Call for Expressions of Interest for Greening of Industry Network (GIN) Conferences

background

The Greening of Industry Network (GIN) will commence its fourth decade of existence in 2022. To celebrate the first 30 years of continued collaboration to accelerate the transition towards sustainability, we are—for the first time in GIN’s history--making an open call for expressions of interest to host “GIN 2022—Entering the Fourth Decade of Greening Industry Networks”

The world has made substantial progress in sustainability knowledge and policy over the past three decades. The partial litany of advances in greening and beyond is manifold:

  • The millennium development goals and now the sustainable development goals provided directions and standards for countries and organizations to be more sustainable.
  • Many international treaties further consolidated cross-border collaboration.
  • Technological breakthroughs in materials science, renewable energies and recycling technologies, additive manufacturing and Industry 4.0 have supported advances in sustainability science and indicators development to measure sustainability transition progress.
  • The Planetary Boundaries framework and an increased concern to better integrate the social aspects of
    sustainability.
  • The meteoric rise of circular economy and society thinking in policymaking,
  • A radical shift in major financial sector players—such as Blackrock—to adopt sustainability criteria.
  • Sustainability, climate change, and circular economy are increasingly central to political agendas and
    scholarly interest in related topics has spiralled.

However, major challenges remain and in critical areas. The relation between growth and carrying capacity—debates are as heated as 30 years ago with a glacial pace of understanding and progress. Progress may even be receding as
have our many glaciers.

One such example of receding progress is overshoot day; the day of the year that signals the moment in which we have used up the total amount of resources the earth can regenerate in one year. Overshoot day was 31st December in 1970, the first year the overshoot day was calculated. By 1992, when GIN started it was October 10th. In 2019 it was August 1st. The sustainability story has not improved.

Internationally agreed targets in emission reductions, waste management and biodiversity protection have been largely unfulfilled. Projections suggested a bleak future where by 2020 there will be more tons of plastic than tons of fish in the oceans. While policy progress seems to be continuously decoupled from results, academic research continues to diverge from industry and policy needs.

It took a crisis to see how profound industry and man affect overall global sustainability. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in significant impact on the environment—for example extending overshoot day by 4 weeks to September 1st 2021 from August 1st in 2019. The main drivers were the carbon footprint reducing by 14.5% from 2019 and the orest product footprint reducing by 8.4% from 2019.

Interestingly figures provided by the International Monetary Fund on world economic growth (-4.4% annual change in GDP) show that economic deacceleration has been less than expected and – while long term effects are still uncertain—give hope that the global crises provides an opportunity to radically reset the economy and replace highcarbon intensive activities with greener options.

There is therefore need for generation of knowledge and strategies for green recovery and green resilience. Collaboration between academy, industry, civil society, policymakers and communities has long been one of the purposes of the Greening of Industry Network conferences. This collaboration is needed now—more than ever before to speed progress and transition to a more sustainable future.

Requirements for the Expression of Interest

Thus, our call for expressions of interest for supporting a GIN conference. We especially welcome expressions of interests involving partners beyond academy, and proposals for different geographies or integrating blended
approaches combining physical and digital interactions. The expression of interest (EoI) should be between 500 and 1000 words and include:

  1. the name of the main responsible institution
  2. an email address as a first point of contact
  3. suggested theme and overall vision of the conference
  4. special issue and edited book proposals attached to the conference
  5. the proposed location for the conference venue, with a brief description of the local available amenities to delegates
  6. non-academic participation should be encouraged
  7. CV of the main organizers and brief track record in conference organization, as attachment.

selection procedure

After closing the first reception round of EoIs, the GIN coordinating team will examine the EoIs and invite two or three institutions to submit a detailed description of the proposed conference (second round). A list of more detailed requirements will be provided to those applicants passing to the second round. The factors to be considered during the selection process include: (i) location and its accessibility by diverse transportation means; (ii) costs to delegates, and; (iii) experience of the host institution in organizing international conference.

Important dates for the selection of the host institution of the GIN 2022 conference:

  1. launch of the Call for EoI : May 15th, 2021
  2. closure of the Call for Expression of interest (EoI): June 14th, 2021
  3. invitation to the second selection round for more elaborated proposals: June 21st, 2021
  4. submission deadline of the second round of EoI: June 30th, 2021
  5. notification of the final decision on the selection: August 04, 2021
  6. recommended period to host the GIN 2022 conference: August-September, 2022

For additional enquiries and submissions, please contact any of the GIN coordinators:
Diego Vazquez-Brust (diego.vazquez-brust@port.ac.uk)
Joe Sarkis (jsarkis@wpi.edu)
Laura Franco-Garcia (m.l.francogarcia@utwente.nl)