and Conflict/Regional Stability

Beyond these categories, papers and panels could address the debates over the meaning—in theory and in practice—of sustainability; the commodification of Sustainability; comparative national sustainability policies; histories of sustainability discourse; and other topics that broaden our understanding of how to build sustainability on a local, national, and global level.

The deadline for submission of proposals (single paper, panel, poster session, workshop, or roundtable) is October 8, 2008. Please send an abstract of no more than one page and a brief bio (affiliation, areas of specialization, relevant achievements/projects, and contact info) to Sustainable Conference. Because interdisciplinarity is the organizing principle of the conference, organizers encourage proposals that cross disciplinary, methodological, and national boundaries. Conference organizers will provide notice of acceptance by November 1.

Conference papers and presentations of the workshop will be published in two formats. All conference papers will be included in an Internet-based conference proceedings volume.

Conference organizers also encourage the submission of selected conference papers for consideration for a peer-reviewed volume.

Conference events include a keynote address by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.. Thursday evening (April 23); an organic banquet dinner followed by Kaiulani Lee’s dramatic play about Rachel Carson, “A Sense of Wonder,” Friday evening”; excursions to botanical gardens such as Chanticleer and Bartram’s Gardens, America's oldest living botanical garden; and a guided hike on the rugged trails of the Wissahickon Valley, part of Philadelphia’s 9,200-acre Fairmount Park, one of the largest city parks in the world. Please visit the conference website for more information about the conference, Villanova University, and nearby attractions conference. Villanova University, an officially designated arboretum itself, is located 15 miles west of Philadelphia on the historic Main Line. Philadelphia, and its rich cultural and historical sites, is accessible via the SEPTA R5 Train, with easy connections to the Philadelphia Airport and to AMTRAK trains. The campus is two hours from New York City, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C., and about one hour from Pennsylvania Dutch Country.

To offset carbon production associated with the staging of the Conference, participants will have the opportunity to donate to TreeVitalize, a Philadelphia organization committed to expanding tree canopy in Southeast Pennsylvania, critical in a state that generates nearly 1% of the world’s greenhouse gasses. If you have any questions about the submission process or about the conference, please get in touch with Dr. Paul C. Rosier, Conference Chair, or 610-519-4677.

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