Transformations 2019 aims to provide a platform for reciprocal learning between less and more developed contexts, and between researchers and practitioners, in order to enhance both practice and theory to support transformative changes for addressing climate change and other contemporary societal and environmental challenges.


The planet is experiencing rapid changes and the rate of these changes is the most accelerated observed unfolding in a wider spectrum. Global changes, such as climate change, are impacting both society and the environment. In a single generation, humans have grown into an enormous global force, we are part of this story, we have built the planet past and present, we are responsible, and this responsibility cannot be a driver for inaction, rather there is a hope and motivation for writing the planet’s future. To face the future, in terms of protecting the environment and responding to the impacts of global changes, science has contributed to the development of incremental and systemic responses that fit small and medium impacts, but more timidly has explored transformational responses. Incremental and systemic responses are necessary and have been successful when implemented in practice. Nevertheless, there is an opportunity to further explore the transformation approach, aiming for greater scales and deeper changes, since transformation is necessary to complement incremental and systemic approaches.

Transformational processes have always existed; transformation is an inherently practical endeavour. Science has made great advances about transformation across different disciplines, nonetheless, in many cases, practical and scientific knowledge are evolving independently, rather than informing each other. The overarching theme of the conference is “Learning from transformative action and thinking”, where there is a huge unexplored knowledge captured in society, in action, that can inform theory and science, while science has the potential of informing practice, creating a cross fertilization between practice and theory. Practitioners, social actors, case studies, and local contexts will have a central role in the conference, with the aim of learning from successes and failures, to give recommendations to support transformative changes for addressing climate change and other contemporary societal and environmental challenges.

The Transformation 2019 Conference seeks to provide a platform for reciprocal learning between developing and developed countries, and between researchers and practitioners. The conference will be held for the first time in a less developed country, which provides multiple benefits. By increasing the participation of practitioners and scientists from developing country contexts, knowledge will be expanded by the richness and diversity of transformation processes that have emerged spontaneously in less developed countries. It will also include unique knowledge coming, for example, from the ancestral knowledge that is context dependent, all of these offering renewed ideas. One of the characteristics that differentiates less and more developed countries is that social-natural disasters often cause more population mortality in less developed countries. Under climate change, climate-related disasters are expected to be more frequent and severe; therefore, one of the themes of the conference will be on disasters, in order to support the improvement of Disaster Risk Reduction.

We are inspired by the unique opportunity of joining together scientists and practitioners from different contexts and realities, and within the framework and focus of the conference. We warmly invite you to participate by submitting abstracts, practice sessions and workshops from any government or private organisation, civil society or academia, in one of the six themes of the conference.

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