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04 décembre 2019

Paradigms, Models, Scenarios and Practices for strong sustainability

Paradigms, Models, Scenarios and Practices
for strong sustainability
University of Clermont Auvergne (UCA)
Jean Monnet Excellence Center on Sustainability (ERASME)
4 - 5 - 6 December 2019, Maison des Sciences de l’Homme,
4 rue Ledru, Clermont-Ferrand, France

Backdrop: While the notion of sustainability continues to be associated with the
Brundtland Report (1987) and the concept of sustainable development, it is
increasingly seeking to emancipate itself in order to provide a representation of the
world that is consistent with the aspirations of the moment. Everything must be
sustainable; agriculture, food, natural resources, biodiversity, water, energy, cities,
territories, tourism... At the risk of falling into overkill and excess, our social model
must be part of a strong sustainability and refuse any compromise with possible coverups
(we can mention here green growth, green washing, decoupling or even the latest
creation, sustainable innovation).
This enthusiasm and its expectations for more sustainability go beyond the
environmental framework. Indeed, if reducing our ecological footprint is a necessity,
it is associated with other objectives (the famous SDGs) that claim a certain legitimacy.
The eradication of poverty, the reduction of inequalities, access for all to education,
electricity and water, the development of 100% renewable energy... are part of a
political discourse, targets of major international institutions, but also demands from
the world's citizens. The recent events in France, the movement of yellow vests, is an
excellent illustration of this. Motivated by the increase in the domestic consumption
tax on energy products, this movement has gradually been extended to other social
demands (increase in purchasing power, maintenance of public services, improvement
of democracy, etc.), and then spread to a large number of countries (Germany,
Belgium, Spain, Ireland, United Kingdom, etc.).
This call for papers intends to use these facts and expectations to question the
paradigms, models, scenarios and practices that embody this thirst for sustainability.
As curious as it may seem, subjects such as renewable energies, participatory
democracy, organic farming and eco-cities did not wait to be driven by the wave of
sustainability to claim certain practices or propose alternative representations. As a
result, one may wonder what meaning should be given to the very idea of
sustainability and the representations it conveys.
Themes: The organizers of the symposium intend to focus on strong sustainability
papers and the following themes, however, any proposal that raises debate or
questions about sustainability will be carefully considered:
1° How do the different sciences approach the question of sustainability, are there
important differences between the Social Sciences, Engineering Sciences, Life and
Earth Sciences? Do the Social Sciences have a unanimous and universal vision of
sustainability or should we distinguish Economics (and their approach in terms of
weak and strong sustainability) from the Communication Sciences or other Social
Sciences (geography, sociology, anthropology...). This first theme aims to propose a
collection of representations on sustainability and to initiate debates around an
interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary approach to sustainability.
Call for papers – Paradigms, Models, Scenarios and Practices for strong sustainability
2° What are the dimensions and themes that embody or on the contrary escape the
discourse on sustainability. This second theme also raises the question of new fields of
sustainability (urban agriculture, sustainable cities, education for sustainability,
sustainable mobility, gender, etc.) or measures reflecting a certain idea of sustainability
(universal income, complementary currency, zero unemployment territories, etc.).
3° What are the paradigms that embody today the very idea of strong sustainability?
By paradigm, we mean here a representation of the world or a way of seeing things
based on a disciplinary matrix, a theoretical model, a current of thought, or even a set
of so-called citizen practices. Should we position strong sustainability at the level of
so-called alternative paradigms, such as Social and Solidarity Economy, Collaborative
Economy, Economy of sharing, Ecodevelopment, Degrowth, Complexity’s theory,
Buen vivir, Ecological Economics, Political Ecology, Industrial Ecology, Bioeconomy,
Bio-baised Economy... or is it rather the simple return of utopias to the ideology of
growth and technological progress?
4° What are the models, methods and scientific tools that leave in off space for strong
sustainability? The latter refers to the modelling of complex and dynamic systems.
System thinking or system dynamics are often presented as appropriate methods to
address system complexity (feedback loops, time effects and timelines) and
sustainability at the global level (within the boundaries of the system under study).
Tools such as Life Cycle Analysis, Material Flow Analysis Input-Ouput Analysis,
Circles of Sustainability are also used in engineering and social sciences to define the
notion of sustainability. Finally, some model such as World Model and Integrated
Assessment Models (IAM) or propose to integrate energy, economic, climate and
environmental issues (air quality, biodiversity, etc.) in order to suggest mitigation/
adaptation strategies to policy makers or long term scenarios (population, food,
agriculture, natural resourceS). How do these models fit (or not) into a strong
sustainability framework?
5° Which scenarios by 2025, 2050 or 2100 most embody the idea of strong
sustainability? Should scenarios such as green growth, steady state, degrowth or
collapse be seen as ways of thinking (or not) about sustainability? What place should
we give to the so-called utopian scenarios (100% renewable energies) and describing
what we would like for the future in the face of the so-called pragmatic scenarios (the
energy mix) and embodying an energy transition? Doesn't the idea of transition finally
move us away from a strong sustainability scheme? It could even be seen as an abuse
