Act Sustainable
Research Conference

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16 - 18 November

Sustainability in times of declining democracy

and increasing polarization:
What knowledge and actions do we need?

We hereby invite you to contribute to Act Sustainable Research Conference 2022. This call is directed to all researchers and PhD-students associated with our two universities who want to strengthen their contacts with other sustainability-oriented researchers, increase their knowledge about the challenges that lie ahead and learn how their research can contribute to change. Furthermore, we encourage contributions from researchers in low- and middle-income countries that are linked to the Global Sustainable Futures platform.

Overall theme of the conference

The conference connects to the overall theme for the Act Sustainable week 2022, Democracy in a changing climate, which focuses broadly on issues related to democracy and the relationships between changes in the social, political and ecological climate. In the plenary sessions of the conference, we will raise key issues such as the impact of democratic decline and increased polarization on academic freedom, future funding and security, and how the academic community can act for equal opportunities for all researchers in a more hostile climate.  

Thematic areas for the call

Below are some possible subthemes for the conference, inspired by the overall theme. We welcome all contributions that strengthen our overall knowledge about challenges and opportunities for sustainability transformations. You are more than welcome to suggest your own subtheme. In addition, we encourage submissions in the form of research ideas, where you are looking for new collaborators from other disciplines. Suggestions for topics that you are willing to lead a discussion of in a roundtable format are also welcome.

​Suggested areas

  • Democracy and sustainability transformations

  • The voice of nature

  • Ecological crises and impacts on democracy and peace

  • Open science och co-creation of knowledge for a sustainable future

  • Technology and innovation as a driver of change

  • Impact of autocratization and polarization on global health and well-being

  • Other sustainability related research


Keynote Speaker

Prof. Kwadwo Appiagyei-Atua

Kwadwo Appiagyei-Atua is Associate Professor at the School of Law at University of Ghana, and has among other things conducted research on how to build academic freedom and democracy in Africa. He is also a board member of the Global Observatory on Academic Freedom, based in Vienna, among many other international engagements.  

Sustainability in times of
declining democracy
and increasing polarization:

What knowledge and actions do we need?

Registration closes August 26, 2022

Keynote speaker

To be announced!


Scientific committee

We are proud to present the members of the scientific committee that will evaluate all proposals and put together a program for thematic sessions based on the contributions that we will receive. 

  • Johan Mellqvist, Department of Space, Earth and Environment at Chalmers and coordinator for Gothenburg Air and Climate Network, GAC·

  • Frida Boräng, Department of Political Science at the University of Gothenburg and research fellow at the Quality of Government Institute (QoG)

  • Olof Johansson Stenman, Department of Economics at the University of Gotheburg

  • Gunilla Krantz, Institute of Medicine, at the University of Gothenburg

  • Annica Kronsell, School of Global Studies at the University of Gothenburg 

  • Nils Björling, Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering at Chalmers 

  • Filip Johnsson, Department of Space, Earth and Environment at Chalmers

  • Christian Isendahl, Department of Historical Science at the University of Gothenburg


Contact Caroline Peterson (caroline.petersson@chalmers.se)

Act Sustainable is Chalmers University of Technology´s and the University of Gothenburg´s annual sustainability week for students, researchers, teachers and staff. The aim is to bring the universities closer together in multidisciplinary perspectives on sustainable
development through inspiration, and knowledge.