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, the 3rd World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities” (WSSD-U-2016), hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) held in September 2016, and the 4th World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities” (WSSD-U-2018), hosted by the Universiti Sains Malaysia ( (USM) in August 2018.
The events have led to many groundbreaking 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 “5th World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities” (WSSD-U-2022) will be organised by Allegheny College (USA), Research and Transfer Centre “Sustainable Development and Climate Change Management” of the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (Germany), and the European School of Sustainability Science and Research (ESSSR), in cooperation with the World Sustainable Development Research and Transfer Centre, 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 “5th World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities” (WSSD-U-2022) will focus on “Educating the Sustainability Leaders of the Future”, and will contribute to the further development of this fast-growing field. As the slogan of the event suggests, we are as always looking for practical experiences on Education, Research and Extension (the so-called 3rd Mission, whereby universities outreach to society as a whole (e.g. to local communities, organisations, industry and other groups) with the aim of documenting such experiences and making them available to a wide audience.