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The invitation to submit SRI2022 session proposals will open on November 10, 2021, and will close on February 5, 2022 (23:59 SAST (UTC +2)). You will be updated on the status of your proposal in March 2022. 

This call for session proposals is open to groups composed of anyone working in sustainability science and practice, which includes the research sector, government, business, philanthropy, art and civil society.

The second edition of the SRI Congress will be held in Pretoria, South Africa, June 20-24, 2022, and online. When you submit your session proposal, please indicate whether you wish to organize a hybrid session (which includes speakers both onsite and online) or an online only session. For online sessions, please indicate your preferred time (morning / evening) depending on your time zone. 

Please note that the room for hybrid sessions will be limited. If we are unable to accommodate your request for a hybrid session, but your proposal ranks high in all the other evaluation criteria, you will be offered the opportunity to host an online only session.

The hybrid session proposals will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • More than half of the speakers are attending the onsite meeting 
  • The session is particularly relevant for the African audience
  • The session design is well-suited for a hybrid experience
  • The session ranks high in all the other SRI2022 session proposal criteria (see below for those criteria).

Guidelines for sessions in French, Spanish, Mandarin and Japanese

SRI2022 is committed to the most intellectually, professionally, geographically, culturally and linguistically inclusive sustainability Congress possible. With this in mind, Team SRI is excited to announce that we are accepting proposals for sessions in French, Japanese, Mandarin and Spanish in our current call for session proposals. 
If you are interested in submitting a session proposal in French, Japanese, Mandarin or Spanish, please indicate it clearly when you submit your session proposal. Sessions in other languages than English might require special accommodations (such as pre-recording), but we will follow up with you with more details if your session is accepted to the SRI2022 program.
Session proposals in French, Japanese, Mandarin and Spanish will be exempted from the evaluation criteria that participants are of multiple nationalities. 
Proposals and abstracts for sessions to be hosted in English may also be submitted in one of these four languages. 

SRI2022 Session Themes 

For this call, we are accepting proposals in one of four types: (1) Dialogue, (2) Training and Workshop, (3) Innovation Demonstration, and (4) Engagement with Society. Please consult the SRI2022 Session Types section below for additional information. 

There are four Congress themes of which you should select one. These themes are:

  1. Nexus issues
    Many sustainability challenges are interrelated and intertwined and require a nexus approach. SRI2022 invites novel perspectives looking at critical intersections in multiple areas including but not restricted to:
    • Sustainable food systems and human wellbeing
    • Resilience, adaptation and addressing risk
    • Evidence-based and actionable contributions to the SDGs and beyond
    • Narratives of progress, wealth and well-being
    • Water, food, energy, society
    • Resources use efficiency
  1. Different ways of knowing
    Recognizing that knowledge is versatile, SRI2022 explores the various ways of understanding, conceptualizing, and learning about the world. An inclusive approach to knowledge will dramatically broaden the spectrum of solutions available for action-forward sustainability work. SRI2022 will promote new perspectives to:
    • Indigenous/local community knowledge
    • Equitable access to information and decision-making options, including Artificial Intelligence
    • TD (transdisciplinary research and transdisciplinarity)*
    • *Transdisciplinary science is an approach that threads together different scientific and other knowledge.
  1. New horizons
    Sustainability is about our relationship with the future, and SRI2022 seeks to explore emerging issues and trends that shape our world tomorrow. In a time of rapid change, looking ahead is more important than ever. What are the challenges and solutions that might surprise us? How can we get ahead of the curve and build our preparedness and resilience? How to predict the unpredictable? Who are the new players and what are the unlikely coalitions? Under this theme, we are particularly open for new if not unexpected ideas, but examples or areas might include:
    • World after Covid-19 
    • Unheard voices in sustainability science and innovation
    • Justice, equity, ethics and inclusion
    • Levers for innovation and change
    • Inclusive financial mechanisms for supporting growth and resiliency
  1. Cross-cutting (for all themes): African science and innovation
    One of the key objectives of SRI2022 is to showcase the richness of African science and innovation in sustainability. From tested local solutions to advanced academic research, the African continent has a wealth of knowledge and innovation to offer to the wider world. In addition, SRI2022 is hoping to strengthen the inter-African dialogue and networks by offering an inclusive platform for increased visibility and collaboration.

Please think carefully about the theme that best meets the goals of your speakers. 

SRI2022 Session Types

We invite submissions for proposals in 4 different session types.

1. Dialogue
A moderated conversation and / or series of short presentations aiming to tackle a specific global sustainability challenge on a common topic. The sessions will be followed by a moderated discussion and questions from the audience. Maximum duration of each Dialogue must be 90 minutes, but we encourage all online session organizers to limit their Dialogues to 60 minutes.We also encourage interactive and innovative designs that increase audience participation. 

Dialogue Requirements:

  • Presentations must not exceed 7 minutes/speaker, with a minimum of 3 and maximum of 6 speakers/session and with at least 30 minutes of panel discussion. 
  • Duration of each Dialogue  must be 60-90 minutes - 60 minutes is encouraged for online sessions.
  • All sessions are required to have a moderator or facilitator.
  • Sessions must be open to all Congress attendees.
  • All sessions will be recorded and the recordings will be made available on the SRI2022 online Congress platform.  

2. Training & Workshop
Training sessions and workshops will be run by a diverse group on a topic relevant to the SRI2022 thematic pillars, with specified, action-oriented outcomes to be generated as a result of the session for both the group delivering the training and the participants.

Session proposals should include a set of strengths that will be taught throughout, along with a number of knowledge or practice gaps that the delivering group would like to work through as part of the session. This is designed to encourage two-way, iterative learning on the part of all trainers and participants.

