Conference Themes

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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 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 must explicitly explore the “challenges and opportunities” of the pandemic, and that the abstract must describe (1) how the pandemic is central to the issue, and (2) the methods used to analyze the impact of the pandemic on the issue.