6th World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities
September 18: 17:00 - September 20: 17:00
The 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), also known as “Rio+20”, was an historical event. Held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in June 2012, this landmark gathering agreed on various sets of actions to make the world a better and more sustainable place to live in. In particular, the document “The Future We Want”, outlined many of the measures countries across the world should pursue and implement, in order to translate the principles of sustainable development into practice.
As a parallel event to UNCSD, the 1st World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities” (WSSD-U-2012) was held in Rio de Janeiro on 5-6 June 2012. It was then followed up by the 2rd World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities” (WSSD-U-2014), which was held in Manchester, UK in September 2014, the 3rd World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities” (WSSD-U-2016), hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) held in September 2016, the 4th World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities” (WSSD-U-2018), hosted by the Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) in August 2018 and the 5th World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities” (WSSD-U-2022), hosted by Allegheny College, United States.
The events have led to many groundbreaking publications on the theory and practice of sustainable development, and showed the need for a continuation of the dialogue among sustainability academics and practitioners, so as to address the issues, matters and problems at hand.
It is against this background that the “6th World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities” (WSSD-U-2024) will be organised by UNISUL (Brazil), the Research and Transfer Centre “Sustainable Development and Climate Change Management” of the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (Germany), and the European School of Sustainability Science and Research (ESSSR), in cooperation with the World Sustainable Development Research and Transfer Centre, the Inter-University Sustainable Development Research Programme (IUSDRP), the UK Consortium on Sustainability Research, and the United Nations University initiative “Regional Centres of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development” (RCE).
The “6th World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities” (WSSD-U-2024) will focus on “The Transformative Power of Higher Education Institutions in Accelerating the Implementation of the UN SDGs”, and will contribute to the further development of this fast-growing field. As the slogan of the event suggests, we are as always looking for practical experiences on Education, Research and Extension (the so-called 3rd Mission, whereby universities outreach to society as a whole (e.g. to local communities, organisations, industry and other groups) with the aim of identifying ways to speed-up the implementation of the UN SDGs, since 2030 is not that far.
Consistent with the goals of the WSSD-U series, the aims of the “6th World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities” (WSSD-U-2024) are as follows:
- i. to provide universities all round the world with an opportunity to display and
- present their works (i.e. curriculum innovation, research, activities, practical projects) as they relate to teaching sustainable development;
- ii. to foster the exchange of information, ideas and experiences acquired in the execution of projects, from successful initiatives and good practice;
- iii. to discuss methodological approaches and projects which aim to integrate the topic of sustainable development in the curriculum of universities; to network the participants and provide a platform so they can explore possibilities for cooperation;
- iv. to enable scalability of existing and future models of cooperation between universities and society.
Finally and more importantly, a further aim of the event will be to document and disseminate the wealth of experiences available today. To this purpose, the book “The Transformative Power of Higher Education Institutions in Accelerating the Implementation of the UN SDGs” will be published, with all accepted papers. It will be part of the award-winning “World Sustainability Series”, published by Springer, one of the world´s top five scientific publishers.
As countries of the world currently strive to implement the UN Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals, WSSD-U-2024 will demonstrate how universities can cooperate and interact with society and societal groups at large, demonstrating approaches, methods and projects which may be replicable elsewhere.
Delegates attending the “6th World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities” (WSSD-U-2024) will come from a cross-sectoral range of areas. They are:
- i. faculty (i.e. teaching and research staff)
- ii. members of university administrations
- iii. campus sustainability officers/directors
- iv. campus facilities and operations staff
- v. project officers and consultants
- vi. student leaders
- vii. other people interested in the field.
It is believed that this wide range of participants will help to outline the need for integrated approaches towards sustainable development and, hence contribute to the further implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The “6th World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities” (WSSD-U-2024) will be organised in two main strands:
Strand 1: the posters
Participating universities and organisations will be able to put-up posters describing their works and projects and to distribute the relevant information to the participants. The posters will be the backbone of the event and will allow close, one-to-one contacts between the participants and the exhibitors.
