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The 5th World Sustainability Forum


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The 5th World Sustainability Forum

7–9 September 2015
Universitätsspital Basel, Zentrum für Lehre und Forschung, Main Lecture Hall, Hebelstrasse 20,  Basel, Switzerland
An international scientific conference of the journal Sustainability under the patronage of the University of Basel.


Welcome from the Swiss Federal Councillor J.N. Schneider Ammann

I warmly welcome you to the 5th World Sustainability Forum. This Forum takes place at a promising moment from a sustainability perspective. The intergovernmental negotiations on both Financing for Development and the 2030-Agenda for Sustainable Development have just been concluded successfully. This opens the way for the official adoption of the 2030- Agenda for Sustainable Development by heads of state and government on the margins of the UN General Assembly later this month. Switzerland welcomes this universal framework for sustainable development, which guides our efforts between now and 2030.

Switzerland has played an active and substantive role in the elaboration of the 2030- Agenda. The 2030-Agenda acknowledges that global challenges such as extreme poverty, environmental degradation and climate change can only be solved if all countries and stakeholders contribute jointly to implement the so-called Sustainable Development Goals, while taking into account the interactions between the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. Now that the framework is defined, let us set our sights on its implementation. Switzerland intends to implement it through activities at home and abroad, independently and with partners. The whole government supports the 2030- Agenda in a number of ways.

For instance, the economic cooperation and development of my ministry provides technical assistance to support developing countries in creating better tax systems. As a result, these countries can better raise domestic resources to finance sustainable development. This support is fully aligned with the 2030-Agenda, which underlines that domestic resources are central to the pursuit of sustainable development. Another example involves various ministries: REPIC (Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Promotion in International Cooperation) is a platform to support renewable energy and energy efficiency projects by offering seed money and capacity development for promising initiatives run in collaboration with local entrepreneurs in developing countries. In Tajikistan, for example, REPIC is supporting a small hydropower initiative in a remote village, by providing technology and know-how transfer. These examples illustrate how we can contribute to implementing the 2030-Agenda.

As all of us prepare to implement the Agenda for Sustainable Development, I commend you for choosing sustainability as the focus of your work and wish you well in exploring how your efforts can contribute to sustainable development.


Welcome from the Chair of the Forum

2015 is an important year for all of us. We are taking stock of the accomplishments based on the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that were adopted in the year 2000. The results of these efforts are immensely positive. In most countries around the globe, extreme poverty and hunger have been reduced, and infant, child, and maternal mortality have decreased. Girls have better access to primary schooling, progress has been made in slowing the spread of HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, access to safe drinking water and sanitation has improved, and more information and knowledge is available to more people via the internet than ever before. However, not all goals have been achieved and some regions have benefitted less, particularly Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia.

The period marked by the MDGs will end in December 2015. As part of the post-2015 development agenda, the international community is working intensely on a new set of goals, the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to be adopted at the 70th Session of the UN General Assembly in the second half of September 2015. The new set of goals, despite their similarity in some aspects, go beyond the MDGs in that (a) the formulation and focus of the goals are more encompassing, explicitly requiring active participation from wealthy and poor nations alike, and that (b) the overall focus is shifting away from ameliorating the situation of poor and underdeveloped regions and societies toward improving the sustainability of global economic and social development while concurrently protecting the environment.

The 5th World Sustainability Forum aims to be a platform for researchers to present and engage with research-relevant stakeholders on issues relating to sustainability. We seek to contribute to policy-relevant, change-oriented, and transdisciplinary research and collaboration from science and technology, the life sciences, and the social sciences. Three thematic areas have been identified to structure this event:

Thematic Area Sustainability Dimension Economic
Sustainable Science, Technology, and Energy Panel 1 Panel 2 Panel 3
Sustainable Consumption, Lifestyles, Mobility, and Cities Panel 4 Panel 5 Panel 6
Sustainability in Economics, Business, and Management Panel 7 Panel 8 Panel 9

