Draft Programme

2018 Utrecht Conference on Earth System Governance

Governing Global Sustainability in a Complex World

Key Research Insights & New Research Directions


5-8 November 2018


Draft Programme


Hosted by:

Earth System Governance project

Utrecht University, Faculty of Geosciences, Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development,  The Netherlands


Co-hosted by:

Colorado State University, Environmental Governance Working Group, United States of America

German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), Germany

Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany

Keio University, Japan

PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency

Utrecht University, Strategic Programme “Institutions for Open Societies”, The Netherlands

Utrecht University, Strategic Programme “Pathways to Sustainability”, The Netherlands

University of Toronto, The Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, Canada

University of Waterloo, Faculty of Environment, Canada


Wednesday, 31 October – Sunday, 4 November

2018 Utrecht Winter School on Earth System Governance

Academic Directors: Dr Rakhyun E. Kim and Dr Joost Vervoort, Utrecht University

Separate application only

Sunday, 4 November

Conference Excursion: Living with Water – Exploring Dutch Polders, Dikes, and Canals

Time: 10.15-18.00

Academic Advisor: Carel Dieperink,  Utrecht University

Separate registration required

Conference Registration

Time: 15:00-18:00

Location: Academiegebouw

Early Career Welcome Drinks

Time: 17:00-19:00

Location: Academiegebouw, Room 1636

We provide an informal setting in which early career scholars can meet while enjoying a drink and a bite – the perfect way to start the 2018 conference! All early career researchers are invited!

Lead Faculty Reception

Time: 18:00-20:00

Location: Academiegebouw

Invitation only

Welcome Reception for members of the old and new Scientific Steering Committee, Lead Faculty and Lead Authors of the 2018 Science and Implementation Plan.

Welcome Addresses

Bas van Bavel, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

Maarten Hajer, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

Monday, 5 November

Opening plenary

Time: 9:00-10.30

Opening Address

Frank Biermann and Agni Kalfagianni, Co-Chairs

Welcome Addresses

Henk Kummeling, Rector Magnificus, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

Piet Hoekstra, Dean, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

Keynote Presentation: “Earth System Governance: The Scope of the Challenge”

Joseph Alcamo, Professor and Director of Sussex Sustainability Research Programme, and former Chief Scientist, United Nations Environment Programme

Launch, Earth System Governance journal (Elsevier)

Frank Biermann / Elizabeth Dirth, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

2018 Oran Young Award

Presentation by Heike Schroeder, University of East Anglia, United Kingdom

Laudatio by Oran R. Young, University of California at Santa Barbara, United States of America

Parallel panels I

Time: 11:00-12:30

Lead Faculty Lunch

Time: 12:30-13:30

Invitation only

Semi-Plenary Session I – Architectures of Earth System Governance

Time: 13:30-15:00

Panel Convenor: Rakhyun E. Kim, Co-Author, 2018 ESG Science Plan, and Utrecht University

The Institutional Diagnostic Approach to Earth System Governance

Oran R. Young, University of California at Santa Barbara, United States of America

Governance for Sustainable Development: What Works When, How and Why

Peter Driessen, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

The Global Architecture of Sustainable Development Goals

Norichika Kanie, Keio University, Japan

Semi-Plenary II – Agency in Earth System Governance

Time: 13:30-15:00

Panel Convenor: Vasna Ramasar, Co-Author, 2018 ESG Science Plan, and Lund University

Agency beyond the State: Harvesting Insights from the Earth System Governance Project

Michele M. Betsill, Colorado State University, United States of America

Cities in Earth System Governance

Harriet Bulkeley, Durham University, United Kingdom

Systemic Risks: Challenges for Earth System Governance

Ortwin Renn, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany

Parallel panels II

Time: 16:30-17:00

Parallel panels III

Time: 17:15-18:45

Welcome Reception

Time: 19:00

Hosted by Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University

Inauguration of the Earth System Governance International Project Office at Utrecht University

Piet Hoekstra, Dean, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University

