Pathways for Inclusive and Sustainable Recoveries 

Thu May 27 – Sat May 29, 2021
Online: Remo virtual conference platform

Given the inherently transdisciplinary nature of ecological economics, we encourage scholars, community organizers, activists, educators, civil servants, industry representatives and change-makers from all walks to contribute to this ongoing dialogue.

Submission Details

Submissions will be accepted under the three Focus Areas and Presentation Formats listed below. How will the online platform work? Visit to learn more about the conference platform and all the opportunities available to you.

Deadline: Monday, February 1, 2021

Submission Requirements: Review presentation formats below and respective submission requirements.

Acceptance Criteria: 

  • Relevance to the overall theme
  • Significance and originality
  • Enhance sustainability discourse in one specific focus area at either a theoretical or practical level
  • Clarity, concision and focus

Conference and Theme Overview

The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly exposed systemic vulnerabilities in our current economic systems. These vulnerabilities have exacerbated social inequalities, health, and the climate crisis, and exposed how deeply intertwined our social, environmental, and economic systems are. It is with this realization that we must reimagine the structures that failed us with increased intensity, urgency and creativity, if we are to catalyze solutions for a sustainable recovery. Governments, NGOs, and civil society will each play critical roles in shaping this transition. This conference uses an ecological economics lens to engage with these various actors to inform workable, effective, and inclusive public policy solutions that address the ecological challenges our society faces. We recognize that these solutions are inherently complex, like the system they work in. We encourage presenters to discuss transformative policies that address social and ecological inequalities across regions and between generations.

Ecological economics (EE) is a heterodox, trans-disciplinary school of economic thought that provides insight into the social, ecological, economic, and political ramifications of systematically ignoring the impact of policy and human behaviour on the continued sustainability and viability of the earth’s ecosystems for its habitants and the distributive impact of adverse consequences. It fosters the exchange of knowledge across multiple disciplines, including but not limited to history, sociology, economics, political science, and business management. We encourage all relevant stakeholders to explore alternative modes of ‘economy.’ To accomplish this, partnerships between the academy, policy-makers, NGOs, and businesses will be emphasized, catalyzing a conversation that links deep theoretical approaches with active policy change and community practice. We welcome participation from activist groups, non-profit organizations, industry representatives and government agencies to enhance the conference content with real-world challenges and applications. We strive to represent diverse voices and encourage submissions from minorities and marginalized groups. Academics (both faculty and students) are expected to contribute original research that augments the core of the debate.

Focus Areas

Novel Research Contributions

This focus area will highlight original contributions to the EE field that push boundaries and emphasize important outcomes and lessons learned for future research, action and policy. Commentaries regarding the recently published research agenda are welcome. New research methods, tools and techniques are encouraged. Research themes can include post-pandemic and post-growth proposals, social and environmental justice, sustainable trade and exchange, systems complexity and more.

Policy Interventions and Proposals

This focus area will feature issues at the municipal, regional, provincial, national or international level of governance within and beyond Canada to better inform policy approaches for an inclusive and sustainable recovery. This can include critical analysis of environmental law, energy and climate policies, resource conservation policies (e.g. ecosystem services),  as well as broader international mechanisms being advocated under a “Green New Deal”. Researchers are challenged to apply their scholarly work to real-world issues. Members of the public sector are encouraged to propose pressing challenges with which researchers and community members can engage

Actors Beyond the Academy

This focus area encourages allies from outside the academy to participate and engage by showcasing examples on the ground of ecological economic principles and values in practice. We invite reflections, research results, and provocations from non-profit leaders, community organizers, green entrepreneurs, political activists, so-called “essential workers”, labour unions and industry representatives, commoners, elected officials, ecovillagers, Indigenous groups, downshifters, and other change agents.

Presentation Formats

Spotlight Presentations

Speak on your expertise for 10-15 minutes followed by a Q&A period facilitated by you at your (virtual) table. You will be the only presenter at your table, running in parallel with others. Your audience will be limited to those who choose to attend your session. Alternatively, you are welcome to submit a pre-recorded 15-minute presentation for participants to engage with at their leisure. Participants will have the ability to leave comments and questions for pre-records.

To Submit: Prepare a 400-word summary detailing your presentation and a 100-word summary for the program. Identify relevant focus area(s) and please specify whether this proposal will be pre-recorded.

Flash Talks

Condense your work into a 5-minute pitch to the entire conference audience, followed by 30-minute moderated break-out sessions where you will have tables devoted to your topic to discuss in further detail.

To Submit: Prepare a 250-word summary detailing your pitch and a 100-word summary for the program. Identify relevant focus area(s).

Problem Lab

Prepare a 10-minute synopsis of a problem that currently challenges the public, private or non-profit sectors with which conference participants can engage. Participants will then be invited to address leading questions resulting from this problem context in breakout sessions. Industry representatives, community organizers, non-profit leaders and other groups are encouraged to bring their organization’s greatest challenges for a collaborative problem lab.

To Submit: Prepare a 400-word summary detailing your problem context and a 100-word summary for the conference program. Identify relevant focus area(s).

Hint: Review the virtual conference platform. In addition to your 10-min overview of the problem lab, you can invite collaborators to act as representatives in the break-out sessions at each of the tables to facilitate conversations and provide additional context. Alternatively, participants can self-organize and provide a summary of the discussion if collaborators are not available or relevant.

Table Talk

The online conference platform is highly interactive and thus requires participant engagement. We encourage all participants to submit ideas for icebreaker and networking events, social events such as trivia or musical performances, provocations to illicit progressive discourse, artistic submissions such as poetry or graphic design, or training and skills-building workshop ideas. We also encourage public, private and non-profit representatives to request a permanent table throughout the conference for the purposes of engaging with conference participants, networking and exploring leading research and practice in the field.

To Submit: Prepare a 300-word summary detailing your Table Talk proposal and a 100-word summary for the conference program. Identify relevant focus area(s) as appropriate. All virtual conference tables have access to a virtual whiteboard to collaborate further and share ideas, images, videos and more.

Hint: Faculties, departments and organizations are encouraged to request a permanent table for one or all three days of the conference for an opportunity to showcase their work and engage with leading thinkers and practitioners in this unique area.

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