As part of the output of this conference, we plan to publish a special issue in Sustainability, as well as three edited books, one for each of the three thematic areas (please read the Instructions for Authors). We, the co-chairs of the conference and I, as well as the organizing institutions, are looking forward to welcoming you at the 5th World Sustainability Forum at the University of Basel from 7 to 9 September 2015

Max Bergman

Confirmed Keynote Speakers

Prof. Jeffrey D. Sachs – Director of The Earth Institute, Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University, Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the Millennium Development Goals, Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (Live Video Keynote)

Prof. Marc A. Rosen – Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Ontario, Canada

Prof. Klaus Leisinger – President of the Global Values Alliance Foundation, Professor of Sociology of University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland

Dr. Aldo Stroebel – Executive Director, International Relations and Cooperation, National Research Foundation, South Africa

Confirmed panels are listed on the Schedule and Program page.

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Executive Committee




Prof. Max Bergman

Prof. Max Bergman
Professor of Social Research and Methodology, Department of Social Sciences, University of Basel, Petersgraben 11, 4051 Basel, Switzerland


Conference Secretariat



Dr. Philipp Aerni

Dr. Philipp Aerni
Director of the Center for Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability (CCRS), University of Zurich, Zähringerstrasse 24, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland



Prof. Guéladio Cissé

Prof. Guéladio Cissé
Professor Sanitary Engineering & Environmental Epidemiology, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, University of Basel, Socinstrasse 57, 4051 Basel, Switzerland



Prof. Ansgar Kahmen

Prof. Ansgar Kahmen
Professor for Sustainable Land Use, Botanical Institute, University of Basel, Schönbeinstrasse 6, 4056 Basel, Switzerland



Dr. Frédéric-Paul Piguet

Dr. Bongiwe Njobe
Cornell Institute for African Development, Cornell University, 190 Uris Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA



Dr. Frédéric-Paul Piguet

Dr. Frédéric-Paul Piguet
Institut Biosphère,16 b route de Jussy, 1226 Geneva, Switzerland


Scientific Advisory Committee


Prof. Marc A. Rosen
Chair of the 4th World Sustainability Forum,
Editor-in-Chief of the Journal Sustainability,
Past President, Engineering Institute of Canada,
and Professor at the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Ontario, Institute of Technology, Oshawa, Ontario, Canada


Dr. Joo Hwa (Philip) Bay
Faculty of Humanities, School of Built Environment, Architecture and Interior, Curtin University of Technology, Kent Street, Bentley Campus, WA6012, Australia

Prof. Volker Beckmann
Faculty of Law and Economics & Institute of Botany and Landscape Ecology, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-University Greifswald, Grimmer Strasse 88, 17487 Greifswald, Germany

Dr. Mark Elder
Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, 2108-11 Kamiyamaguchi, Hayama, Kanagawa, 240-0115, Japan

Prof. Jay N. Meegoda
Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering New Jersey Institute of Technology, 323 MLK Blvd., Newark, NJ 07102, USA

Prof. Peter Newman
Curtin University Sustainability Policy (CUSP) Institute, Curtin University, Fremantle WA 6160, Australia

Dr. Masa Noguchi
Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, University of Melbourne, 757 Swanston Street, VIC 3010, Australia

Prof. Enrico Sciubba
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Roma Sapienza, Via Eudossiana 18, 00184 Roma, Italy

Prof. Vincenzo Torretta
Department of Biotechnologies and Life Sciences, Insubria University, Via G.B. Vico 46, Varese I-21100, Italy

Dr. Robert B. Richardson
Department of Community Sustainability, Michigan State University, MI 48824-1222, USA

Conference Secretariat

Dr. Franck Vazquez
Matthias Burkhalter
Dr. Le Zhang
Alistair Freeland
Dr. Shu-Kun Lin

Tel. +41 61 683 77 35

Sponsoring Opportunities

For information regarding sponsoring opportunities, please contact the secretariat.

Mailing Address

WSF 2015 Secretariat
Klybeckstrasse 64
4057 Basel