Integrated Network for Social Sustainability (INSS)

Sixth Annual Integrated Network on Social Sustainability (INSS) Conference

Baltimore MD

Visit the conference website

The theme for the 2018 conference of the Integrated Network for Social Sustainability (INSS), led by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC), is Localizing Sustainability: Local Challenges, Local Champions. Conference sites this year are Charlotte, NC and Baltimore, MD.

The University of Baltimore is hosting the Baltimore meeting at 10 W. Preston Street in the Liberal Arts and Policy building in room 112, Baltimore MD 21201. Events are scheduled for Friday June 8 and Saturday June 9.

The theme calls attention to the connections of far-away times and places with specific sustainability concerns of local places today.  It focuses on the challenges to localities affected by global and technological changes while national governments seem unable to meet those challenges.

The Baltimore sessions will provide an overview of the United Nations Sustainable Development goals (SDG) and data about the status of Baltimore with respect to these goals.  Baltimore is one of three pilot cities in the USA Sustainable Cities Initiative (USA-SCI) that are working to identify SDG-based city level development strategies.

Participants will be asked to respond to this information by developing a ranked list of issues for Baltimore and then attempting to provide several ways to resolve them.  Here are some questions to consider in crafting the responses:

  • How do Baltimore’s specific history, norms, narratives, and geographic features mediate policy responses to these challenges?
  • How does the community see technology working to achieve the SDGs? Can Baltimore benefit from the “smart, connected cities” movement?
  • How do we bridge communities within a region (urban-rural, rich-poor, segregated, etc.) to address common issues for the city-region?
  • How do local leaders reconcile (or fail to recognize) the demands of the “global” stage versus addressing the needs of local residents, on the ground?
  • What are examples of city-region-scale initiatives or public-private partnerships that prioritize and improve the livelihoods of existing residents?

This conference series has been supported through an award from the US National Science Foundation (NSF) to UNCC. The Center for Engineering, Ethics, and Society (CEES) of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) has been working with INSS to create connections and ongoing collaborations between individuals and groups. The Baltimore effort is one result from the NAE-CEES work with INSS.