Conference theme

Wellbeing and equity within planetary boundaries

In the first decade of the 21 century countries around the world have witnessed financial and economic meltdown, increased environmental pressures and resource exploitation and growing social inequity and unrest. The dynamic interrelationship between these problems and the limitations planetary boundaries exert on economic activity and society gain increasing attention.

In a situation of multiple crises, trust in traditional economic paradigms is failing and many see them as contributing more to the problem than to the solution. Alternative approaches are being sought. Ecological Economics might provide such an alternative, but is Ecological Economics up to this task? Can it provide sufficiently systemic perspectives that capture the inter-linkages between societal problems? Can it move beyond its critique of traditional economics and guide towards concrete solutions?

The intellectual and policy challenges seem insurmountable against the backdrop of established interests and thinking. Yet, in these times of rapid social, economic and environmental change new opportunities are opened up to bring together insights from the many academic disciplines that already address these challenges, and to build bridges between the science and practitioner communities.

The 2014 ISEE conference aims to provide a setting where Ecological Economics ambitions are tried out, examining if the community is up to making a difference in securing Wellbeing and Equity within Planetary Boundaries.

To achieve this aim the conference will provide a platform for mobilizing the world's intellectual capacity and creativity, concentrating on three overarching themes that all relate closely to the focal concept of the conference. The themes are: i) Planetary boundaries and resource constraints, ii) Equity and economic development dynamics, and iii) A great transition ahead? For each theme numerous sub-themes have been identified.

We will make a special effort at international outreach and provide our member organizations with opportunities to present and discuss the overarching themes from their regional perspectives.

On behalf of the Scientific Programme Committee
Marina Fischer-Kowalski, President of ISEE

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