Education for Sustainable Development Workshop

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Continue Making Sustainable Development the Golden Thread throughout all levels of education

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Special Session Organised by the Environmental Management for Sustainable Universities (EMSU) Network and the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC)

Kaisu Sammalisto, Tove Holm, Tomas Ramos, Sandra Caeiro, Francisco J. Lozano, Iain Patton, Niko Roorda, Maik Adomßent, Gerd Michelsen, Rodrigo Lozano, Donald Huisingh

This document outlines the Call for Papers (Abstract submission is now closed) for presentations at the Global Cleaner Production and Sustainable Consumption Conference: Accelerating the Transition to Equitable, Sustainable Post-Fossil-Carbon Societies, workshop, Making Sustainable Development a Golden Thread throughout all levels of Education, to be held in Sitges, near Barcelona, Spain, Nov. 1 – 4, 2015.

The Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD) (2005-2014) was designed to integrate the principles and practices of Sustainable Development (SD) into all aspects of education and learning, to encourage changes in knowledge, values and attitudes with the vision of enabling a more sustainable and just society for all (UNESCO, 2014). The DESD report specified four major thrusts of education for SD (ESD): (1) Basic education; (2) Reorienting existing education programs; (3) Developing public awareness and understanding of sustainability; and (4) Training.

Some educational institutions have become engaged in embedding environmental education and ESD into their teaching, operations, research, community outreach, every-day activities, and assessment, reporting (Lozano et al., 2013; Stables & Scott, 2002; UNESCO, 2014; Wright, 2004).

Despite the successes that have been achieved during the DESD, there are still considerable challenges remain in realizing the full potential of ESD, such as aligning of education and sustainable development sectors, institutionalizing ESD to ensure strong political support for implementing ESD on a systemic level; and developing and proving the effectiveness of ESD good practices (UNESCO, 2014).

The main objective of this workshop will be to explore different options to promote deepening ESD more holistically and integrated throughout all levels of education continuing the efforts carried out by UNESCO and the myriad stakeholders that participating during the DESD.

This workshop will challenge all to seek to answer questions such as:

  1. How can the entire educational chain (from kindergarten to adult education, including formal and informal education) be integrated to support societal transitions to equitable, sustainable, post-fossil carbon societies?
  2. Due to the typical discipline-specific compartmentalization of higher education, how can we more effectively integrate, multi-disciplinary ‘sustainability concepts’ into all dimensions of higher education, including, but not limited to: education, research, campus operations, outreach, assessment, reporting, on-campus life experiences, and educating-the-educators?
  3. How can we help to ensure that our sustainability educational inputs to our students are not forgotten once they join the labour market?
  4. How can we create a SD collective memory throughout society, with special emphasis upon education, industry, government, the media, financial entities, religious organizations, and NGOs?
  5. What new theories should be developed to better explain and guide implementation of ESD?
  6. How can current ESD practices be better shared for more rapid up take of ‘tested and proven’ approaches by societies, globally?
  7. How can ESD theory and practice be more effectively inter-connected?
  8. What approaches should be taken by local communities, municipal authorities and governments to foster and more efficiently implement ESD throughout society?
  9. How can the links between education and other stakeholders, including communities, and industry, be improved to make societies more sustainable?
  10. What structures and infrastructures need to be put in place to promote ESD on an on-going basis, not just as a temporary project?
  11. What organisational change processes have been documented to efficient and effective in implementing ESD and how can we more effectively build upon the lessons learned?
  12. What partnerships need to be developed to further promote ESD?
  13. What kinds of leadership development are needed for educational leaders and managers for advancing whole- institutions approaches to ESD?
  14. How can ESD be enhanced regionally, nationally and globally?
  15. How can regional and national SD policies and education be coordinated?
  16. How can social media be more involved in communicating ESD and SD
  17. How can music, art and other approaches be used to communicate ESD?
  18. How can ESD be integrates as the golden thread throughout all societies?

Format and Procedures for Submission of Responses to this Call for Papers

We invite authors to prepare abstracts of 500 words in response this Call-for-Papers. The abstracts are to be prepared in English.

Please submit your abstract(s) via the conference website:

After the Global Conference, scientific teams of the Global Conference will select the articles to be developed for peer review and for potential publication within one of several Special Volumes of the Journal of Cleaner Production that will be developed based upon outputs from the Global Conference.

For more information contact:
Kaisu Sammalisto, PhD


Tove Holm, PhD


Lozano, R., Lukman, R., Lozano, F. J., Huisingh, D., & Lambrechts, W. (2013). Declarations for sustainability in higher education: becoming better leaders, through addressing the university system. Journal of Cleaner Production, 48, 10–19. doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2011.10.006
Stables, A., & Scott, W. (2002). The Quest for Holism in Education for Sustainable Development. Environmental Education Research, 8(1), 53–60. doi:10.1080/13504620120109655
UNESCO. (2014). Shaping the Future We Want. UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014) Final report (p. 198). Paris , France.
Wright, T. S. A. (2004). The evolution of environmental sustainability declarations in higher education. In A. E. J. Wals & P. B. Corcoran (Eds.), Higher education and the challenge of sustainability: problematics, promise, and practice (pp. 7–19). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

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Supporting Publications
Intellectual Contributors
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