Conference Themes

Sustainable Consumption & Social Justice in an Urbanizing World


Despite the climate crisis and other growing risks of environmental degradation, efforts to shift toward more sustainable systems of consumption and production and more sustainable ways of living continue to be woefully inadequate. As unsustainable trends and practices perpetuate, many are recognizing that the sustainability transformation is being hampered in part because of limited attention to social justice, growing socio-economic and racial inequities, and widening disparities among and within communities around the world. Other root causes are the dominant focus on economic growth, the prevalent culture of consumerism, and the lack of responsiveness by political systems that are heavily influenced by corporate interests. Recognizing these gaps, the SCORAI 2020 conference provides a creative venue for connecting sustainable consumption and social justice in an urbanizing world, and for reflecting on the challenges of deep systemic change necessary to accelerate transformation toward a more just and sustainable world.

The conference organizers invite researchers and practitioners from around the world who are engaged in work on social justice, sustainable consumption, and the integration of these issues, to participate, attend, and submit proposals for sessions and individual presentations. The conference’s foci on urban issues and social justice provide an opportunity to integrate into sustainable consumption conversations such issues as: over- and under- consumption taking place side by side; the unequal impacts of transitioning toward more sustainable consumption on different socio-economic groups; barriers to more sustainable ways of living and livelihoods grounded in race, gender, power and privilege; the social justice impacts of urban gentrification and consumption patterns.

Session and abstract contributions in the following areas are welcomed:

* Planning and governance for sustainable consumption in cities
* Business models for lower footprint consumption
* Current understandings of social and cultural change: theory and practice
* Grassroots organizing and social movements
* Degrowth
* Steady state economy
* Guaranteed minimum income and its impacts on equity, sustainability and consumption
* Green gentrification
* Critical reflections on the sharing economy and the circular economy
* Individual and social learning about consumption
* Energy consumption and energy justice
* Urban agriculture, mobility and housing that foster sustainable lifestyles and social justice
* Education for sustainable consumption
* Sustainable consumption and health
* Embodied energy in material goods and services
* Cooperative ownership as the means for reducing consumption and inequality
* Local economies and consumption
* Technological innovations and their impacts on consumption and lifestyles
* Social innovations in work-life balance
* Worktime reduction and impacts on equity, sustainability, and consumption patterns
* Framing of and communication about sustainable consumption and sustainable ways of living
* Sustainable livelihoods
* Barriers to and incentives for social, political, economic, and systemic change
* Links between sustainable consumption, wellbeing and the good life