Call for Contributions

The National Sustainability Society (NSS) invites contributions that showcase scholarship on sustainability topics, and feature case studies, best practices, collaborative interdisciplinary or cross-sectoral projects, or other works that connect to the NSS conference themes.  


Need some inspiration? Check out these already accepted contributions!

The NSS welcomes contributions of any type, from both academics and practitioners:

A: Individual Contributions


B: Session Contributions


C: Workshop Contribution


Guidelines: Please read carefully!


Key Dates:

A: INDIVIDUAL CONTRIBUTIONS


Your abstract should open with a jargon-free sentence that provides a basic introduction to your work that is understandable to a broad, cross-sectoral audience. It should clearly state the sustainability-related issue and focus on a key conference theme. Next,  provide more detailed information about the situated/on-the-ground context and relevance of your work that a diverse audience can understand. Summarize the methodology and/or approach, and the main question and/or findings. Lastly,  explain the scholarly significance and/or practical application (the “so what”) of the work, especially as compared to what is already known and framed by a relevant conference theme.


Presentations will be organized into meaningful sessions, with ample time for discussion. 

Abstract length: 250 words. Presentation time: 10 minutes.



Sustainability Flash Talks are three-minute presentations. Slides are optional. Your talk should be intriguing and open up new ideas and conversation. Your abstract should open with a jargon-free sentence that provides a basic introduction to your work that is understandable to a broad, cross-sectoral audience. It should clearly state the sustainability-related issue and focus on a key conference theme. Next,  provide more detailed information about the situated/on-the-ground context, approach, and relevance of your work that a diverse audience can understand. Lastly,  explain the scholarly significance and/or practical application (the “so what”) of the work, especially as compared to what is already known and framed by a relevant conference theme. 


Above all, your contribution should be accessible to all audience members. Talks will be organized into meaningful (but fast-paced!) sessions, with ample time for discussion. 

Abstract length: 200 words. Presentation time: 3 minutes.




Your abstract should open with a jargon-free sentence that provides a basic introduction to your work that is understandable to a broad, cross-sectoral audience. It should clearly state the sustainability-related issue and focus on a key conference theme. Next,  provide more detailed information about the situated/on-the-ground context and relevance of your work that a diverse audience can understand. Next, summarize the methodology and/or approach, and the main question and/or findings. Lastly,  explain the scholarly significance and/or practical application (the “so what”) of the work, especially as compared to what is already known and framed by a relevant conference theme.


Posters will be displayed for the duration of the conference, and presenters will have the opportunity to share their work during a designated poster session. You are welcome to submit an additional contribution for a Sustainability Flash Talk, as a way to introduce your poster. 

Abstract length: 250 words. 

B: SESSION CONTRIBUTIONS


Pre-organized panels offer the opportunity for a panel of sustainability thought and action leaders to showcase a collection of ideas, projects, collaborations, solutions, and other elements that would benefit from a shared, organized discussion and an in-depth exchange with the audience. Panel organizers are responsible for organizing and publicizing the proposed session, soliciting panelists, and submitting a single abstract that describes the session, including some sample discussion questions for the panelists, and lists the panelists (3-5 panelists). 


Your proposal should open with a jargon-free sentence that provides a basic introduction that is understandable to a broad, cross-sectoral audience. It should clearly state the sustainability-related topic and focus on a key conference theme. Next,  provide more detailed information about panelists and what they will speak on, as framed by a conference theme. Lastly,  explain the scholarly significance and/or practical application (the “so what”) of the work, especially as compared to what is already known and framed by a relevant conference theme.  In your proposal be sure to include the name and affiliation of the person who will moderate the session.  

Proposal length: 400 words



Pre-organized symposia sessions are a set of connected oral presentations. They can focus on a single topic or be a collection of related topics. We especially encourage symposia that bring together people and ideas from academic and professional perspectives.


Symposia session organizers are responsible for organizing and publicizing the proposed session, soliciting abstracts, and selecting the abstracts for a single submission to the NSS. The symposia organizers must notify the submitters of their decision to accept or decline the abstract within 5 days of the NSS abstract deadline. This allows any declined submitters to submit as an individual oral presentation, if not chosen for your organized session.



This contribution provides a space to spark participant-led creative thinking, conversation, innovation, and learning. Do you have a sustainability-related idea, question, challenge, pain point, or bottleneck that others might identify with and would benefit from informal conversation, collaboration, and peer input? Pitch your idea here! If accepted, your topic will be offered as a session for you to lead. The session leader initiates the discussion or activities with 2-10 minutes of prepared remarks to set the stage. The organizer is responsible for identifying a moderator, either before the session or by asking for volunteers from the audience.  The moderator then facilitates discussion amongst attendees, ensuring all voices are heard and ideas considered. The contribution proposal should include 2-3 sample discussion prompts, as well as the names of the session leader and moderator. 

Proposal length: 200 words. 


C: WORKSHOP CONTRIBUTIONS


Workshops are 60-90 minute skill or tool-based sessions. They are organized and facilitated by the person(s) submitting the abstract, with some assistance from the NSS Resource Team.  Attendance will be capped at 30 participants (not including a maximum of 3 facilitators).  Workshops will be held on Monday, September 9th.  Workshop abstracts should follow the description structure below to convey the most salient features of your workshop.

Proposal length: 500 words.