Integrated Network for Social Sustainability (INSS)

Project Status
In Progress
March 16, 2017
Sponsor

University of North Carolina - Charlotte (UNCC)

 

The National Science Foundation (NSF)

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Events
  • Jun62017
    Jun 06 2017 - Jun 07 2017 Fifth Annual Integrated Network on Social Sustainability (INSS) Conference
    The 2017 conference theme is "Smart, Connected Communities." The keynote speaker is David Ludlow, Associate Professor, European Smart Cities at the University of the West of England. The conference will be held across the following sites and online: Charlotte, NC (host) ...
    Online and in multiple cities
  • Jun92016
    Jun 09 2016 - Jun 10 2016 Fourth Annual Integrated Network on Social Sustainability (INSS) Conference
    The 2016 conference theme is " Communities and Connections ." The keynote speaker is Dr. Timothy Beatley , the Teresa Heinz Professor of Sustainable Communities, School of Architecture at the University of Virginia. The conference will be held across the following sites and online: ...
    Online and in multiple cities
  • Apr92015
    Apr 09 2015 - Apr 11 2015 Third Annual Integrated Network on Social Sustainability (INSS) Conference
    The 2015 conference of the Integrated Network on Social Sustainability (INSS) will be April 9-11, 2015. This year, there will be physical conferences in the following 5 sites as well as the option of online participation: Charlotte, NC London, UK Lansing, MI ...
    Online and in multiple cities
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Resources and Opportunities
  • image for Sustainability Resource Collection
    This resource collection on the Online Ethics Center includes bibliographies, essays, reports, and case studies on sustainability.
  • image for INSS Film and Digital Media Competition
    The INSS is very excited to launch a film and digital media competition: “Visions of Social Sustainability.” Submissions must be received by 5pm EST on January 3, 2015.
At-a-Glance
INSS seeks to convene the a diverse group of individuals and experiences to accelerate the rate at which social aspects of sustainability are more authentically included in policy, planning, and research about the built environment. The INSS network will provide annual summits and year-long opportunities for networking and collaboration.
Key Contacts
  • Frazier Benya
    Program Officer, Center for Engineering Ethics and Society
    National Academy of Engineering
    E-mail
    Office
    202-334-3087

The NAE's Center for Engineering Ethics and Society (CEES) is assisting the University of North Carolina - Charlotte with building an Integrated Network for Social Sustainability (INSS) to develop a network of researchers and practitioners, including engineers, who will examine what it means to engineer in a socially sustainable manner.[1] Broadly defined, social sustainability includes particularly those aspects of sustainability related to human welfare focusing on community, quality of life, social justice, democratic process, education, and health and safety. Examples of socially sustainable engineering are civil engineering projects in developing countries that are designed in collaboration with the community to meet its needs, accommodate the skills and tools of community members for repairs and maintenance, and improve quality of life.

Although engineering education and practice have incorporated environmental sustainability, what social sustainability means for engineering education and practice is much less clear. To address this INSS aims to accelerate the rate at which social aspects of sustainability are more authentically included in policy, planning, and research about the built environment. The INSS network will provide annual summits and year-long opportunities for networking and collaboration. Together members will share case studies and experiences and work toward including social aspects of sustainability in engineering.

Network members include:

  • Businesses who are engaged with corporate social responsibility
  • Engineers, planners and architects, who seek indicators and assessment tools to evaluate the social sustainability of various project alternatives.
  • Academics in a variety of fields who continue to re-examine and refine what is broadly meant by social sustainability and related terms through historical and contemporary examples.
  • Practitioners and NGOs who often work on projects involving social sustainability.

INSS held its inaugural conference in May 2013. The next meeting is scheduled April 9-11, 2015 . Funds are available to assist with travel expenses. If you are interested in attending, please contact the INSS at: socialsustainabilitynetwork@gmail.com.


[1] INSS was initiated with U.S. National Science Foundation funding that will support network activities and conferences for five years. Dr. Nicole Peterson of UNC Charlotte (Charlotte, NC) Anthropology leads the team, which also includes representation from Civil and Environmental Engineering; English, and Architecture. More information about INSS is also available on the network's website http://socialsustainabilitynetwork.org