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International Symposium "Paradigms, Models, Scenarios and Practices with the Prism of Sustainability"

Published on August 27, 2019 Updated on August 27, 2019
Du 04 December 2019 au 06 December 2019
Lieu :Unknown label
MSH  - 4 rue Ledru in Clermont-Ferrand

Call for papers

If the notion of sustainability continues to be associated with the Brundtland Report (1987) and the concept of sustainable development, it seeks more and more to emancipate itself in order to propose a representation of the world coherent with the world's actual aspirations. Everything must be sustainable, agriculture, food, natural resources, biodiversity, water, energy, cities, territories, tourism ... our model of society must refuse any compromise with possible camouflage (here we can mention green growth, greenwashing, decoupling or the latest, sustainable innovation), that, avoiding the risk of falling into overbidding and excess,

The expectations for greater sustainability go beyond the environmental framework. Indeed, if the reduction of our ecological footprint is a necessity, it is associated with other objectives (the famous SDGs) which claim a certain legitimacy. The eradication of poverty, the reduction of inequalities, the access of all to education, electricity and water, the development of 100% renewable energy ... are part of the political discourses, international institutions, but also the demands of the citizens. Recent events in France, the movement of yellow vests, is an excellent example. Motivated by the rise in the domestic consumption tax on energy products, this movement gradually expanded to other social demands (increased purchasing power, maintenance of public services, improvement of democracy ...), then widespread in a large number of countries (Germany, Belgium, Spain, Ireland, United Kingdom ...).


The Call for Papers intends to focus on these facts and expectations in order to question the paradigms, models and scenarios that embody the notion of sustainability today. As curious as it may seem, subjects such as renewable energies, participative democracy, organic farming, agroecology or eco-cities did not wait to be carried by the wave of sustainability to claim certain practices or propose alternative representations. As a result, the meaning of the idea of sustainability and the representations it conveys can be questioned.

The symposium organizers intend to focus on the following themes, however, any proposal that provokes debate or questioning of sustainability will be carefully studied:

  1. How do the different sciences approach the question of sustainability, are there important differences between the social sciences, the engineering sciences, the sciences of life and earth? Do social sciences carry a unanimous and universal vision of sustainability or should we distinguish between economics (and their approach in terms of low sustainability and strong sustainability) of communication sciences or other social sciences (geography, sociology, anthropology ...). This first theme aims to propose a collection of representations on sustainability and initiate debates around an interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary approach to sustainability.
  2. What are the dimensions and themes that embody or, the opposite, are very far from sustainability? The scope and significance of a sustainable culture, sustainable governance, sustainable democracy, sustainable agriculture and sustainable economy can be questioned here. This second theme also raises the question of new fields of sustainability (urban agriculture, sustainable cities, education for sustainability, sustainable mobility ...) or measures reflecting a certain idea of sustainability (universal income, complementary money, zero unemployed territories ...).
  3. What are the paradigms that embody the very idea of strong sustainability today? By that we mean which representation of the world do we have? It's a way of seeing things that is based on a disciplinary matrix, a theoretical model, a current of thought, or a set of so-called citizen practices. Should we place strong sustainability at the level of so-called alternative paradigms, such as the social and solidarity economy, the collaborative economy, the sharing economy, eco-development, the current of degrowth, the current of complexity, Buen vivir, ecological economics, political ecology, industrial ecology, bioeconomy ... or should we rather see the mere return of utopias to the ideology of growth and technical progress?
  4. What models, methods and scientific tools leave a lot of room for strong sustainability? The latter refers to the modeling of complex and dynamic systems. The systemic approach or the dynamics of the systems are often presented as adequate methods to understand the complexity of the systems (feedback loops, temporal effects and delays) and sustainability at the global level (within the limits of system studied). Tools such as life cycle analysis, input - ouput matrices, sustainability circles are also used in the engineering and social sciences to define the notion of sustainability. Finally, a new generation of models, such as assigned integration models, propose integrating energy, economic, climatic and environmental issues (air quality, biodiversity, etc.) in order to suggest to the political decision-maker mitigation or adaptation strategies. In what way do these models fit into a logic of strong sustainability or not.
  5. What are the scenarios for 2025, 2050 or 2100 that best embody the very idea of strong sustainability? Should we see in the scenarios of the type unlimited growth, stationary state, decay or collapse, a way of thinking (or not) sustainability? What place should we give to so-called utopian scenarios (100% renewable energies) and describing what we would like for the future in the face of so-called pragmatic scenarios (the energy mix) and embodying an energy transition? Finally, does the very idea of transition not distance us from a strong sustainability scheme? It could even be considered an abuse of weakness, distilled by lobbies who are not ready to make the radical changes necessary to switch to a society of better living.
  6. How to finance this sustainability? As governments and major international institutions invest in renewable energy, organic farming, positive energy buildings, sustainable mobility, the question of how to finance these actions and strategies is at stake. How to finance this sustainability? If governments and major international institutions invest in renewable energy, organic farming, positive energy buildings, sustainable mobility, the question of how to finance these actions and strategies is at stake. Taxation, public spending (at national or European level), the reform of the financial markets ... or the establishment of an active monetary policy could be as many tools engaging our companies towards more sustainability.
  7. How to evaluate sustainability? The latter is often put between scientific or, political debates and the effective practicies. A sustainability assessment raises a set of questions and issues: What can be evaluated (in the sense of the objects of sustainability)? Who can evaluate (in the sense of expertise)? How to evaluate (in terms of procedures, methods and indicators)?
Proposals for papers in English or French must include a summary of 350 to 500 words, a title, the names of the authors and their institutions, their emails. They should reach us by 15 July 2019 at The final texts will have to be sent by November 15, 2019. A publication of the work will be proposed via two journals (Revue Francophone du développement durable and European Review on Sustainability and Degrowth) and a collective work. Two prizes will be awarded at the end of the Symposium: the Jean Monnet Prize for Sustainable Development for an Expert Researcher, the Donella Meadows Award for Sustainable Development for a Young Researcher. Candidates wishing to compete for these prizes, must send their final text before September 15, 2019. The laureates will be paid for their travel and conference expenses, and will receive an invitation for a 15-day stay at the Center. ERASME excellence on sustainable development.
  • It's a Eurasmus + symposium, it is part of the activities of the Jean Monnet Center of Excellence on Sustainable Development (ERASME), located at the UCA and on the site of Polytech, Clermont Ferrand.
  • Organisation Committee : David Collste, Patricia Coelho, Arnaud Diemer, Florian Dierickx, Johanna Gisladottir, Ganna Gladkykh, Jennifer Hinton, Faheem Khushik, Manuel Morales, Eduard Nedelciu, Abdourakhmane Ndiaye, Maartje Oostdijk, Timothée Parrique, Marie Schellens, Nathalie Spittler, Julian Torres.
  • Scientific Committee : Belaïd Abrika (UMMTO, Algeria), Christian Adamescu (Research Centre in Systems Ecology and Sustainability, University of Bucarest, Romania), Eric Agbessi (UCA, France), Amanar Akhabbar (ESSCA, France), Gerd Alhert (GWS, Germany), Aleix Altimiras Martin (UNICAMP, Brazil), Najet Aroua (Ecole Polytechnique d’Architecture et d’Urbanisme, Algeria), Virginie Baritaux (VetAgro Sup, France), Cécile Batisse (CERDI, UCA), Salim Belyazid (Stockholm University, Sweden), Eric Berr (Bordeaux University, Gretha, France), Simone Bertoli (UCA, CERDI, France), Jérôme Blanc (Sciences Po Lyon, Triangle, France), Dominique Bourg (UNIL, Switzerland), Sabrina Brullot (UTT, France), Nicolas Buclet (AlpesUniversity Grenoble , France), Pascal Carrère (INRA, France), Derek Chan (Millenium Institute, USA), Patrick Criqui (CNRS, France), Eric Dacheux (UCA, France), Guillaume Deffuant (Irstea, France), Arnaud Diemer (UCA, CERDI, France), Ali Douai (Nice University, GREDEG, France), Nicolas Duracka (CISCA, France), Gilles Dussap (Polytech Clermont Ferrand, France), Suren Erkman (UNIL, Lausanne, Switzerland), Marie Fare (Lyon 2 University, Triangle, France), Sylvie Ferrari (Bordeaux University, Gretha, France), Catherine Figuière (Alpes University Grenoble, France), Etienne Espagne (AFD, CERDI, France), Gérard Fonty (GREFFE, France), Geraldine Froger (Toulouse University, France), Giorgos Kallis (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain), Rafia Halawany-Darson (VetAgro Sup, France), Paul James (Western University of Sydney, Australia), Jean-Marc Lange (Montpellier University, France), Elisabete Linhares (Santarem, Portugal), Salma Loudiyi (VetAgro Sup, France), Jean-Philippe Luis (MSh Clermont-Ferrand, France), Gilles Mailhot (UCA, FRE, Frane), Sébastien Marchand (UCA, CERDI, France), Jean Denis Mathias (Irstea, France), Paulo Marques (Sao Paulo University, Brazil), Aurélie Méjean (CIRED, France), Mark Meyer (GWS, Germany), Antoine Missemer (CIRED, France), Basarab Nicolescu (CIRET), Jenneth Parker (Schumacher Institute, England), Matteo Pedercini (Millennium Institute, USA), Francine Pellaud (HEP Fribourg, Switzerland), Lydia Prieg (Cambridge University, England), Laurent Rieutort (IADT, France), Laurence Roudart (ULB), Lucie Sauvé (UQAM, Canada), Valeria Jana Schwanitz (Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Norvège), Anne Snick (KU Leuven, Belgium), Raffaela Taddeo (University G. d’Annunzio of Chieti-Pescara, Italy), Ariane Tichit (UCA-CERDI), Sebastian Toc (Research Institute for Quality of Life, Romanian Academy, Romania), Laurent Trognon (AgroParisTech, France), Franck-Dominique Vivien (University Reims Champagne Ardennes, France), Dmitry Ymashev (Lancaster University, England), Jean Paul Vanderlinden (University Paris Saclay – University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France), Tommaso Venturini (CNRS, France), Videira Nuno (New University of Lisbon, Portugal), Peter Victor (York University, Canada).
Contact :
Arnaud Diemer / Julian Torres :