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ISDRC19 Registration
Contact Mari Horn for one day participation and other registration options.
tel: 021 938 9082 | e-mail:

SID Conference
Please join us for the 1st Stellenbosch Innovation District conference as a side event to the ISDRC19 conference. This will take place in Venue 1 at 3:30 on the 1st of July - featuring an innovation expert from Harvard University as a guest speaker followed by interactive panel discussions with the audience. You may also join us for the SID online system launch at 5-6pm followed by a cocktail session - Please register online. Contact Pieter van Heyningen at for any queries.

Foreword - Chair of ISDRC19 - Prof Alan Brent

The International Sustainable Development Research Society (ISDRS) aims to promote collaboration and dialogue of a high quality, building bridges between different research communities, and between research and its applications in society. ISDRS also promotes the engagement between communities in developed and developing countries. To this end the 19th annual International Sustainable Development Research Conference (ISDRC19) is being held, for the first time, in the global south, in the picturesque Lynedoch valley of the capital of the South African wine lands Stellenbosch just outside the Cape Town metropolitan area.

South Africa has experienced a difficult transition, and still does, in the face of the many challenges that are characteristic of a developing society. Here the extreme poor live, ironically, in one of the most carbon-intensive economies; one that is based on a mineral-energy complex. Thus, one finds the fundamental economic problems of inequality and resource exploitation that remain intact in a democratic space that has made possible countless innovations and changes across multiple other spectrums.

It is then appropriate for ISDRC19 to be hosted where these challenges are actively being researched, at the Sustainability Institute, in collaboration with Stellenbosch University, and specifically the postgraduate programme in Sustainable Development and the transdisciplinary PhD programme TsamaHUB in the School of Public Leadership (SPL), in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences; and the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies (CRSES), in the Faculty of Engineering.

The central focus of ISDRC19 is that of Just Transitions, with perspectives from both the global north and south, with the central themes of:

  • Crisis, complexity, global change and transitions, with a critical analysis of the science of sustainability, academia, ethics and leadership.
  • Rethinking development in terms of greening the developmental state, new forms of urbanism in the context of ecology, social development and food security.
  • Better Governance, institutions and economic structures, to support sustainable development and design.
  • Achieving rapid transitions for sustainable living, decoupling production and consumption from resource limits and ecological constraints, and pioneering innovative, liveable and sustainable contexts.

Mark Swilling and Eve Annecke in their recent book Just Transitions have stated that: there should be little doubt that imagining and implementing more sustainable futures is the greatest challenge that our generation faces. To do this we not only need new ways of thinking, but we need to understand the history of patterns of thinking that fail to appreciate the evolutionary significance of our incontrovertible dependence on other living species and nature in general.

This underpins the lively debates that will unfold at ISDRC19 as we edge closer to realising just transitions for all of mankind, and nature on which we depend.

We welcome you to our place of living and learning, as part of our collective journey towards this realisation.

Venue and dates of ISDRC19
ISDRC19 is scheduled from the 1st to the 3rd of July 2013. It will be held on the Spier wine estate. Read more...



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