Transforming thinking around sustainability

Hundreds of delegates representing 50 countries will gather at the University of Dundee this week to examine how the global approach to sustainability can be transformed.

‘Transformations 2017’ is the third in a biennial series of international interdisciplinary conferences that focus on ways of bringing about rapid, significant and large-scale changes that help create a more sustainable and equitable world.

Previous Transformations conferences have taken place in Oslo and Stockholm. This year’s event, which takes place at the Dalhousie Building from Wednesday, 30th August to Friday, September 1st, is organised by Professor Ioan Fazey, Director of the University’s Centre for Environmental Change and Human Resilience (CECHR).

“The aim of Transformations 2017 is to develop a better understanding of the practices that facilitate transformations towards sustainability,” said Professor Fazey. “It is vital we address contemporary challenges and create conditions for enhancing people’s wellbeing, today and in the future.

“The Paris Climate agreement and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals have raised human ambitions to achieve radical transformations to address global social and environmental challenges. The conference will bridge academic and practical knowledge to develop deeper insights into processes that enhance transformations and has been designed to encourage interaction and exchange of ideas.

“We are proud to be holding the conference in Dundee. The city has a long history of discovery, innovation and change. The University’s purpose is itself to ‘transform lives locally and globally’, and through the conference, we hope to stimulated attendees to undergo their own transformations, academically and personally.”

The main conference, which will draw in some 340 academics, entrepreneurs, practitioners and other stakeholders working on diverse social and environmental challenges around the world. A range of ancillary events will also take place over the next week.

More than 100 people will also be attending other associated events through this years’ Transformation Labs series – workshops covering a diverse range of topics related to societal transformation from culture & art, decision-making, conflict, action research and adaptation to climate change.

A further 50 early career scientists and environmental practitioners will attend ‘Facing the Future 2017’ at the James Hutton Institute from 28th to 29th August. Finally, on Saturday, 2nd September a meeting of influential practitioners from diverse international organisations for the Sustainable Development Goals Transformation Forum will be held.

More information about Transformations 2017 can be found at

For media enquiries contact:
Grant Hill
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University of Dundee
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