Call for abstracts or panel proposals 

“Learning and Innovation in Resilient Systems”

23rd and 24th of March 2017 in Heerlen, the Netherlands

The Netherlands’ Open University is organising a 2-day symposium on learning and innovations in resilient systems, on 23rd and 24th March 2017, in Heerlen, the Netherlands. The symposium offers an unique opportunity to discuss these topics, in an interdisciplinary environment, whilst paying strong attention to the relevance of the concept of resilience for environmental governance.

Resilience has become a fashionable buzzword in recent years. The term is frequently found in many different discourses ranging from nature conservation (WWF’s adaptation and resilience program), sports psychology (teaching athletes about resilience), to development work (resilience in rural areas). It appears that everything (cities, companies, software) and everybody (managers, children, teachers) can and should be resilient. With our current knowledge of future challenges like climate change, globalization and food security resilience can offer a way to develop strategies to cope with uncertainties.

We invite scientists from a range of disciplines to debate how and to what extent innovations and learning processes in various systems contribute to the transition towards (more) resilient systems, be it individuals, organizations, etc. We welcome theoretical papers, methodological papers, and empirical studies or combinations thereof; and invite abstracts that discuss and examine innovations and learning for resilience from various angles. Several journals have expressed an interest in the papers that will be presented at the conference, including the journal Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability (COSUST) which has agreed to publish a special issue emanating from the conference. Other ideas for publications can be developed during the conference.

Confirmed speakers include Prof. Carl Folke (Stockholm Resilience Centre and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences), Prof. Jan Rotmans (Erasmus University Rotterdam/DRIFT), and Prof. Andrew Jordan (University of East Anglia and COST Network INOGOV), and a range of others from several academic fields.

Panel proposals accepted so far (additional papers and additional ideas for panels welcome) are on the following topics:

* Climate change: Science, knowledge and power

* Towards resilient governance systems: understanding institutional innovation in environmental governance

* Towards resilient (energy) systems in society

* The resilience of urban systems

* The origin, diffusion and impact of the concept of resilience in environmental governance

* Innovation in EU environmental policy

* Current trends in learning and innovation for sustainability

More information can be found on our website:, see under parallel sessions.

Practicalities and submission deadlines:

Interested participants/authors are encouraged to submit 250 word abstracts by 15th October 2016 as a first step towards full paper development. Please send your abstract to  Authors will be notified of acceptance/rejection before the 15th of December 2016; contributing authors are expected to submit a full first draft of their paper by the 1st of February 2017.

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