Workshop/Training Requirements:

  • Sessions must not exceed 2 hours. For online training sessions, we strongly recommend shorter duration.
  • Sessions must be open to all Congress attendees.
  • Each session must have at least three speakers or facilitators.
  • Each session proposal must clearly outline the desired outcomes of the session.
  • All sessions will be recorded and the recordings will be made available on the SRI2022 online Congress platform. 

3. Innovation Demonstration
Innovation Demonstrations will offer a platform for showcasing innovations, ranging from new products to social innovations. Demonstration teams (recommended no more than 2 people/team) will be allocated a 60 minute time period, during which multiple demonstrations or exhibits can be scheduled, or run on a rolling basis, to make up one session.

Demonstration sessions will each receive a display table area within a high-traffic corridor, adjacent to meeting rooms in which concurrent sessions will be taking place. 

Demonstration proposals are encouraged to include interactive and innovative designs that increase audience participation, such as live audience polling, social media input, and other forms of audience participation.  

We also invite online submissions with two 30-minute timeslots (60 minutes total).

Innovation Demonstration Requirements:

  • Onsite demonstration presenters have the flexibility to decide the length of their presentation during their designated time (two 30-minute slots), while also allocating time for audience interaction and participation. 
  • The duration of online demonstrations is two 30-minute time slots.
  • Sessions must be open to all Congress attendees, and amenable to this ‘pop-up’ style, whereby attendees may come and go in the open floor plan.
  • All sessions will be recorded and the recordings will be made available on the SRI2022 online Congress platform. 

4. Engagement with Society
Engagement with Society sessions offer the freedom for session organizers to submit proposals that might not fit the other three session categories and that include a significant community engagement element. These 90-minute sessions will follow a creative and innovative design and involve tangible activities on the ground that can be presented at the session.

Engagement with Society requirements:

  • Sessions must not exceed 90 minutes - 60 minutes is encouraged for online sessions.
  • Sessions must be open for all Congress attendees.
  • Each session must have at least three speakers or facilitators.
  • All sessions will be recorded and the recordings will be made available on the SRI2022 online Congress platform. 

All sessions are required to have a session organizer that is responsible for confirming the speakers and corresponding with them between the proposal submission and the Congress.

If you are interested in organizing a closed or sponsored event, such as a community gathering or a reception, please contact sri@futureearth.org. 

Criteria for Selection

Proposals are expected to demonstrate concordance with the main themes of SRI2022.

Additionally, we ask each session to include multiple frames, communities, or knowledge streams. For example, a proposal exploring sustainable supply chains might include perspectives from academia, business, policy, and law. Preference will be given to sessions with speakers from at least two different sectors and sessions with a potential to inspire new transdisciplinary collaborations.

We are particularly interested in supporting contributions from young and early career professionals and researchers, indigenous groups, as well as participants from low and middle income countries (please see definitions below)*.

Please note that program organisers may ask you to team up with other session proponents who have suggested similar sessions in the spirit of collaboration.

To increase the probability that your proposal will be selected, please consider the following criteria carefully:

Content criteria:

  1. Solution-oriented, inspirational, cutting edge, and high-quality
  2. Overall coherence of the session and logical linkage between the individual presentations 
  3. Clear focus on any of the articulated SRI2022 themes (including the cross-cutting theme), or a coherent linkage among these areas
  4. Novelty and creativity of the approaches and solutions proposed
  5. Expected impact, and the robustness and feasibility of the outlined pathway to achieving that impact

Structure and speaker criteria:

  1. Clarity and innovativeness of the session structure and alignment with the recommendations in the SRI2022 Session Types section above.
  2. Level of detail as for the session plan and number of confirmed speakers
  3. Diversity among invited speakers and organizers. This can include a number of the following characteristics:
    • Intergenerational
    • International
    • Interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral
    • Multi-gender

Please note that all session organizers, moderators and speakers, unless they receive an SRI2022 scholarship, are required to register for the Congress by April 15, 2022 in order to participate. Registration opens in January 2022. Sessions whose participants fail to meet the registration deadline will not be included in the Congress program. 

General information to all session organizers:

  • All online sessions will be recorded and the recordings will be made available via the SRI2022 online congress platform.
  • All session organizers can share material on their session page in the SRI2022 online congress platform before and after the session. 
  • All session organizers will be invited for a 30-minute SRI2022 online congress platform training session or Q&A session one or two weeks before the SRI2022 congress in June 2022. 
  • There will be an SRI2022 staff member providing support in each session room - virtual or physical.
  • All session organizers and speakers must register to the Congress by April 15, 2022.
  • All speakers must be confirmed by April 15, 2022.
  • Further session information will be available soon on the SRI2022 website.
  • For additional questions, please contact: sri@futureearth.org


*Early career:
We define as early career anyone whose career has started within the last 10 years. This includes researchers who have received their Bachelor’s or Master’s qualification within the last 10 years or their PhD within the last six years, as well as professionals working at the interface of society, policy, practice, and research.

Low and middle income countries:
Low and middle income countries are defined according to the OECD DAC list of ODA recipients

Indigenous groups:
Indigenous groups are defined according to Article 1 (1b) of the International Labour Organisation’s Convention concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples (ILO No. 169 ). This convention applies to: 
a) tribal peoples in independent countries whose social, cultural and economic conditions distinguish them from other sections of the national community, and whose status is regulated wholly or partially by their own customs or traditions or by special laws or regulations;
(b) peoples in independent countries who are regarded as indigenous on account of their descent from the populations which inhabited the country, or a geographical region to which the country belongs, at the time of conquest or colonisation or the establishment of present state boundaries and who, irrespective of their legal status, retain some or all of their own social, economic, cultural and political institutions.