JANUARY 24 - 28, 2022 (Virtual)

Observer Registration: October 12 - January 20

As the global community continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, issues of sustainability and development remain as critical to wellbeing as ever. Indeed, the experience of the pandemic only brings home how progress on such sustainability and development goals as ecosystem conservation, greater equality and justice, stronger institutions, and transformative actions are necessary to improve our common future. The Sustainability and Development Initiative at the University of Michigan is excited to announce a call for abstracts for the 3rd Sustainability and Development Conference. The SDC will be held virtually, January 24-28, 2022. The virtual gathering will capitalize on the enhanced ability to connect global colleagues and aims to revive, establish, and sustain knowledge production, sharing, and collaboration around sustainability and development.

In addition to parallel paper presentation sessions, the event will feature journal editor roundtable conversations, a poster gallery, and opportunities for informal conversations and networking. Editors from Climate and Development, Ecology and Society, Environmental Science and Policy, Global Food Security, World Development, Journal of Development Studies, Food Policy, Development and Change, and Elementa are scheduled to attend.

While the conference will continue to explore the dominant themes of our fields, we welcome work that explicitly examines the challenges and opportunities brought to the fore by the pandemic. Click on each theme below for an expanded description.

Contributions may focus on (but not limited to) rights of indigenous populations, harms and safeguards, threats to indigenous sovereignty, and processes and examples of positive outcomes through sustainability and development interventions and institutions.

Contributions may focus on effective and inclusive institutions, at state and civil society levels, to advance sustainable development. Submissions may also describe and critique cases of weak institutions (e.g. corrupt legal, financial, business systems) that prevent or limit poverty reduction.

Contributions may address advances towards accessible, quality education for all on a number of fronts, including but not limited to (1) the assessment of education systems and outcomes (2) the use of evidence on how people learn and how to best promote education innovation, and (3) political, social, and technical barriers to educational advances.

Submissions to this theme may explore the causes and consequence of inequality (e.g. gender, class, race), both within and among nations, as a barrier to sustainable development. Submissions that offer insights and propose solutions to inequality are especially encouraged.

Contributions may illustrate challenges to sustainable development in current and post-conflict areas (at any scale). Submissions that offer insights into promoting both peace and development along a number of axes (security, social, economic, and environmental) and that evaluate progress, whether in the short- or long-term, are encouraged.

Contributions may discuss climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies, at local, regional, national, and international scales. Submissions that explore climate-friendly investments and technology that reduce carbon emissions and support economic development are encouraged.

Contributions should address the ways in which geography influences sustainable development. For example, (a) higher densities as cities grow; (b) shorter distances as workers and businesses migrate closer to density; and/or fewer divisions as nations lower their economic borders and enter world markets to take advantage of scale and trade in specialized products.

Contributions may explore the ways in which agriculture and sustainable food systems can ameliorate poverty and support development (e.g., through increasing productivity in the staple foods sector; connecting smallholders to rapidly expanding high-value horticulture, poultry, aquaculture, and dairy markets; generating jobs in the rural, non-farm economy; etc).

Contributions may assess policies and systems related to public service provision of water, sanitation, and health services, and offer solutions to subpar accessibility and quality.

Contributions may explore strategies, policies, and interventions that promote sustainable development while also protecting the natural environment and its inhabitants. Submissions could focus on aquatic or terrestrial biota. Contributions to this theme could also address the relationship of ecosystem conversion to issues of health, conservation, and development.

Contributions may focus on the development and financing of sustainable energy sources; new technologies for energy production, storage, and access; and political willingness to invest in such technologies; implications of clean energy access for health and wellbeing.

Contributions may explore the risks and benefits of urbanization, infrastructure development (transportation, buildings, communications), and continuing industrialization in promoting sustainable development. Such risks and benefits may include more cost effectiveness sustainable development strategies but also the possibility of air and noise pollution, epidemics, and pressures on urban infrastructure.

Contributions may discuss the growing role of the private sector in achieving any given SDG. Submissions may focus on, for example, cases where countries incorporate the private sector into their national planning strategies, the role of corporate social responsibility, or collaborations between government and the private sector.

Contributions may discuss opportunities and challenges around funding interventions aimed at achieving any given Sustainable Development Goal. Opportunities and challenges may specifically address the role of new forms of capital (e.g. private equity funds, sovereign wealth funds, hedge funds, challenge funds, and sustainability bonds) whether in promoting the achievement of SDGS or fueling corruption, inequality, and capital flight.

Contributions may focus on opportunities and challenges in monitoring and assessment of Sustainable Development Goals and their associated targets and indicators. Submissions could consider synergies and trade-offs; implications for policy and for implementation; and around frameworks and tools for rigorous data collection, visualization, analysis, and dissemination are encouraged.