of weakness, distilled by lobbies that are not ready to make the radical changes
necessary to move towards a better life society.
6° How to finance this sustainability? If governments and major international
institutions are investing in renewable energies, organic farming, positive energy
buildings and sustainable mobility, the question arises today as to how to finance these
actions and strategies. Taxes and subsidies (and more generally taxation), public
Call for papers – Paradigms, Models, Scenarios and Practices for strong sustainability
spending (at national or European level), the reform of financial markets... or the
implementation of an active monetary policy could all be tools that commit our
societies to greater sustainability.
7° How to assess sustainability? The latter is often put in tension, between scientific
discourse, political debates and field practices. A sustainability assessment raises a set
of questions and issues: What can be assessed (in terms of sustainability objectives)?
Who can evaluate (in the sense of expertise)? How to evaluate (in terms of procedures,
methods and indicators)?
Practical information
Proposals for papers in English or French should include:
- a title,
- a 300-500 word abstract,
- the names of the authors, their institutions, and their e-mail addresses,
- the choice between an oral presentation or a poster.
Proposals must be submitted on the platform:
before July 15th, 2019. The final texts and posters must be sent by 15 November 2019.
A publication of papers is possible via two journals (Revue Francophone du
développement durable and European Review on Sustainability and Degrowth), as
well as in a collective book that will gather impressions and discussions from
Three prizes will be awarded at the end of the Symposium:
1) The Jean Monnet Prize for Sustainability for an expert researcher,
2) The Donella Meadows Prize for Sustainability for a young female researcher, and
3) The ERASME Poster Prize for the audience and participants’ favourite poster.
Researchers who wish to candidate for the first two prizes must send their final paper
before September 15th, 2019 to For the winners, travel and
conference accommodations will be taken in charge. Besides, they will receive an
invitation for a 15-day stay at the Jean Monnet Excellence Center for Sustainability
The conference will include various opportunities for communication and discussion
of sustainability research and practices, including keynote speeches, oral paper
presentation sessions, poster pitch talk tours, roundtable discussions, a sustainability
concert, and a sustainability poetry slam. Optionally, participants can join a
social/sporty activity Saturday after the conference to explore the beautiful volcanic
surroundings of Clermont-Ferrnand.
The conference is labelled Erasmus+, it is part of the activities of the Jean Monnet
Excellence Center on Sustainability (ERASME), located at the UCA (Polytech Clermont
Call for papers – Paradigms, Models, Scenarios and Practices for strong sustainability
Arnaud Diemer:
Julian Torres:
Information and registration:
Organizing Committee
David Collste, Patricia Coelho, Arnaud Diemer, Florian Dierickx, Johanna Gisladottir, Ganna
Gladkykh, Jennifer Hinton, Faheem Khushik, Manuel Morales, Eduard Nedelciu,
Abdourakhmane Ndiaye, Maartje Oostdijk, Timothée Parrique, Marie Schellens, Nathalie
Spittler, Julian Torres.
Scientific Committee
Belaïd Abrika (UMMTO, Algeria), Christian Adamescu (Research Centre in Systems Ecology
and Sustainability, University of Bucarest, Romania), Eric Agbessi (UCA, France), Gerd Alhert
(GWS, Germany), Aleix Altimiras Martin (UNICAMP, Brazil), Najet Aroua (Ecole
Polytechnique d’Architecture et d’Urbanisme, Algeria), Virginie Baritaux (VetAgro Sup,
France), Cécile Batisse (UCA-CERDI), Salim Belyazid (Stockholm University, Sweden), Eric
Berr (University of Bordeaux, Gretha, France), Simone Bertoli (UCA, CERDI, France), Jérôme
Blanc (Sciences Po Lyon, Triangle, France), Dominique Bourg (UNIL, Switzerland), Nicolas
Buclet (University Grenoble Alpes, France), Pascal Carrère (INRA, France), Derek Chan
(Millenium Institute, USA), Eric Dacheux (UCA, France), Guillaume Deffuant (Irstea, France),
Arnaud Diemer (UCA, CERDI, France), Ali Douai (University of Nice Sophia Antipolis,
GREDEG, France), Nicolas Duracka (CISCA, France), Gilles Dussap (Polytech Clermont
Ferrand, France), Suren Erkman (UNIL, Lausanne, Switzerland), Etienne Espagne (AFD,
CERDI, France), Marie Fare (University of Lyon 2, Triangle, France), Sylvie Ferrari (University
of Bordeaux, Gretha, France), Catherine Figuière (University Alpes Grenoble, CREG, France),
Gérard Fonty (GREFFE, France), Geraldine Froger (University of Toulouse, France), Giorgos
Kallis (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain), Rafia Halawany-Darson (VetAgro Sup,
France), Paul James (Western University of Sydney, Australia), Jean-Marc Lange (University
of Montpellier, France), Elisabete Linhares (Santarem, Portugal), Salma Loudiyi (VetAgro Sup,
France), Jean-Philippe Luis (MSH Clermont-Ferrand, France), Gilles Mailhot (UCA, FRE,
France), Sébastien Marchand (UCA, CERDI, France), Jean Denis Mathias (Irstea, France), Paulo
Marques (University of Sao Paulo, Brazil), Aurélie Méjean (CIRED, France), Mark Meyer
(GWS, Germany), Antoine Missemer (CIRED, France), Jenneth Parker (Schumacher Institute),
Matteo Pedercini (Millennium Institute), Francine Pellaud (HEP Fribourg, Switzerland), Lydia
Prieg (Cambridge University, United Kingdom), Laurent Rieutort (IADT, France), Laurence
Roudart (ULB, Belgium), Lucie Sauvé (UQAM, Canada), Valeria Jana Schwanitz (Western
Norway University of Applied Sciences, Norway), Anne Snick (KU Leuven, Belgium),
Raffaela Taddeo (University G. d’Annunzio of Chieti-Pescara, Italy), Ariane Tichit (UCACERDI),
Sebastian Toc (Research Institute for Quality of Life, Romanian Academy, Romania),
Laurent Trognon (AgroParisTech, France), Franck-Dominique Vivien (University Reims
Champagne Ardennes, France), Dmitry Ymashev (Lancaster University, United Kingdom),
Jean Paul Vanderlinden (University Paris Saclay – University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-
Yvelines, France), Tommaso Venturini (CNRS, France), Videira Nuno (New University of
Lisbon, Portugal), Peter Victor (York University, Canada).


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