Strand 2: the presentations
A set of presentations, divided into five sections, will be organised, dealing with issues of strategic value in reviewing the state of the art of sustainability in higher education today. These are:
- Session 1: Innovations in the Curriculum and in Research
- Session 2: Collaborative Community Partnerships and Engagement
- Session 3: Cooperation between universities and social groups
- Session 4: Comprehensive approaches to Sustainable Development: the integration
- of Curriculum, Research and Operations
- Session 5: Student Participation and Engagement in Sustainability Issues
- Session 6: Carbon Footprint in Universities
A set of special sessions will also be organised, showcasing excellent examples of how universities are implementing the UN SDGs, and how to mobilise academics, local communities, industry and other groups in achieving the global goals.
The participation from universities from around the world are especially welcome, using this unique opportunity to interact with international colleagues.
The “6th World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities” (WSSD-U-2024) will be held from 18th to 20th September 2024. The schedule is as follows:
WEDNESDAY 18th September 2024: arrival and set-up of displays, keynote speech and cocktail reception.
|WEDNESDAY, 18th SEPTEMBER 2024
|THURSDAY, 19th SEPTEMBER 2024
|FRIDAY, 20th SEPTEMBER 2024
|Registration Opens: 5:00 pm
Opening ceremony: 7:00 pm
|All day: Exhibition and visit to
Morning: Session 1
Afternoon: Session 2
|All day: Exhibition and visit to
Morning: Session 3
Afternoon: Session 4
Final Session &
Present the best papers awards
Delegates are kindly asked to organise their travel in a way that allows them to arrive in Florianópolis, Brazil (possibly flying to Florianópolis airport) on 18th September 2024 at the latest, and travel back on or after the 21st September 2024, so that they do not miss the final session (especially the best papers awards), field trips, and information on follow-up activities.
- Deadline for submission of abstracts: 30th March 2024
- Deadline for submission of papers: 30th June 2024
- Deadline for full, revised papers: 30th July 2024
- Deadline for early-bird registrations: 30th March 2024
- Final deadline for registrations: 30th August 2024
Since the book “The Transformative Power of Higher Education Institutions in Accelerating the Implementation of the UN SDGs”- as part of Springer´s World Sustainability Series – will be launched soon after the Symposium, the deadlines need to be followed.
The Symposium will be held at Unisul Palhoça located in Cidade Universitária, Palhoça, Santa Catarina, Brazil. Address: Unisul Palhoça, Av. Pedra Branca, 25 – Cidade Universitária, Palhoça – SC, 88137-270, Brazil. Palhoça is a municipality in the state of Santa Catarina. The university is situated about 40 minutes from Florianópolis-Hercílio Luz International Airport and 30 minutes from Florianópolis city center.
The Pedra Branca neighborhood, in the state of Santa Catarina, in the south of Brazil, was meticulously designed based on sustainable urbanism principles, prioritizing pedestrian and cyclist mobility, harmony with nature, and interaction between residents, professionals, and the entire academic community.
The UniSul Pedra Branca Campus, due to its deep integration with the neighborhood, offers outstanding facilities. Attendees can benefit from features such as a covered aquatic complex with Olympic-standard pools, a sports gymnasium, a food court, convenience stores and services, a comprehensive library, and laboratories equipped with cutting-edge technologies. Additionally, the Integrated Health Clinics, including dentistry, physiotherapy, and psychology clinics, enrich the academic experience by integrating teaching, research, and outreach activities.
Participants are encouraged to find accommodations in the municipalities of Palhoça or Florianópolis, where there is a wide range of hotels, offering a broad variety of prices and quality to suit all tastes and budgets.
Conference Fee Details:
- For International Delegates:
A conference fee of Euro 280 plus taxes will be charged.
