10b. Sustainable development in Latin America: challenges and opportunities

Track Chairs

  • Janaina Macke , Social Theory Research Group, University of Caxias do Sul (UCS), Brazil.
  • Eduardo Wills-Herrera, Universidad de Los Andes, Colombia.
  • Marcelo Jasmin Meiriño, Federal Fluminense University (UFF), Brazil.
  • Márcia Cristiane Vaclavik, International Observatory of Careers (OIC), Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.

Goals and Objectives and Areas of the Track

Sustainable development orientation creates value for society and organizations. Economic, ecological, and social aspects of sustainability, focused on long-term strategies, are essential for current and future generations. Sustainability is, then, particularly relevant to regions that face structural and deep issues (CEPAL 2020a), as in many Latin American countries. Social and economic vulnerabilities – as increasing inequality, unemployment, and labor underutilization, undereducation, gender, ethnic and race gaps, poverty, violence, the decline in economic growth projections – associated with environmental issues – as deforestation, pollution, and energy questions – are at the same time a substantial challenge and a great opportunity for development (CEPAL & UNEP, 2002; ILO, 2020).

As pointed by the United Nations Development Program for Latin American and the Caribbean  (UNDP, 2020a), 38% of the population are facing some vulnerability, just 40% of the people in the region feel safe, only 37% of all legislators and senior officials are female, and 80% of the population lives in urban areas. Among them, approximately 50 million indigenous people belong to 500 different ethnic groups, one of the most socially vulnerable groups in the world (UNDP, 2020b). All these issues are amplified considering the global dynamics, as immigration movements or changes imposed by accelerated technologies innovation. The Covid-19 pandemic crisis had exposed the whole world to health and financial vulnerabilities, and Latin American countries are especially exposed – which is also an opportunity to reorient the development path towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (CEPAL, 2020b).

The inequalities, difficulties, and challenges are then enlarged for Latin American citizens, organizations, public and political spheres since they have to deal with peculiar and contextual global south questions to promote and (re)structure sustainable development. On the other hand, its bio, cultural and social diversity is a fertile ground for driving sustainable transformations that could impact not just locally but also worldwide and contribute to the development of a better world and place to live and work.

The track is methodologically and philosophically diverse and welcomes studies in many areas of study. Papers can examine Latin American issues using a broad range of analytical lenses, sited at micro, meso, or macro perspectives. We invite the academic community to submit theoretical and empirical researches in the following areas, closely related, but not limited, to the sustainability approach in the Latin American context, especially considering the UNESCO Sustainable Development Goals:

  • Education: quality and access, education for sustainability, formal and informal initiatives on education for sustainability.
  • Sustainable and smart cities and innovation ecosystems initiatives, including partnerships and alliances, for improvement of industry and infrastructure but also focused on good health and well-being.
  • Initiatives on sustainable consumption and production.
  • Decent Work, labor market, and career strategies for sustainability.
  • Initiatives on challenges that consider climate changes, biodiversity, life on land, and life below water.
  • Promotion of social and political equity: intersectionality approach and its relation with sustainability, including gender, race, class, sexuality, ethnic issues, and others. Questions regarding indigenous people and their struggles, and also other discrimination issues, like racism or sexism.
  • Health, wellbeing and sustainability.
  • Institutional change and sustainability. Legal and representative institutions for promoting peace and justice, and civil and NGO organizations focused on broader aspects of sustainability.


CEPAL (Comissão Econômica para a América Latina e o Caribe). (2020a). Panorama Social da América Latina, 2019. Resumo executivo (LC/PUB.2020/1-P), Santiago.

CEPAL. (2020b). Estudo Econômico da América Latina e do Caribe: principais condicionantes das políticas fiscal e monetária na era pós-pandemia de COVID-19. Resumo executivo (LC/PUB.2020/13), Santiago.

CEPAL & UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme). (2002). The sustainability of development in Latin America and the Caribbean: challenges and opportunities.

ILO (International Labour Office). (2020). World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2020. Geneva: ILO.

UNDP. (2020). United Nations Development Program for Latin American and the Caribbean website. Available at

UNDP. (2020b). The situation of Latin America’s indigenous population and the impact of COVID-19. Available at: https://www.latinamerica.undp.org/content/rblac/en/home/blog/2020/impacto-y-situacion-de-la-poblacion-indigena-latinoamericana-ant.html.

UNESCO. (2015). Sustainable Development Goals. Available at https://en.unesco.org/sustainabledevelopmentgoals.

Length and content of the proposed abstract to the track

Each proposed abstract (in connection to an area pointed out above) of between 300 and 500 words (including all aspects),

  1. shall be best organized (without headlines) along usual structures (e.g. intro/method/findings or results/ discussion/conclusions)
  2. does not need to, but can include references
  3. shall provide in a final section
    a. to which SDG(s) and SDG-target(s) their proposed abstract especially relate to (e.g. “SDG+Target: 14.1.”).
    b. a brief indication how the proposed contribution relates to the topic of the Conference (“ACCELERATING PROGRESS TOWARDS SDG’s IN TIMES OF CRISIS”).

Abstracts which do not outline points 3.a.) AND 3.b.) might not be given special consideration in the selection for potential publications and might be considered less relevant in the Review.

Potential publication channels

With regard to potential publications, depending on the number and quality of contributions the following publication opportunities have already been confirmed:

Brazilian Journal of Operations and Production Management (BJO&PM): Full paper contributions of high novelty and quality will be considered for submission as a thematic collection (special issue).

Brazilian Journal of Operations and Production Management (ISSN (Online): 2237-8960) is a Journal of  ABEPRO – Brazilian Association of Production Engineering. BJO&PM mission is to provide  an internationally respected stream for original and relevant research; indexed at: Web of Science (Clarivate Analytics), DOAJ, Google Scholar; https://bjopm.emnuvens.com.br/bjopm

Although BJO&PM is a multidisciplinary journal our main focus is applied research in the following areas: Economic and Financial Management;Environmental Management; Ergonomics and Safety; Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility; Information Technology; Operational Research; Organization and Strategy; Planning and Production Control; Project Management; Supply Chain Management and Logistics; Technology and Information Systems; Technology and Innovation.

The current editor-in-chief is the Prof. Dr. Osvaldo Luiz Gonçalves Quelhas, from the Production Engineering Department, UFF.


Please submit your abstract by visiting the abstract submission system (you will be required to setup an account first) at


Extended deadline for abstracts: 15 February 2021

PLEASE ALSO CONSIDER A PARTICIPATION IN OUR PHD-WORKSHOP! https://2021.isdrsconferences.org/phd-workshop/