Sustainable Cities and Communities – one of ten themes when 450 researchers take on the challenges of the world

Mon 12 Jul 2021 09:27

The international research conference ISDRS takes place between the 13–15 of July, focusing on the sustainable development goals. Mid Sweden University is the host when 450 researchers from 47 countries gather online to take on urgent global challenges.

Campus Östersund fasad hus

– We cover ten different themes with 32 tracks, and during these three days 400 research articles will be presented and deliberated. In total we will host around 100 sessions in the digital tool Zoom. Overall, the conference has attracted a lot of interest with a record number of attendees, which we are very happy about, says Volker Mauerhofer, professor at Mid Sweden University and conference chair.

The three-day conference takes place between the 13–15 of July and is broadcast from a studio at Campus Östersund, Mid Sweden University. The ISDRS conference is organised for the 27th time and gathers researchers from around the world within the field of sustainability. Mid Sweden University took over as host when the intended organiser in Los Angeles withdrew due to the difficulties arranging a large digital event during the pandemic.

The theme for this year’s conference is “How can we accelerate the progress towards the 2030 SDGs in times of crisis?” During the ISDRS conference, many different perspectives on sustainability, including economic, social and environmental topics, will be presented. Among the themes are Climate Change and Energy, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, Education, as well as research about Sustainable Cities and Communities.

– Most of the themes have a broad international representation. With regards to Sustainable Cities and Communities the different seminars are chaired by researchers from Germany, Taiwan, USA, Hong Kong, Brazil, Hungary, Spain, the United Kingdom and Sweden, says Catrin Johansson, professor at Mid Sweden University and conference co-chair.

The majority of researchers participate online and present their lectures digitally. In addition, 12 keynote speakers and plenary speakers will participate in the joint program sessions. The twelve guest speakers come from Asia, Europe, North- and South America as well as Africa. Among the speakers are:

  • Hans Brunynckx, Executive Director, European Environmental Agency – EEA
  • Åsa Persson, Research Director and Deputy Director at the Stockholm Environment Institute. 
  • Jeffrey D. Sachs, Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, USA.
  • Elizabeth M. Mrema, Executive Secretary, Convention on Biological Diversity – CBD.
  • Jane Kabubo-Mariara, Executive Director of the Partnership for Economic Policy. 
  • Mark Elder, Director of Research and Publications at the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) in Japan. 

Tickets are available online. Read more about the conference:

On Monday the 12 of July, before the conference starts, 60 PhD students have been admitted and are being supervised by professors and senior researchers during a workshop.


For more information:

Volker Mauerhofer, professor Mid Sweden University, phone + 46 (0)72-581 61 87, e-mail (English)

Catrin Johansson, professor Mid Sweden University, phone +46 (0)76-527 91 54, e-mail

Inger Axbrink, project manager Mid Sweden University, phone (0)70-393 16 43, e-mail


The page was updated 6/19/2023