The 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), also known as “Rio+20”, was an historical event. Held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in June 2012, this landmark gathering agreed on various sets of actions to make the world a better and more sustainable place to live in. In particular, the document “The Future We Want”, outlined many of the measures countries across the world should pursue and implement, in order to translate the principles of sustainable development into practice.
As a parallel event to UNCSD, the 1st World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities” (WSSD-U-2012) was held in Rio de Janeiro on 5-6 June 2012. It was then followed up by the 2rd World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities” (WSSD-U-2014), which was held in Manchester, UK in September 2014, and the 3rd World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities” (WSSD-U-2016), hosted by the Massachussets Institute of Technology (MIT) and held in September 2016. The events have led to many ground-breaking publications on the theory and practice of sustainable development, and showed the need for a continuation of the dialogue among sustainability academics and practitioners, so as to address the issues, matters and problems at hand.
It is against this background that the “4th World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities” (WSSD-U-2018) will be organised by the Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Manchester Metropolitan University (UK), Research and Transfer Centre “Sustainable Development and Climate Change Management” of the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (Germany), and the World Sustainable Development Research and Transfer Centre, in cooperation with the Inter-University Sustainable Development Research Programme (IUSDRP) and the United Nations University initiative “Regional Centres of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development” (RCE).
The “4th World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities” (WSSD-U-2018) will focus on: "Universities as Living Labs for Sustainable Development: Supporting the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals”, and will contribute to the further development of this fast-growing field. As the slogan of the event suggests, we are looking for practical experiences on Education, Research and Extension (the so-called 3rd Mission, whereby universities outreach to local communities, industry and other groups) with the aim of documenting such experiences and making them available to a wide audience.