Untitled Document

International Conference

Communication/Culture and The Sustainable Development Goals (CCSDG): Challenges for a New Generation"  

17-21 December 2015

UNISERV, Chiang Mai University, Thailand  


Tentative schedule: Download



Final Paper (Camera-Ready) Submission Deadline: 1 October 2015 at 9cssc9@gmail.com

Early Bird Registration Deadline: 1 November 2015



The problems we face today regarding climate change, terrorism, pandemics, and deep fractures in world trade and commerce are unlikely to be solved quickly. The ASEAN region is faced with specific problems, such as, land grabbing, dam construction, transboundary management, cross-border migration, etc.  

Whereas in the past, we were able to increase food production over a few cropping cycles, or establish income generating ventures in a couple of years, the “new” problems we face may take years, and in the case of climate change, several generations for the world community to resolve. How do we build consensus and muster the altruistic intent of the present generation to consume less, de-escalate conflict, and subject ourselves to medical research so that future generations who will exist long after we are gone may inherit a habitable planet?

The tried and tested methods of agriculture extension, social mobilization, community participation, and multi-lateral negotiation are unlikely to succeed on their own as these systemic problems grow in their severity and people submit to innate human instincts for self-preservation and compete even more keenly for rapidly dwindling natural resources, ratchet-up violence, resist Hippocratic principles to share limited supplies of vaccines and medicines, hoard energy and water, and close markets to international commerce.

We do not have appropriate strategies to begin addressing these “new” and highly complex challenges.   At the 2012 edition of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the background report on the global risks our world faces clearly stated that three common, crosscutting observations emerged from the varied groups of experts consulted:

– Decision-makers need to improve understanding of incentives that will improve collaboration in response to global risks;

 Trust, or lack of trust, is perceived to be a crucial factor in how risks may manifest themselves. In particular, this refers to confidence, or lack thereof, in leaders, in the systems which ensure public safety and in the tools of communication that are revolutionizing how we share and digest information;

 Communication and information sharing on risks must be improved by introducing greater transparency about uncertainty and conveying it to the public in a meaningful way.

In other words, more and more one considers communication and culture to be crucial to effectively tackle the major problems of today. The challenge for us is to assess the role and importance of Communication and Culture in the new Sustainable Development Goals, especially for the ASEAN region.

We call for papers that outline and assess these future challenges for theory and praxis from a number of inter-related and transdisciplinary perspectives. How can communication and culture be understood, defined and practiced in order for different actors to find sustainable solutions? Papers presenting successful cases as well as papers critically assessing the possibility and limits of communication/culture in sustainable development are herewith invited.


Topics could include, but are not limited to:

* Local communities and climate change

* Agrarian Transformation and Environmental Change

* Communication for Sustainable Social Change

* Civil Society and Activism

* Power Relations in ASEAN

* Media, Environment and the Underpriviliged

* Religion and sustainable social change

* Popular Culture, Arts and the Media

* The transition from MDGs to SDGs

* Identity Politics and Ethnicity

* Socio-cultural perspectives on illness, healing and sustainability

* Sustainability, Culture and Participation

* Migration, Displacement and Exile

* Education, Languages and Communication

* The need for digital literacy

* Communicative Urban and Rural Environments

* Participatory Impact Assessment and Learning

* Urban Landscapes, Modernity and Development

* Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Sustainable Development

* Research methodologies to measure impact and sustainability

* The Role of Public Intellectuals

* Newsmedia for Social Change

* The Interplay between State and Civil Society

* The role of international organizations, national goverments and NGOs

* Are SDGs universal/global or culture specific/local?

* Online and/or off-line activism

* ICTs for sustainable development

* Health, disease prevention and sustainability

* Western vs Asian perspectives on Sustainable Social Change


Format of the conference

The conference will use a number of formats: formal keynote and paper presentations, panel and roundtable discussions based on short paper presentations, open dialogue and sharing sessions. A number of invited scholars and policymakers will be asked to add comments and share their experience. 



All conference papers will be published online as part of the CCSDG Working Paper Series.

A selection of the best papers will, after peer review, be published either as special issues in the following academic journals:

- Telematics and Informatics. An Interdisciplinary Journal on the Social Impacts of New Technologies < http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/703/description#description>

- Asian Social Research ASR. Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities of Chiang Mai University http://cmuj.cmu.ac.th

or considered for the following book series:

-  Communication, Culture and Change in Asia, Springer Publisher, Singapore

- Communication, Globalization, and Cultural Identity, Lexington Books, Rowman & Littlefield.



The conference will be hosted by the Regional Center for Social Science and Sustainable Development (RCSD) at Chiang Mai University in partnership with the Asian Congress of Mass Communication (ACMC), BGreen Project, Connect4Climate/World Bank, RMIT Melbourne, Southeast Asia Research Centre (SEARC) at City University of Hong Kong, and Wageningen University.

Detailed information on fees, access and hotel possibilities will be provided in due time. Please check csschange.org for regular updates.



Regional Center for Social Science and Sustainable Development (RCSD)

Faculty of Social Sciences, Chiang Mai University

239 Huay Kaew Road, Tambon Suthep, Amphoe Muang, Chaing Mai

Coordinator: Ms. Kanchana Kulpisithicharoen

E-mail: iamkanchana@gmail.com or rcsd.cmu@gmail.com

URL: http://rcsd.soc.cmu.ac.th

Tel: +66 (0)53-943595-6  Fax: +66 (0)53-893-279