Call for Papers

The International Sustainable Development Research Society (ISDRS) is pleased to announce its 21st Annual conference to be held 10-12 July 2015 in Melbourne, Australia.

The Tipping Point: Vulnerability and Adaptive Capacity

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.

The Tipping Point as critical concept cross-cuts a range of disciplines relevant to sustainable development including vitally natural resource management, community development and engagement, industrial management, and other areas in the social and environmental sciences. Questions arise as to whether the tipping point is variously a site, or a stage, of transformation and transition, a launching place for change and action, to counter ecological degradation and to regenerate communities and ecosystems.

In order to promote change towards a positive tipping point, ISDRC21 recognises the urgent need for a coming together of multidisciplinary expertise between the social and the pure sciences, and encourages interdisciplinary sessions, presentation and dialogues where possible. We invite debate on the theoretical implications, practical usefulness and empirical applications of the tipping point concept related to one of the Society's core themes, or one of the new ones as listed below.

Scholars are invited to summit papers in the core research areas of the ISDRS:

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 and Sustainability
B. Gender and Development
C. Deep Ecology and Ethics

For inquiries on the Call for Papers, please contact:

Yamini Narayanan -

10th - 12th July