8b. Communication for Sustainability

Track Chairs

Goals and Objectives and Areas of the Track

The new track Communication for sustainability was created in response of the urgency to take action and interact to achieve the UN Sustainable Development goals of the UN and contribute to new solutions for large scale societal challenges that we are experiencing. Communication scholars have an important role in counteracting social and environmental crises in developing and developed countries and provide knowledge that contributes to social transformation and sustainable development.

This track invites communication scholars and scholars from other disciplines to present and discuss research focusing on the role of communication in relation to sustainable development. Communication research has an important role to play in this transformation.

Communication is critical for understanding the needs for change, to develop change initiatives and to implement change in organizations and societies. How we communicate about change is decisive for how we perceive the need for change and what actions we perform. Leadership is inextricably linked with communication, since communication enables leaders to motivate and inspire – or to rule and divide. Theory on the communicative constitution of organizing illustrates that communication processes including conversations, meetings, texts, messages, information, meaning, and media shape the creation of organizational objectives and collective action. This is important, since business as usual is inadequate and corporations are changing their mode of operations from merely philanthropic activities to changing their mode of operation in order to address complex pressing global issues and contribute to solve environmental and social problems that range from environmental pollution to work policies for employees. To contribute to sustainable development is a necessity to run a business organization effectively, and to build trustworthy relations with publics and stakeholders. By employing the knowledge on how to use strategic communication to form relations with publics and stakeholders, increase consciousness of social and environmental issues, and sustainable options, and influence behaviors.

Communication is also fundamental to increase knowledge about new innovations and sustainable solutions and research results that can be implemented in practice. With communication materials, campaigns we can inform the general public, engage with them, raise awareness on specific actions etcetera. Without communication, there will be no transformation.

We favor a broad range of subjects in this track, and welcome research from all perspectives: critical, postmodern, interpretive and post-positivist. We urge researchers studying organizational communication, strategic communication, public relations, environmental communication, health communication, media and communication, and journalism to submit abstracts to make a difference.

Length and content of the proposed abstract to the track

Each proposed abstract should be within 300 and 500 words (including all text)

  1. shall be best organized (without headlines) along usual structures (e.g. intro/method/findings or results/ discussion/conclusions)
  2. does not need to, but can include references
  3. shall provide in a final section
    a. to which SDG(s) and SDG-target(s) their proposed abstract especially relate to (e.g. “SDG+Target: 14.1.”).
    b. a brief indication how the proposed contribution relates to the topic of the Conference “Half-way through Agenda 2030Assessing the 5Ps of SDG(people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership)

Abstracts which do not outline points 3.a.) AND 3.b.) might be considered less relevant in the Review.

Potential publication channels

With regard to potential publications, depending on the number and quality of contributions the following publication opportunities have already been envisaged:

  1. A special issue in Journal of Communication Management
  2. An edited book on Communication for sustainable development
  3. Sustainable Development. Online ISSN: 1099-1719.
  4. Environmental Policy and Governance. Online ISSN: 1756-9338.