The Future Earth community, and those wishing to join this global community, are invited to propose sessions for the International Conference on Sustainability Sciences Conference (ICSS), August 24-26, 2017, through the Future Earth Knowledge Action Networks.

The focus of the 2017 ICSS Conference is to create a working forum for the Future Earth Knowledge-Action Networks, facilitate cross-fertilisation of their work and stimulate the emergence of breakthrough ideas for SDG Implementation. The conference has the aim to feed into UN’s High Level Political Forum (HLPF) in 2018 and as such is aligning to the themes of that meeting. Selected outcome of the conference will be published by Springer in the Sustainability Science journal and an e-book, to provide the foundation for improving science-policy dialogues.

Key dates

31st Jan 2017 - Call for session proposals opens
28th Feb 2017 - Call for session proposals deadline
17th Mar 2017 - Notification of successful sessions


Kicking off with a day focused on innovations, including those at the interface between science and policy, the ICSS 2017 conference will enable the Future Earth Knowledge-Action Network communities to work together to create new perspectives on emerging global environmental change science that are relevant to societal partners. The main body of the conference will be comprised of sessions proposed by the Future Earth community intended to advance the development of Knowledge-Action Networks.

Ultimately, our vision is for the conference to feed into the UN’s High Level Political Forum (HLPF) in 2018, which is framed as “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies”. The HLPF will specifically focus around the following themes:

  • SDG 6 Clean water and sanitation
  • SDG 7 Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 15 Life on Land

Therefore, session proposals that aligned with these themes will be prioritized, but we are open to all ideas.

Through an agreement with the editor in-chief of Sustainability Science (Springer), selected outcome of the ICSS 2017 conference will be published as a special 2018 issue of the journal. These articles and an e-book will be the foundation of a science-policy dialogue to provide high-quality input to the UN High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) 2018 theme of transformation toward sustainable and resilient societies.

We are looking for sessions with topics that develop new knowledge to give the underpinning for policy options to meet the SDGs, integrating solutions and knowledge from across diverse domains. Inspiration for session topics: How do we provide electricity for the basic needs of 9 billion people within planetary boundaries? What changes to our diets can help us meet the Paris agreement, what are the consequence for health, economics and deforestation, and how do we mobilise this change? How do we provide the 10 fastest growing cities with clean water and sanitation in a sustainable way?

To achieve the goal of deeper integration and collaboration across Future Earth’s Knowledge-Action Networks, the conference we will bring together several communities and create a rich and varied programme: Future Earth Knowledge-Action Network communities; early career researchers engaged with Future Earth and the ICSS, and the research and practitioner teams working together on selected Sustainable Development Goal Labs (SDG Labs), see the ICSS conference website below for information on these. The ICSS 2017 conference will be linked with Resilience Conference (21st-24th Aug) through a common science-policy-practice day, which helps bring in policymakers, stakeholders and a broader scientific expertise.

The overall agenda of the 2017 ICSS:

  • Aug 24 DAY 1: Science-policy day, highlighting innovative solutions, with the Resilience Conference
  • Aug 25 DAY 2: Selected sessions from Future Earth Knowledge-Action Networks and SDG Labs
  • Aug 26 DAY 3: Selected sessions from Future Earth Knowledge-Action Networks and SDG Labs

The call is open to all. However, we ask that each proposal becomes connected to Future Earth, formally or informally, through one of the Knowledge Action Networks (contact details below) for which your session proposal is best fitted. Where a proposal spans a number of Knowledge-Action Networks, simply select on and highlight which other KANs areas are addressed. Proposals that span more than one KAN are welcome.

There will be some limited funding available to support speakers.

To learn more about this call or how to apply, see the guidelines for sessions.