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Alberto Martinelli, ISSC President - Welcome to this first issue of the Transformations to Sustainability newsletter. Since the launch of the Transformations to Sustainability programme in 2014, we’ve been delighted by the strength of engagement of the research community and support for the programme’s aim of building a truly global hub for knowledge on social transformations to sustainability. This newsletter is intended to be a first step towards enabling regular connections between researchers involved in the programme, highlighting the impact and outputs of their research and sharing new ideas and opportunities for collaboration. As the ISSC and the International Council for Science (ICSU) explore closer institutional alignment, the Transformations to Sustainability programme provides a positive example of the kind of collaboration across disciplinary boundaries that is urgently needed to respond to the global challenges of today.

The ambitious target of limiting warming to 1.5⁰C, as agreed by 195 countries at the COP21 in December 2015, and the need to accompany the implementation and monitoring of the Sustainable Development Goals pose new and untold challenges for science. Methodologically rigorous and theoretically robust research from the social sciences is beginning to reveal the kind of social, economic and cultural shifts needed to remain within 1.5⁰C. This is one of the things that I like best about the Transformations to Sustainability programme, namely that it goes beyond examining what’s needed to look at how we actually get there in a way that is just and durable.

This newsletter is for all of us. It is a tool that we can use to discuss emerging ideas and insights into new research, and to share success or doubts. We hope that you will enjoy reading it, and will feel motivated to contribute to future editions. As Marco Armiero says in our new video, it’s time to foster great research in a cooperative rather than a competitive spirit. So please share this newsletter widely, and keep sharing your ideas for the next edition!

Webinar: Transformative Knowledge Networks – solutions-oriented research in practice July 5, 2016 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM CEST
Join researchers from the Transformations to Sustainability programme for a webinar on solutions-oriented research in practice. Find out how the networks intend to contribute to transformative change towards sustainability and social justice and share ideas on co-designed and co-produced research. Register now.
Several representatives from the programme recently took part in the Undisciplined Environments Conference in Stockholm, Sweden, where there was a special session to discuss Transformations to Sustainability - watch all the videos here
After a discussion about communications, hubs do a quick exercise to describe the  networks they will work with
The programme's three Transformative Knowledge Networks recently held inaugural workshops - the PATHWAYS network met in Buenos Aires, Argentina; the ACKnowl-EJ network in Barcelona, Spain, and the T-LEARNING network in Grahamstown, South Africa. The three networks also connected online to share ideas and identify areas of complementarity. 
Save the Date - The World Social Science Report 2016: Challenging Inequalities – Pathways to a Just World will be launched on Thursday, 22 September 2016, at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden. The event is hosted by the Swedish Secretariat for Environmental Earth System Sciences (SSEESS). Register
Representations of the Diverse (More than Capitalist) Economy
Members of the Community Economies Research Network received a 2016 Antipode Foundation Scholar-Activist Project Award for their proposal “Re-drawing the economy: creating place-based images that can travel” which is based on a modified segment of their TKN proposal on Ethical Economic Prototyping: A Strategy for Making Other Worlds Possible.
The scientific community is invited to provide input into the IPCC's Special Report on the impacts of warming of 1.5C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emissions pathways. The IPCC is particularly keen to integrate social science expertise into this scoping process, and invited the ISSC to nominate a representative to the IPCC Steering Committee for the Scoping Report meeting. Following nomination by the ISSC Susi Moser, Special Adviser to the Transformations to Sustainability programme, has been selected to participate on the Steering Committee.

Input from the social science community on the human dimensions of remaining with 1.5
C is particularly important - please complete the survey by July 15 2016
The Social Challenge of 1.5C - catch up on the recent Future Earth Transformations Knowledge Action Network webinar. 


How will the Transformations to Sustainability networks address the Northern bias of research agendas?


Talking Transdisciplinarity with Ulrike Felt: New Research in Science, Technology & Human ValuesBackchannels, 12 March, 2016

The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century by Steven Pinker

Postcapitalism: a guide to our future by Paul Mason

Give a Man a Fish: Reflections on the New Politics of Distribution by James Ferguson


Energy policy: Renewables targeted before Fukushima, Aleh Cherp & Jessica Jewell, Nature, 4 May 2016

'Transformation' as New Critical Orthodoxy. The Strategic Use of the Term 'Transformation' Does Not Prevent Multiple Crises. Ulrich Brand (2016), GAIA – Ecological Perspectives for Science and Society 25(1), 23-27 

Bridging analytical approaches for low-carbon transitions, Frank W. Geels, Frans Berkhout & Detlef P. van Vuuren, Nature Climate Change, May 2016

Kerkennah: on the frontline of resistance to the fossil fuel industry in Tunisia, Hamza Hamouchene, Open Democracy, 4 June 2016

Is there a global environmental justice movement? Joan Martinez-Alier, Leah Temper, Daniela Del Bene, Arnim Scheidel, The Journal of Peasant Studies, Vol. 43:1, 2016


The Global Challenges Research Fund is a £1.5billion fund recently announced by the UK government. It includes a number of different funding calls for cutting-edge research that addresses the challenges faced by developing countries. In general, proposals for international teams must be led by UK-based researchers. 

Towards a Sustainable Earth: The environment-human landscape
GCRF Strategic Networks call
Sustainable Development Programme


Institute of Development Studies 50th Anniversary Conference: States, Markets and Society
5 - 6 July 2016
University of Sussex, UK
Join members of the PATHWAYS network and the ISSC World Social Science Report 2016 pre-launch

SPRU 50th Anniversary Conference: Transforming Innovation
7 - 9 September 2016
University of Sussex, UK
Catch up with members of the PATHWAYS network

Sustainability and Social Science Research Symposium
 17 -19 May 2017
University of Michigan, USA 
Call for abstracts open

Transformations 2017 - Transformations in Practice
August 30 - September 1 2017
Dundee, UK
Call for abstracts open

Vikal Sangams / Alternatives Confluences across India 
Partners of the ACKnowl-EJ network, Kalpavriksh, Vikal Sangams and Red Confluencias, are promoting regional gatherings of people practising alternatives that not only challenge the dominant ‘development’ paradigm, but provide viable pathways for human wellbeing that are ecologically sustainable and socio-economically equitable.
Find out more

Contributions to this newsletter are welcome at
The Transformations to Sustainability Programme is coordinated by the ISSC and funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).
Copyright © 2016 International Science Council, All rights reserved.

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Opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this newsletter are those of the contributors; the ISSC and its partners in the Transformations to Sustainability Programme accept no liability in this regard.