Interdisciplinary Bridges and Transdisciplinary Enterprises
Visions for Sustainability is published by the Interdisciplinary Research Institute on Sustainability (IRIS), founded by the University of Torino and the University of Brescia in collaboration with the University of the Valle d’Aosta. The members of the editorial board are researchers from various backgrounds (including natural sciences, economics, pedagogy, sociology, psychology, linguistics and engineering), as well as being professionals working in many different fields and committed citizens, all keenly interested in the problems of sustainability. Our aim is to facilitate the communication and exchange of the outcomes of ideas, discussions and research studies within this field and also create as yet largely unexplored links between all areas of human activity and enquiry and the concept of sustainability itself.
Like an increasing number of academic journals that propose going across traditional disciplinary boundaries, we hope we can add a further space for this form of reciprocal exchange and be able to host and give equal status to reflexive theory and practice, empirical research, testimonies and personal experiences. Our commitment is to ensure that the variety of the contributions be characterized by how authors make explicit the values underlying the visions expressed. The journal is intended for anyone interested in constructing interdisciplinary bridges or launching transdisciplinary enterprises that analyze and contribute to a deeper understanding of the complex and multiple human dimensions of the relationship between environmental, social and economic changes and the concept of sustainability. Our focus is on examining relationships between paradigms and policies, people and praxes, on creating levels of awareness that enable going beyond current approaches, emphasizing the importance of human will as well as ability, empowering human beings to generate, share and use information as members of networks of knowledge creators and actors in their own right.
Fields, Issues and Interactions
The structure of Visions for Sustainability is based on the following four broad and necessarily overlapping fields, each of which makes reference to various disciplines, but which at the same time all require inter- and trans- disciplinary perspectives. Each field is intended as an area within which to identify as wide a range as possible of issues deriving from particular visions of sustainability. The following list contains examples of some of the issues that are dealt with and new issues are constantly added.
Earth life support systems: ecosystem services, natural resource consumption, climate change, water management, waste management, bio-geological equilibrium and ecological decay, geo-heritage, geo-ethics, ecological indicators, sustainability assessment methods, ...
Economy and technology: globalized industrialization and global products, electronic wastes and pollution, ecological economics and green growth, techno-dependency, sustainable production systems and sustainable consumption, green construction, …
Social processes and structures: urbanization and sustainable urban planning, climate governance, healthcare, educational processes, migrant flows, international cooperation, sustainable transformation of conflicts, environmental education, …
Human and social sciences: sustainable language and knowledge, art and sustainability, psychology of the profound, silence and sustainability, gender and sustainability, local knowledge and ecological consciousness, genuine progress indices and human development, futures studies, …
As fields and issues develop and overlap, this process enables previously unseen outcomes to emerge from the interactions between different perspectives for sustainability.
Papers and Perspectives
Visions for Sustainability publishes original, peer-reviewed papers that deal with various aspects of the issues identified. Each paper is numbered and occasionally collections of papers are published as special issues. We welcome all proposals for contributions pertaining to the aims and scope of the journal and developing issues within one or more of four complementary perspectives:
- theoretical visions, dealing with a wide range of perspectives on the concept of sustainability;
- research visions, dealing with analyses of situations involving questions of sustainability;
- educational visions, dealing with ways of considering issues concerning sustainability within educational processes and systems;
- experiential visions, dealing with ways of living that are coherent with the values and ideas that underlie sustainability.
Critical review articles are also welcome, as are reviews of books, films and web sites related to topics and issues of relevance to sustainability studies.