Call for abstracts

Knowledge for Sustainable Development - Lund University Research Conference

We welcome researchers at Lund University to submit their research contributions relating to the conference overarching theme or to one of the other three themes. The research contributions will be presented during the thematic parallel sessions or as a poster. 

We also welcome researchers at Lund University to contribute with new research ideas and projects, and invitations to research collaboration during the Matchmaking event.

Deadline for submission: March 21

Abstract submission

At this conference, we ask researchers at Lund University for research contributions that relate to the conference overarching theme or to one of the three themes described below. You may choose to give a 10 minutes oral presentation of your research during one of the parallel sessions or contribute with a poster (for a closer description see About the conference).

Download template for your research abstract (.docx, 33 kB)

Upload your research abstract at

Deadline for submission of abstracts is March 21.

The overarching focus of the conference is Knowledge for Sustainable Development.

Sustainable development has been researched for decades. Yet, the development and progress of transforming our society is slow. Why? Is the existing knowledge not conveyed? Are there knowledge gaps that need to be identified and assessed? Many societal actors working with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG´s) find the goals contradicting and must make trade-offs. How do we overcome conflicts of interest and conflicts between goals? Can we improve collaboration and synergies between goals? Are there underlying issues that need to be addressed further in order to resolve others? What does science say about enabling and constraining factors? Are there areas where we have succeeded and can learn from and transfer to other sectors and goals?  What role can culture and art play in production and dissemination of knowledge for sustainable development?

These overarching issues set the scene and the mind-set for the day. In addition, submission of abstracts within the three broad, interdisciplinary themes below are welcome. Below you can read more about each theme. The texts only exemplify the research questions that can be approached within each theme, the list could of course be much longer. 

Key words: Crisis, risks, precariousness, various types of resilience at different levels (social, psychological, ecological, economic, political, etc.), coping strategies, innovation, policy. 

To discuss current societal challenges, concepts such as crisis and resilience are today widely used both in the public debate and in science. But the more precise meaning of these concepts is often unclear, and we need different perspectives in order to understand and solve the complex problems we face. Within the frames of this theme a multitude of questions can be addressed. How can we strengthen the capacity of people, systems and society to deal with the stresses caused by societal crises and environmental change? How can we make use of experiences from shocks and disturbances like financial crises, climate change, or pandemic outbreaks, to spur renewal, entrepreneurship and innovative thinking? How can research contribute to innovations of the socio-technical systems (food, mobility, energy etc.) producing the crises? How can we increase our knowledge of how humans and nature interact, adapt and impact each other amid change? How can policies and regulations related to the various sustainability arenas (e.g. the European Green Deal, the Global Biodiversity Framework) be used to better promote sustainable development? 

Key words: Communication, uncertainty, ambiguity, knowledge resistance, future-oriented methodologies, collaboration, credibility, simplification, obstacles, disciplinary norms.

In this theme, the focus is on enhancing our knowledge of which roles uncertainty and ambiguity play in sustainability research and how these aspects can be communicated. We encourage presenters to address how we communicate uncertainty and ambiguity today across disciplines. Is uncertainty and ambiguity a driver for knowledge resistance in society and a threat to the legitimacy of science? Future-oriented research, such as sustainability research, entails uncertainties and ambiguities. The systems are too complex to predict what the future will hold. What does science say about communicating ambiguous and uncertain results? What is a good way to communicate our results with uncertainties and ambiguities, without losing credibility? Can uncertainty be turned into something positive? Do we face the same obstacles across disciplines, or are there for example differences between perspective, habits and norms used by different disciplines? Case studies on specific actions to communicate uncertainty and ambiguity in any area such as energy, biodiversity, justice, health, etc are appreciated. 

Key words: Human rights, global health, sustainable land use, water consumption, food system, just distribution, digitalization and new technology, renewable energy solutions, sustainable consumption/production, equal opportunity. 

According to the United Nations, the 2020’s is the “decade of action” in which sustainable solutions must be accelerated and put into action. We need to create new ways forward to reach a carbon neutral society. The challenge is global, but action needs to be taken on various levels in both the Global South and the Global North. When climate action measures are discussed, it is important that both benefits and costs of the social transformation are justly distributed. Within the frames of this theme the presenters can address a multitude of questions, based on their research area. For example, what risks are we prepared to take, and are we taking risks at the expense of others? Who has the right to health care, is entitled to the land, in charge of the water distribution, or has access to energy and transport? Are new technology and digitalization enabling or constraining equal opportunities and democracy?  Can food and other products be produced and consumed in a just way, to meet the global demand without causing damage or harm on a local scale? How can science, policy and the civic society join forces and develop technical solutions and fair use of natural resources, and at the same time meet the goals for human rights, equal treatment and non-discrimination? What can we learn from case studies on the distributional impacts of specific actions in areas such as energy, food, education?

Matchmaking contribution

We also welcome researchers at Lund University to give presentations of new research ideas and projects, and invitations to research collaboration during the Matchmaking event. You present your research idea in form of a short 3 minutes pitch followed by a breakout room session for further discussions (for a closer description see About the conference).

Download template for your matchmaking contribution (.docx, 33 kB)

Upload your matchmaking contribution via 

Deadline for submission of matchmaking contribution is March 21.

In addition to the three conference themes, the matchmaking contribution may also relate to the theme Future calls.

Key words: Swedish research bill, Horizon Europe, Climate and environment, Health and welfare, Digitalization, Capacity building and working life, Democratic and strong society, Adaptation to climate change, Cancer, Healthy oceans, seas, coastal and inland waters, Climate-neutral and smart cities, Soil health and food.

For the matchmaking session in the afternoon Future calls will be an additional theme. This fourth theme will focus on future calls, taking the Swedish research bill and Horizon Europe as point of departure. We invite researchers to present ideas to prepare for new projects and initiatives that can answer to future calls. 

General information

The research contributions and matchmaking pitches will be evaluated by a scientific committee. Contributions received after the submission deadline cannot be accepted and therefore will not be considered for the programme. Submission of an abstract or a pitch does not guarantee its acceptance. All presenters of accepted abstracts and pitches are expected to register at the conference website. By submitting a contribution, the author authorises the organiser to publish his/her contribution during the conference. Presenting authors are acting on behalf and with consent of all authors of the contribution. 

Notification of abstract and matchmaking contribution acceptance is March 31. 

The scientific contributions will be evaluated by a scientific committee, with members from the Lund University Research Board and the Sustainability Forum steering committee. 

  • Barbara Törnquist-Plewa, Professor, Centre for Languages and Literature
  • Anna Meeuwisse, Professor, School of Social Work
  • Susanne Arvidsson, Associate Professor, Deparment of Business and Administration
  • Heiko Herwald, Professor, Department of Clinical Sciences

Time for the event:

4 May 2021 09:00 to 16:30


Online, Zoom

Target group:

The conference is primarily aimed at researchers associated with Lund University. However, we also welcome other researchers, stakeholders, and students who want to join the discussions and share their views and learn more about research conducted at Lund University.




cerina [dot] wittbom [at] cec [dot] lu [dot] se