The International Sustainable Development Research Society (ISDRS) is pleased to announce its 21st Annual conference to be held 10-12 July 2015 in Geelong (Melbourne) Victoria, Australia.
The Tipping Point: Vulnerability and Adaptive Capacity
Hosted by the Faculty of Arts and Education, and the Alfred Deakin Research Institute, Deakin University, Melbourne.

The conference will focus on the management of social and natural community vulnerabilities and enhancement of adaptations that provide security as we pursue sustainability.

Whilst the tipping point is typically regarded as a point 'of no return', especially in ecology and climate science, our call repositions the notion of the tipping point as a 'point of transformation', into comparably more hopeful settings, e.g. a point when things start to change for the better. In terms of sustainability, this is when the various efforts towards sustainability reach a collective crescendo. It is at this point sustainable behaviour (however defined) becomes the norm rather than the exception. Whilst incremental efforts towards change appear to make little difference, a point may be reached at which the final tiny addition provides a positive change - sustainable attitudes and behaviour become the norm rather than the exception. We need the positive tip to happen before a catastrophic negative one occurs.

ISDRS Core Themes:
1. Sustainable Development Science
2. Ecosystem Pressures and Limits
3. Climate Change and Energy
4. Sustainable Land Use & Sustainable Cities
5. Corporate Sustainability and Innovation
6. Society and Sustainability
7. Institutions and Governance Structures for Sustainable Development

Special Themes for this 2015 Conference:
A. Culture Heritage and Sustainability
B. Gender and Development
C. Deep Ecology and Ethics


The official name of the organisation is the International Sustainable Development Research Society (ISDRS), first officially registered in Hong Kong in 2006. At that time ISDRS was built on a 13-year tradition of successful International Sustainable Development Research conferences originally in the UK. We are continuing this tradition and organize yearly conferences under the ISDRS flag, with in 2014 the 20st conference in row. We generate and disseminate knowledge and educate others about sustainable development.

The Society was founded by Professor Richard Welford, Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Bangkok, Thailand and Dr. Jouni Korhonen. At the time of establishment Richard Welford was an acting professor at University of Hong Kong and Jounic Korhonen was a Research Professor at the University of Tampere. The founding of the Society was announced at the 2005 conference in Helsinki, Finland, and formally launched at the 2006 conference in Hong Kong.

Objectives of the Society

  • To generate research and knowledge about sustainable development. As a research society, we have an obligation to facilitate the work of those who labor to create new knowledge regarding sustainable development, as broadly defined.
  • To disseminate knowledge about sustainable development. Consistent with knowledge generation, the Society also obligates itself to the task of spreading knowledge worldwide for the benefit of those with a similar interest.
  • To educate others about sustainable development. Sustainable development places multiple and urgent demands upon global and local societies who will eventually determine the degree to which the Earth's resources are sustained. Thus, the ISDRS feels compelled to become involved in the practical work of sustainable development.
  • To establish an information exchange for sustainable development. Given the proliferation of sustainability entities and venues, the Society will strive to provide a coordinating role for linking all these efforts together.

The ISDRS is governed by a President and the Board of Directors. The President of the Society is Professor Walter Vermeulen at Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development and Innovation, Department of Environmental Studies and Policy at Utrecht University in the Netherlands.

10th - 12th July