It is my pleasure to welcome you to the biannual conference of the International Society for Ecological Economics which will be hosted by the University of Iceland 13 - 15 August 2014. The theme of the conference will be Well-being and Equity within Planetary Boundaries.
ISEE is a nonprofit, member-governed, organization dedicated to advancing understanding of the relationships between ecological, social, and economic systems for the mutual well-being of nature and people.
As economic, social and environmental systems worldwide face increasing pressures and the call for an alternative economic approach becomes louder, we aim to provide a welcoming environment for critical conversations on the role and ability of Ecological Economics to provide paths and tools towards effective alternative solutions for the future.
Towards this aim the conference will offer a combination of oral and poster presentations, keynote lectures from prominent scholars from within and outside our community, pre-conference activities and exciting off-venue excursions.
The location of the conference itself also has a lot to offer to the discussion. Iceland is at the forefront in transforming energy systems towards low-carbon and renewable energy sources with approximately 82% primary energy use derived from domestic renewable energy resources (hydro and geopower). As conference participants will experience, over 90% of all houses in the country are heated with geothermal energy, outdoor heated swimming pools are everywhere (conference participants should remember to pack their bathing suits) and 99% of electricity is produced from potentially renewable energy resources. But even if Iceland can provide inspiring examples, debates rage about the use of our energy resources, property rights, the management of other natural resources as well as the environment, not to mention the catastrophic economic collapse that took place in 2008.
We hope that conference participants will emerge from the three-day conference intellectually and spiritually energized. Ready to collectively push Ecological Economics to the forefront as a discipline that can and will provide solutions to today's challenges of humanity on this planet.
Welcome to Reykjavik in August 2014.
On behalf of the local organizing committee,
Brynhildur Davidsdottir, Professor of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Iceland