New publications, ECR Fellowship and 2016 highlights.
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International Social Science Council (ISSC)

Season's greetings from the ISSC

Special edition of COSUST features T2S

Transformations and co-design: special issue highlights learnings from the Transformations to Sustainability programme

An edited collection of 16 papers on co-design in sustainability science, authored by members of the ISSC's Transformations to Sustainability programme community, is now published as a special issue of the journal Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability (COSUST).

The papers examine co-design in the context of social-science-led, integrated research on transformations to sustainability, including a practical ‘hands-on’ look at doing co-design, and what can be learned from the experience.

The concept of ‘co-design’ is gaining importance in research on global change and sustainability, and lies at the heart of the research funded under the Transformations to Sustainability programme. However, the empirical literature on co-design is still relatively limited, making this collection of papers particularly valuable. In this special issue of COSUST, co-design is understood as the first phase of the knowledge co-production process, in which researchers and non-academic partners jointly develop a research project and define research questions that correspond to their collective needs and interests.

The articles reflect on the work conducted during the 6-month seed grant period of the Transformations to Sustainability programme, between October 2014 and March 2015. They offer new perspectives on approaches to co-design, the challenges of co-developing research with different partners, and the benefits of co-designed knowledge as an instrument of transformation. The cases cover a wide range of sustainability challenges around the world.

The special issue is edited by Susi Moser, Senior Adviser to the Transformations to Sustainability programme. It concludes with an open-access synthesis article by Moser, entitled ‘Can science on transformation transform science? Lessons from co-design’. As Moser points out, the papers collectively show that co-design can itself be a cause of transformative change – of researchers, of knowledge systems, and of relationships.

The table of contents can be accessed online

Road to 2018

Following the in-principle vote in favour of a merger between ISSC and the International Council for Science (ICSU) in October 2016, we have begun the process of developing a joint vision and structure for a new, merged organization. Proposals for detailed transition plans and for a high-level strategy for the new organization will be developed throughout 2017 and will be put to a vote during an Extraordinary General Assembly of the ISSC at the 32nd ICSU General Assembly to be held in October 2017 in Taipei. 

Following a call for nominations, member representatives from both councils are currently being selected by ISSC and ICSU's executive bodies to join the Transition Task Force and 'Strategy Working Group that will work on modalities for a merger. The two groups will hold their first meetings in early 2017. A Strategy Working Group workshop open to ISSC member representatives will also take place in the week beginning 30 January 2017 in Paris. 

You can follow the latest news on the merger discussions on the ISSC website.
It's been a busy year - check out our highlights

Highlights of 2016

We've had a very busy year at the ISSC, with the publication of our third World Social Science Report, the launch of three Transformative Knowledge Networks, a General Assembly as well as other events worldwide, and significant decisions on the future of the ISSC. We'd like to thank you for following our activities over the year, and to welcome new contacts made and new collaborations initiated in 2016. Take a look at some of our main activities from 2016 in a new visualisation
IRDR is a decade-long research programme

Nominations sought for IRDR Scientific Committee

ISSC Members are invited to nominate individuals to the IRDR (Integrated Research on Disaster Risk) Scientific Committee. We are particularly seeking nominations of active social scientists working on hazards and disaster-risk management. We also invite members to nominate practitioners from civil society to support IRDR’s work at the science-policy-practice interface and to complement the existing academic expertise on the committee.

Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR) is a decade-long research programme co-sponsored by ICSU, ISSC, and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR). It is a global, multi-disciplinary approach to dealing with the challenges brought by natural disasters, mitigating their impacts, and improving related policy-making mechanisms.

All nominations must be submitted by 8 January 2017 using the template available on our website

Fellows report book

Our latest publication celebrates early-career excellence

The World Social Science (WSS) Fellows Programme was designed to nurture a new generation of social scientists to help solve pressing global problems. Between 2012 and 2015, 217 early-career scientists from all around the world were selected to participate in a series of seminars, conferences and networking events. Our new report reflects on the programme and highlights some of the many collaborations that were forged during the first phase of the WSS Fellows programme. It also explores what some of the participating Fellows did next.

2017 WZB-ISSC Global fellowship programme: call for applications

We're pleased to invite applications from outstanding early-career researchers for the 2017 WZB-ISSC Global Fellowship Programme. The WZB-ISSC Global Fellowship Programme is a co-operation between the WZB-Berlin Social Science Center and the ISSC, through which we invite one early career scientist residing and working in a developing country to conduct research for up to six months in 2017 at the WZB. Applications must be submitted by 15 February 2017.

The IPCC's 1.5°C Report: opportunities for social science

What can social science tell us about how to curb warming at 1.5°C, and what the impacts of such warming would be? Earlier this year, we held a webinar to discuss the opportunities for social science in the forthcoming Special Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C. The great response to the webinar meant that we ran out of time, and not all the participants had a chance to have their questions answered. Instead, we asked our speakers to respond on our blog - join the discussion to hear about implications for poor and vulnerable communities and countries; the role of grassroots innovation, understanding fundamental transformation in techno-social systems, and much more.


Executive Director, Future Earth
Future Earth is recruiting an Executive Director to provide strong leadership and guide the implementation of its broad and ambitious vision and scientific strategy. The successful candidate will be effective in further raising the visibility and value of Future Earth, and attracting funding for this implementation. Future Earth is a major international research programme for global sustainability. The ISSC is a member of the Governing Council of Future Earth.

All applications must be received by February 3 2017.

Dates for your diary

State, Sovereignty and Social Space in the Arab Region: Emerging Historical and Theoretical Approaches” The Arab Council for the Social Sciences Third Conference
Starts: March 10 2017
Location: Beirut, Lebanon

Ethnografilm Festival
Starts: April 11 2017
Location: Paris, France

WorldSSH Net Conference: "Two Decades' discourse about Globalising Social Sciences - Concepts, Strategies, Achievements"
Starts: April 26 2017
Location: Tehran, Iran

Fifth World Conference on Research Integrity
Starts: May 28 2017
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Globalization, Growth and Sustainability – 18th World International Economic Association (IEA) Congress

Starts: June 19 2017
Location: Santa Fe, Mexico

The Politics of Inclusion: International Workshop organized by CROP (Comparative Research Programme on Poverty) and UNESCO’s Management of Social Transformations (MOST) Programme
Call for paper proposals open - submit by January 31 2017
Starts: July 6 2017
Location: Paris, UK

EADI Nordic Conference 2017: Globalisation at the Crossroads - Rethinking Inequalities and Boundaries
Call for papers open - submit by January 16 2017
Starts: August 21 2017
Bergen, Norway

Transformations 2017
Starts: August 30 2017
Location: Dundee, UK 

Depths and Surfaces: Understanding the Antarctic Region through the Humanities and Social Sciences
Call for papers open - submit by March 3 2017
Starts: July 5, 2017
Location: Hobart, Tasmania

POLAR 2018 - Joint SCAR and IASC conference
Starts: June 19 2018
Location: Davos, Switzerland
Copyright © 2016 International Science Council, All rights reserved.

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