For students, the fee is reduced to Euro 150 plus taxes.
- For Brazilian Delegates:
The fee is set at R$ 400.
For students, it is R$ 200.
This fee is intended to cover preparation costs.
What’s included in the fee?
1. Reception on the evening of 18th September 2024.
2. Lunches and coffee breaks on both 19th and 20th September 2024.
3. A complimentary online copy of the publication titled “The Transformative Power of Higher Education Institutions in Accelerating the Implementation of the UN SDGs”. This will be provided to the authors who contributed to the publication.
Organisations or individuals not able to pay this fee should contact the Secretariat so that it may be waived in special cases. Interested people and organisations are encouraged to register by completing the application form provided. This is a self-funded event and the organisers are unable to pay any travel or accommodation costs of any kind. They are however happy to issue letters of invitation to support delegates to request funding for their participation, provided their full papers (and not only the abstracts!) have been accepted.
Registrations are now open. To benefit from the early-bird fee, you need to register until 30th January 2024. After that, the full fee applies. Registrations close on 30th July 2024. Regrettably, registrations after the deadline may not be possible. Since the space for posters and the time for presentations is limited, delegates are advised to register as soon as possible. The organisers will notify any interested delegate or organisation in case there are any limitations with time for presentations or space for posters. Registered delegates will then receive further details on the payment of the fees and updated information on the preparations for the event. The decision as to which papers will be accepted for presentation will be taken by the Chairpersons, following consultation with the organising committee. All submitted papers are subject to peer-review and only those which have passed review may be considered for the book “The Transformative Power of Higher Education Institutions in Accelerating the Implementation of the UN SDGs”.
Participants registering to the event will do so under the condition that they will cover their own travel, accommodation and incidental costs (e.g. visa fees) related to their trip to Brazil. This is a self-funded event and the organisers are unable to pay any travel or accommodation costs of any kind. Letters of invitation to enter the Federative Republic of Brazil can only be sent to bona fide, registered delegates, who have paid their fees and need a document to show their employers.
● Universidade do Sul de Santa Catarina (UNISUL)
● Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, Research and Transfer Centre “Sustainable Development and Climate Change Management” (FTZ-NK)
● European School of Sustainability Science and Research (ESSSR)
● World Sustainable Development Research and Transfer Centre (WSD-RTC)
● UK Consortium on Sustainability Research (UK-CSR)
● Inter-University Sustainable Development Research Programme (IUSDRUP)
● Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)
● UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)
● UN Environment Programme (UNEP)
● Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability (ACTS)
● Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC)
● Manchester Metropolitan University (UK)
- Prof. Dr. Walter Leal (BSc, PhD, DSc, DPhil, DL, DLitt), Manchester Metropolitan University, UK, HAW Hamburg and RCE Hamburg and Region, Germany
- Prof. Dr. José Baltazar Salgueirinho Osório de Andrade Guerra, UNISUL
- Dr. João Eustachio, European School of Sustainability Science and Research, HAW Hamburg
- Dr. Amanda Lange Salvia, European School of Sustainability Science and Research, HAW Hamburg
- Ms. Laís Trevisan, HAW Hamburg
- Prof. Mark Mifsud, University of Malta
- Prof. Roberto Bichueti, UFSM, Brazil
Dr. Julie Newman, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
Dr. Karel Mulder, TU Delft, Netherlands
Leanne Denby, President, Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability (ACTS)
Ms. Ana Paula Provin, Unisul, Brasil
Ms. Meghan F. Zahniser, Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in
