University of Vermont

7th Annual Conference of U.S. Society for Ecological Economics
Conference Themes | 7th Annual Conference of U.S. Society for Ecological Economics

Conference Themes

Main Theme

Building Local, Scaling Global: Implementing Solutions for Sustainability

This will serve as the overarching theme of the Conference. The organizing committee uses 'sustainability' in the broad sense of the word, to include all of the components of adaptability and resilience necessary to confront the socio-ecological problems of our time, and the various lenses to analyze the complex interactions of the economic and social subsystems of our containing ecosystems. With that in mind, we have outlined three major implementing themes for the conference that highlight the transdisciplinary nature of our work.

Implementing Themes

1. Re-building the biophysical base of ecological economics

The economy exists as a subsystem of the sustaining ecosystem. We encourage submissions that highlight the constraints of this biophysical reality, and the implications for economic activity.

This is a broad theme, and the Organizing Committee has identified several edges to explore, which is by no means exhaustive and we encourage additional interpretations: EROI for various energy sources; thresholds and irreversibilities; energy impacts on economies/sectors (food/transportation/finance/etc.); energy revolutions-exotics to proven; restoration and ecological design; surplus production, capital accumulation, and sustainable investment; incorporating energy into production functions; biophysical theory of value; methods/limitations of biophysical economics; energy, complexity, and simplicity; diminishing global EROI and international security; biophysical measures of sustainability; EROI in public policy and decision-making; etc.

2. Bridging ecological and behavioral economics

Human beings exhibit much more complexity than the simple assumptions of homo economicus. We encourage submissions that focus on the advances in the behavioral sciences, how they shape our ecological economic analyses, and how they relate to sustainability initiatives.

This is a broad theme, and the Organizing Committee has identified several edges to explore, which is by no means exhaustive and we encourage additional interpretations:  Pro-social behavior; cooperation and altruism; collective action; intrinsic and extrinsic motivations; coevolutionary theory and models; experimental economics; alternative models to homo economicus; fairness and morality; perception of risk and uncertainty; firm and market behavior; agent-based modeling; behavior in commons problems; institutional design; etc.

3. Designing social policy and education for the Anthropocene

The Anthropocene has been characterized as a period of relative climate instability, which will impact all of the institutions humanity developed during the last 10,000 years of climate stability. We encourage submissions that focus on the issues of governance, distribution, and social conflict in light of this current reality, as well as the impact on the changing role of education and the academy.

This is a broad theme, and the Organizing Committee has identified several edges to explore, which is by no means exhaustive and we encourage additional interpretations: Justice and sustainabililty; property rights; teaching ecological economics; population politics; food security; structures/politics of transition; social change; scale in governance; EE and race; EE and gender; is Capitalism sustainable?; etc.

In addition, we have outlined several underlying themes that will course through the conference.

Underlying Sub-Themes

1. EE Practice

Across all three implementing themes, EE needs to address the practitioner-academic nexus. The transdiscipline was born as a problem-based approach to socio-ecological concerns. We highly encourage presentation and workshop proposals that integrate practitioner perspectives, frame innovative and practitioner-relevant research agendas, and demonstrate the Ecological Economics approach in action.

2. EE Communication

Across all three implementing themes, the EE transdiscipline needs to work on framing our arguments, aligning EE with other social movements, and bringing EE to the center of current popular discourse on the economy, equity, justice, etc. We highly encourage the inclusion of presentations and special sessions that focus on the communication of Ecological Economics and how to make it relevant.

 

Last modified January 23 2013 01:01 PM

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