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The 7th World Sustainability Forum

The 7th World Sustainability Forum

17-20 September 2018
Venue: University of International Business and Economics, Beijing, China

Organizing Institutions: China: University of International Business and Economics and Tsinghua University; Switzerland: University of Basel and MDPI Sustainability Foundation

The 7th World Sustainability Forum and the Sustainable Development Education Forum will be held from 17-20 September 2018 at the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE) in Beijing, China. WSF2018 is an international scientific conference sponsored by the journal Sustainability under the patronage of the  University of International Business and Economics (Beijing), Tsinghua University (Beijing),  University of Basel (Switzerland), MDPI Sustainability Foundation Basel (Switzerland), International Green Economy Association (IGEA),  and  the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UN SDSN). 

Conference presentations will be simultaneously translated between Chinese/Mandarin and English.

The World Sustainability Award  and the Emerging Sustainability Leader Award will be conferred at the gala dinner of the conference. The World Sustainability Award is endowed with USD 100'000; the Emerging Sustainability Leader Award with USD 10'000.

Welcome from the Chairs of the 7th World Sustainability Forum

The adoption of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in September 2015 was accompanied by what insiders considered an optimism they have not experienced in relation to UN resolutions before. The relative efficiency in the drafting, the absence of trenches between East and West, or between North and South, and the unanimity of support of the 193 countries speak volumes. In stark contrast, sustainability and dealing with it could be the poster child for what Robert Horn called a social mess (2007: 6): “a set of interrelated problems … resistant to analysis and, more importantly, to resolution.” Characteristics of a social mess generally, and sustainability specifically, include an absence of a unique and correct solution, interrelatedness of problems, ideological constraints, multiple possible intervention points, resistance to change, value conflict, and political and economic constraints. While these are excellent ingredients for a thorough academic debate, the issues underpinning the sustainability debate are so urgent that, beyond academic reflection, much more is necessary than what academics, political leaders, administrators, industry, nations, communities, and individuals are habitually prepared to do.

The 7th World Sustainability Forum in Beijing in September 2018 is an excellent opportunity for researchers, practitioners, and policy makers to engage with this topic, to expose the urgency of the issues, and to recognize individual, collective, and national opportunities associated therewith. The WSF2018 in China is also an excellent opportunity to sensitize researchers toward differences in national context and culture, and how considerable progress on sustainability can be made, despite the multitude of challenges and differences around the world.

Manfred Max Bergman, University of Basel 

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Confirmed Main Speakers

HE Ban Ki-moonHE Ban Ki-moon
UN Secretary General 2007-2016

Prof Klaus LeisingerKL
President of the Global Values Alliance Foundation; Professor of Sociology, University of Basel, Switzerland

Executive Committee


Prof Lan Xue
Cheung Kong Chair Professor and Dean of the School of Public Policy and Management (SPPM) at Tsinghua University, Beijing, China and Co-Chair of the Executive Committee UN SDSN, a global initiative of the United Nations


Mr Zukang Sha
Former Chinese Ambassador to the UN and Honorary Chairman of IGEA, Beijing, China



Prof Max Bergman
Professor of Social Research and Methodology, University of Basel, Switzerland; Visiting Professor at the University of International Business and Economics, Beijing, China; and member of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, Research Council of the Swiss National Science Foundation, and the Swiss UNESCO National Commission, and the Uganda Academy of Sciences.



Dr Baocheng Liu
Director CIBE, Center for International Business Ethics, Beijing China



Mr Jihai Deng
Executive Director of IGEA, Beijing, China



Prof Youfu Xia
Executive Director of China Strategy Research Center for Open Economy and International Technology Cooperation at the University of International Business & Economics (UIBE), Beijing, China


Prof Giuseppe Ioppolo
Department of Economics, University of Messina, Italy



Conference Secretariat

Dr Shu-Kun Lin
Dr Guoshui Liu
Susan Wang
Xiaosong Li
Dr Franck Vazquez
Zinette Bergman
Marcella Zamparelli

Matthias Burkhalter

E-mail: wsf7@wsforum.org
Tel. +41 61 683 77 35

Sponsoring Opportunities

For questions regarding sponsoring opportunities, please contact the secretariat, Marcella Zamparelli zamparelli@wsforum.org or Matthias Burkhalter burkhalter@wsforum.org

Mailing Address

MDPI Sustainability Foundation
WSF 2018 Secretariat
St. Alban-Anlage 66
4052 Basel, Switzerland