Prof. Dr. Michaela Zint, University of Michigan, USA
Prof. Dr. Rosley Anholon, UNICAMP, Brazil
Prof. Diana-Mihaela Tirka, Constantin Brancusi University, Romania
Prof. Dr. Ana Regina de Aguiar Dutra, Unisul, Brazil
Prof. Dr. Anelise Leal Vieira Cubas, Unisul, Brazil
Prof. Dr. Anete Alberton, Univali, Brazil
Prof. Dr. Benny Dembitzer, University College of London, UK
Prof. Dr. Claudia Terezinha Kniess, USJ, Brazil
Prof. Dr. Leonardo Secchi, UDESC, Brazil
Prof. Dr. Lucas Ávila, UFSM, Brazil
Prof. Dr. Luciana Brandli, Universidade de Passo Fundo, Brazil
Prof. Dr. Maria Elisa Huber Pessina, Unifacs, Brazil
Prof. Dr. Renê Birochi, UFSC, Brazil
Prof. Dr. Walid Abbas El-Aouar, Universidade Potiguar (UnP) , Brazil
Prof. Dr. Dzintra Ilisco, Daugavpils University, Latvia
Prof. Dr. Elizabeth Price, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK
Prof. Dr. Joost Platje, University of Opole, Poland
Prof. Dr. Linas Kliucininkas, Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania
Prof. Dr. Luciana Brandli, University of Passo Fundo, Brazil
Prof. Dr. Luis Vargas, University of Chile, Chile
Prof. Dr. Luis Velazquez, University of Sonora, Mexico
Prof. Dr. Maria de Fátima Pereira Alves, Universidade Aberta, Portugal
Prof. Dr. Maria Novo, National University on Distance Education, Spain
Prof. Dr. Maris Klavins, University of Latvia, Latvia
Prof. Dr. Osvaldo Quelhas, Fluminense Federal University, Brazil
Prof. Dr. Paul Pace, University of Malta, Malta
Prof. Dr. Sandra Caeiro, Universidade Aberta, Portugal
Prof. Dr. Ulisses Azeiteiro, University of Aveiro, Portugal
Prof. Dr. Violeta Orlovic Lovren, University of Belgrade, Serbia
All questions related to scientific inputs and strategic partnerships, as well as the book, should be sent to:
- Professor Walter Leal, European School of Sustainability Science and Research, Research and Transfer Centre “Sustainable Development and Climate Change Management” (FTZ NK) HAW Hamburg (Germany) & Manchester Metropolitan University (UK)info( at )iccip.net
All questions related to abstracts and registrations should be sent to:
Dr. Mihaela Sima
Romanian Academy, Institute of Geography
simamik( at )yahoo.com
All questions related to local accommodation, issuing of invitations and dietary requirements should be sent to:
Professor Ivone Junges
University of Southern Santa Catarina (UNISUL)
ivone.junges( at )animaeducacao.com.br
An abstract should be up to 200 words, it should describe the rationale and aims of the paper, and some of its results. General descriptions of broad contexts should be avoided. The names and full contact details about the author(s) need to be provided. Abstracts should be written in the third person and not in the first or second one (e.g. I, me, or my paper). Please see page below a sample abstract. Authors whose abstracts have been accepted, will receive further details about how to submit their full papers, and further logistical information.
Please send your abstract to Dr. Mihaela Sima: simamik( at )yahoo.com
Some developments on education for sustainable development in higher
Walter Leal (BSc, PhD, DSc, DPhil, DEd, DLitt, FSB, FRGS, FLS)
European School of Sustainability Science and Research
Hamburg University of Applied Sciences
esssr( at )ls.haw-hamburg.de
The implementation of sustainable development in higher education is a global trend. Yet, the intensity and the depth with which higher education institutions are taking on the challenge of sustainability, significantly differs.
This paper presents a global analysis about how higher education institutions are including sustainability issues in the different areas (e.g. teaching, research, outreach and institutional management) and describes the progress made in this field during the last 10 years. A special emphasis is given to the problems and barriers which prevent developments in respect of the integration of sustainability issues in higher education. Finally, some concrete steps which may be undertaken in order to allow universities to integrate sustainable development in their activities but also in regional development, are outlined. This paper will be useful to anyone interested in the different levels of emphasis given to sustainable development at higher education institutions across the world.