Security and Equality for Sustainable Futures on the Agenda for 2018 World Social Science Forum

The theme of the 2018 World Social Science Forum will be Security and Equality for Sustainable Futures, the International Social Science Council (ISSC) announced today. The Forum will take place from the 25th to 28th of September 2018, and will be hosted by Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan.

The growing complexity of the challenges facing societies worldwide has given rise to increasing concerns about security, across a range of different sectors. Life in the Anthropocene era is calling into question the sustainability of human activities, with critical implications for equity, and for food, water and energy security. From issues of freedom and democracy to cyber- and bio-warfare, the changing nature of conflict highlights the complexity and interrelatedness of old and new threats to human security. It is against this backdrop that Agenda 2030 sets out to ‘secure our planet’, while ensuring that ‘no-one will be left behind’.

“In a globalising and increasingly complex world, threats to security and equality for sustainable futures are transnational and transcend the boundaries of disciplinary research. Understanding them, and responding effectively, requires diverse knowledge from across the scientific disciplines, and from around the world. As the International Social Science Council enters a new period in its history, in the context of a potential merger with the International Council for Science, the 2018 World Social Science Forum in Fukuoka will be a timely opportunity to bring together leading social scientists and other stakeholders to advance thinking on this crucial topic,” said Alberto Martinelli, President of the ISSC.

Kazuo Miyamoto, Chair of the WSSF 2018 Local Organizing Committee, and Vice-President, Director of the University Libraries and Director of the University Archives, Kyushu University, said

“The social sciences and humanities have a vital role to play in achieving security and equality for sustainable futures, in dialogue with citizens and decision makers. We look forward to welcoming participants to Fukuoka, to share and expand the knowledge that can help create a more sustainable world. Fukuoka is an outward-looking city, characterized by its coastal location and history as a regional trading hub, and today Kyushu University is an academic and socio-economic hub uniting Asia. It is fitting location for the first World Social Science Forum in Asia.”

Over the course of four days, discussion at the Forum will explore how current concerns about security relate to equality and sustainability. The Forum is expected to convene around 1,000 researchers from all over the world, who will identify critical research priorities on security, as well as data and knowledge gaps, globally and in specific regions. Discussions at the Forum will be arranged around the following sub-themes:

The tri-annual World Social Science Forum is a flagship activity of the ISSC. The 2018 Forum will be held at Fukuoka Convention Center, hosted by Kyushu University and supported by Science Council of Japan (SCJ) and Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST). World Social Science Fora convene researchers, funders, policymakers and other stakeholders from all over the world to discuss important societal challenges, take stock of social science contributions and capacities, and make recommendations for future research, practice and policy.

A call for recommendations for the Scientific Committee has now been released, and a call for session proposals is expected to open in June 2017.

More information can be found on the Forum website: 

This post was updated on 2 May 2021 with the links above.