Dear colleague:


I hope this note finds you well. I am writing this letter to share with you the call for abstracts for the second annual Sustainability and Development Conference at the University of Michigan (October 11-14, 2019), following up on our highly successful inaugural conference last year. The meeting is supported by several University of Michigan departments, as well as the journal World Development. It will cover a suite of key themes related to sustainability and development, but broadly focuses on the many global efforts to realize the ambitions of sustainability and development—including the SDGs—and to assess the outcomes of these efforts. Last year’s inaugural conference brought together around 600 participants from over 50 countries to deepen our efforts to understand the breadth and depth of work on the subject. The 2 ½ day event facilitated collaborative conversation and action around sustainability and development relationships. We fully expect this year’s meeting, expanded to 3 ½ days, to do the same, and more.


One of the objectives of the conference continues to be to strengthen research on the subject by connecting authors to journal editors, including for World Development. Meetings with editors help potential authors gain insights into the editorial review process, and seek to encourage authors to submit papers to World Development and other development journals (five journal editors will be in attendance). After last year’s conference, over 150 manuscripts were submitted to journals and are currently under review. 


In addition, in my capacity as Editor-in-Chief of World Development, I will again offer a limited number of one-on-one expedited manuscript review sessions. As a way to say thank you for your contributions to the journal, priority will be given to existing World Development reviewers and those who have already prepared manuscripts for submission. Other journals whose editors who have accepted our invitation to come to the meeting include Ecology and Society, World Development Perspectives, Landscape and Urban Planning, and Global Food Security. 


We welcome abstracts for posters, workshops, lightning talks, oral presentations, and pre-organized panel sessions. See the webpage,, for guidelines and other information. The submission deadline is May 1, 2019. We will communicate selection decisions by May 10, financial assistance decisions by May 15, and registration opens May 17. Invitation letters will be sent to those who register. 


To strengthen the participation of junior scholars, we are excited to be able to offer free registration to undergraduates whose poster is accepted for the conference. We welcome collaborative poster presentations with existing institutional faculty advisors.


We hope very much that you will consider submitting an abstract and that we will have the opportunity to engage with you in person.


Thank you for your time and efforts on behalf of World Development.




Arun Agrawal

Please submit here :