7c. Sustainable economic models

Track Chairs

Goals and Objectives of the Track

Following the 2008 economic crisis and with the extraordinary impacts of the 2020 COVID19 pandemic, the limits of the growth-oriented capitalist economic paradigm have become very clear. Unquestioned economic growth, the environmental costs of production and consumption processes, and the social inequalities resulting from these standard industrial practices cannot be sustained. This unsustainable development is not limited to the traditional capitalist countries but the whole global capitalist system, including post-communist countries, emerging economies and developing countries. Green economy and green growth suggest promising adaptations of the global growth-oriented system but the present climate and biodiversity crises call for transformations. Alternative economic approaches and paradigms have emerged at different scales that speak to emerging de-growth debates and seek to oppose or subvert the growth-driven capitalist paradigm. This theme considers new, alternative, diverse, and socially just economic development both in the global North and South.

This track welcomes contributions that include:

  • Conceptual contributions that challenge the growth paradigm within the global capitalist system (including ideas of green, smart, post-, de- and qualitative growth).
  • Analysis of and reflections on policy approaches such as European Union’s green deal and the ‘Green New Deal’ proposed in the United States.
  • Alternative approaches to greening, such as nature-based solutions and biomimicry.
  • Case studies of anti-consumerist and anti-capitalist initiatives.
  • Commons, cooperatives, and new forms of organizations.
  • Different examples of sharing economies.
  • Green and alternative consumer practices (e.g. as they relate to sufficiency and reduced consumption).
  • Environmental justice-driven development including pro-poor growth.
  • De-growth and alternative economic models of production.
  • Increasing business model resilience to achieve climate, energy, and biodiversity sustainability.

In addition, we are interested in data-driven speculative submissions (including modelling, thought experiments, and scenarios) that consider how sustainable economic models can be implemented through pandemic recovery policies and initiatives.

Length and content of the proposed abstract to the track

This track facilitates an interdisciplinary discussion of the human-in-nature realms of sustainable development, with a focus on poverty and inequality, and the relationships between these and environmental conditions, institutions and governance, and economic development and innovation. Robust studies incorporating quantitative methods are encouraged, as are inter- and transdisciplinary research methods and authorship, critical theoretical discussions, and innovative presentations.

Each submitted abstract should address topics related to these themes. Abstracts should be 300 to 500 words in length, and include:

a. Title, author/s, and affiliation/s.
b. Background, study methods, key findings or results, and implications.
c. A comment identifying the SDGs relevant to the paper.
d. A comment indicating how the proposed presentation relates to the conference theme “Accelerating progress towards SDGs in time of crisis.”
e. A comment describing the presentation approach, recognizing the online platform that will be used, and explaining the presenter’s approach and use of media.

Potential publication channels

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

  1. A Special Issue proposal to Sustainable Development (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10991719, IF 4.082), Sustainability (https://www.mdpi.com/journal/sustainability, IF 2.576), Ecological Economics (https://www.journals.elsevier.com/ecological-economics, IF 4.482), or other appropriate journal.
  2. A collaborative paper submission for Nature Sustainability (https://www.nature.com/natsustain/).
  3. Other outputs as proposed.


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/