Contributions that explicitly explore emergent challenges, opportunities, and direct impacts of pandemics and other health crises on sustainability and development outcomes are welcome. Work on this theme could also explore how communities, countries, public and private sectors, and others have - or have not - prepared for health crises. 

We can’t wait to see what you’ve been working on!

 Event Registration, Access, Participant Guidelines

Key Dates
October 12 - January 20 Registration period for observers: presentation registration is closed
By December 15 Submit your journal editor questions to umsusdev@umich.edu
December 18 - January 2 Winter holiday for SDC Organizers - minimal communication
January 15 Pre-recorded presentation and Posters: upload to your Pheedloop profile, to your Google folder, or email it to umsusdev@umich.edu
January 20 Advanced access to conference materials
January 24 - January 28 Sustainability and Development Conference


Session speakers are required to submit a pre-recorded presentation (8-10 minutes) and a completed and signed Content Release Form.


Poster presenters are required to submit a completed and signed Content Release Form.

Conference access will not be provided until these materials are received by the SDC Committee.

Registration Fees

Our goal is to make this engagement opportunity as accessible as possible. Therefore, fees are determined by your home country income level (as classified by the World Bank and see ‘FIND YOUR COUNTRY’ link, below), whether you are a student or not a student, and whether you are a session speaker, poster presenter, or an observer.

Burkina FasoKorea, Dem. People's RepSouth Sudan
Central African RepublicMadagascar
Syrian Arab Republic
Congo, Dem. RepMaliUganda
EritreaMozambiqueYemen, Rep.
Gambia, TheRwanda 
GuineaSierra Leone 
North Macedonia
American SamoaGrenadaPakistan
Papua New Guinea
BelizeIran, Islamic Rep
Russian Federation
São Tomé and Principe
Bosnia and HerzegovinaKazakhstanSenegal
Solomon Islands
BrazilKiribatiSouth Africa
BulgariaKosovoSri Lanka
Cabo VerdeKyrgyz RepublicSt. Lucia
CambodiaLao PDR
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Congo, Rep.MaldivesTimor-Leste
Costa RicaMarshall IslandsTonga
Côte d'IvoireMauritaniaTunisia
DominicaMicronesia, Fed. Sts.Tuvalu
Dominican RepublicMoldovaUkraine
Egypt, Arab Rep.MontenegroVanuatu
El SalvadorMoroccoVietnam
Equatorial GuineaMyanmar
West Bank and Gaza
Antigua and BarbudaGreenlandPortugal
ArubaGuamPuerto Rico
AustraliaHong Kong SAR, ChinaQatar
AustriaHungarySan Marino
Bahamas, TheIcelandSaudi Arabia
BarbadosIsle of ManSingapore
Sint Maarten (Dutch part)
BermudaItalySlovak Republic
British Virgin IslandsJapanSlovenia
Brunei DarussalamKorea, Rep.Spain
St. Kitts and Nevis
Cayman IslandsLatvia
St. Martin (French part)
Channel IslandsLiechtensteinSweden
CroatiaLuxembourgTaiwan, China
CuraçaoMacao SAR, China
Trinidad and Tobago
Turks and Caicos Islands
Czech RepublicMonaco
United Arab Emirates
DenmarkNauruUnited Kingdom
EstoniaNetherlandsUnited States
Faroe IslandsNew CaledoniaUruguay
FinlandNew Zealand
Virgin Islands (U.S.)
Northern Mariana Islands
French PolynesiaNorway 
Registration Type and Admission Item FEE (USD) Registration Period
Upper-Income Countries
Non Student - Presenter $150 Oct 15 - Nov 8
Student - Presenter $75 Oct 15 - Nov 8
Non Student - Poster $100 Oct 15 - Nov 8
Student - Poster $0 Oct 15 - Nov 8
Non Student - Observer $125 Oct 15 - Jan 28
Student - Observer $75 Oct 15 - Jan 28
Middle-Income Countries
Non Student - Presenter $100 Oct 15 - Nov 8
Student - Presenter $50 Oct 15 - Nov 8
Non Student - Poster $50 Oct 15 - Nov 8
Student - Poster $0 Oct 15 - Nov 8
Non Student - Observer $75 Oct 15 - Jan 28
Student - Observer $50 Oct 15 - Jan 28
Lower-Income Countries
Non Student - Presenter $60 Oct 15 - Nov 8
Student - Presenter $0 Oct 15 - Nov 8
Non Student - Poster $50 Oct 15 - Nov 8
Student - Poster $0 Oct 15 - Nov 8
Non Student - Observer $50 Oct 15 - Jan 28
Student - Observer $0 Oct 15 - Jan 28
Student - Presenter $0 Oct 15 - Nov 8
Student - Poster $0 Oct 15 - Nov 8
Student - Observer $0 Oct 15 - Jan 28
100% refund granted up to Nov 30 
50% refund granted Dec 1 – Dec 15 
No refunds after Dec 15

Questions? Email us @ umsusdev@umich.edu