Tuesday, 6 November

Parallel panels IV

Time: 09:00-10:30

Semi-Plenary III – Accountability and Democracy in Earth System Governance

Time 11:00-12:30

Panel Convenor: Jonathan Pickering, Lead Author, 2018 Science and Implementation Plan, and University of Canberra

Democracy in Earth System Governance

John Dryzek, University of Canberra, Australia

Accountability in Earth System Governance: Findings from the Project’s Accountability Taskforce

Susan Park, University of Sydney, Australia

Legitimacy in Earth System Governance

Steven Bernstein , University of Toronto, Canada

Semi-Plenary IV – Allocation and Equity in Earth System Governance

Time: 11:00-12:30

Panel Convenor: Andrea Gerlak, Lead Author, 2018 ESG Science Plan, and University of Arizona

Allocation and Access in the Context of Climate Change and Land

Lennart Olsson, Lund University, Sweden

Equity Matters for Global Food Security and Sustainability

Jennifer Clapp, University of Waterloo, Canada

From Environmental Equity to Planetary Justice

David Schlosberg, University of Sydney, Australia

Research Centres Lunch

Time: 12:30-13:30

Invitation only

Book Launch

Time: 12:30-13:30

Parallel panels V

Time: 13:30-15:00

Plenary Session: Earth System Governance Research – Taking Stock, Moving Forward

Time: 15:30-17:00

Earth System Governance: Insights from a Global Research Network

Frank Biermann, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

Earth System Governance: The New Science Agenda

Sarah Burch, Waterloo University, Canada

Aarti Gupta, Wageningen University, The Netherlands

Cristina Inoue, University of Brasília, Brazil

Agni Kalfagianni, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

Åsa Persson, Stockholm Environment Institute, Sweden

Conference dinner

Time: 19:00-22:00

Wednesday, 7 November

Parallel panels VI

Time: 09:00-10:30

Semi-Plenary V – Adaptiveness and Transformation

Time: 11:00-12:30

Panel Convenor: Joost Vervoort, Lead Author, 2018 Science and Implementation Plan, and Utrecht University

Global Transformation: A View from Africa

David Mungai, University of Nairobi, Kenya

Transforming Global Governance for Sustainability

Dirk Messner,  United Nations University – Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), Germany

Meeting the Sustainable Development Goals and Achieving 1.5C: A Challenge of Transformation

Diana Liverman, University of Arizona, United States of America

Semi-Plenary VI – Concepts and Theories

Time: 11:00-12:30

Panel Convenor: James Patterson, Lead Author, 2018 Science and Implementation Plan, and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The United Nations and Earth System Governance

Lorraine Elliott, Australian National University, Australia

International Environmental Law and Earth System Governance

Michelle Scobie, University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago

The Conceptual Foundations of Earth System Governance

James Meadowcroft, Carleton University, Canada

Lunch Earth System Governance Journal

Time: 12:30-13:30

Invitation only

Parallel panels VII

Time: 13:30-15:00

Parallel panels VIII

Time: 15:30-17:00

Closing Plenary

Time: 17:15-18:15

Research Fellows Party

Sponsored by Elsevier

Time: 18:30 – 00:00

Venue: EKKO, Bemuurde Weerd WZ 3, Utrecht

Wednesday 7 November ends with an informal Research Fellow party at one of Utrecht’s nicest pop venues EKKO. There will be food, drinks and music. We also have a stage, a microphone and an acoustic guitar available which we’d like to share with you. Please inform Karlijn at k.b.muiderman@uu.nl or during the party if you’d like to perform on stage!

Thursday, 8 November – The Taskforce Space

This day is reserved for taskforces, harvesting initiatives, and similar working groups of the Earth System Governance Project to find collective space to advance writing projects, plan new events, and shape the research and outreach agenda in the numerous subfields of the Earth System Governance Project.

Opening Plenary: A New Role For Science in the Anthropocene?

Time: 9:00-10.30

Panel Convenor and Chair: Ruben Zondervan, Executive Director, Earth System Governance Project, and Lund University

Parallel Workshops

Time: 11:00-18:00

More information about the Special Taskforce and Meeting Day