Call for Contributions-Struggles and Successes in the Pursuit of Sustainable Development

Opportunity to contribute to a new global book project on:

Struggles and Successes in the Pursuit of Sustainable Development


Tay Keong Tan, Radford University ( [email protected])

Milenko Gudić, PRME Anti-poverty Working Group Coordinator, ( [email protected])

Patricia M. Flynn, Bentley University ( [email protected])

Part of the Routledge/PRME (Principles for Responsible Management Education) Book Series

Routledge and the global network of teachers and scholars at the PRME have published a series of books on the principles of social responsibility and global sustainability for business and management education. This new volume is a compilation of chapters and case studies from around the world on how nations, communities, and organizations pursue the global development agenda promulgated by the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Adopted by the UN member states on 25 th September 2015 “to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all”, the SDGs include the most ambitious development agenda collectively undertaken by the nations of the world.

Contributions for the book are sought from academics, practitioners, policymakers, business leaders, journalists and entrepreneurs.

Background to the Book Series

The mission of the UN PRME initiative is to inspire and champion responsible management education, research and thought leadership globally under the auspices of the United Nations. The PRME working groups were launched with a mission to bring together academics and practitioners to promote the integration of sustainability issues into management education, and to foster related research.

The SDGs represent the world’s most ambitious development targets in 17 broad areas: from eliminating poverty, hunger and gender inequality to creating thriving cities and green economies. This new volume, an initiative of several members and working groups of the PRME, looks at the emerging practices and early results in the trenches of this new development agenda. It aims to celebrate and chronicle the work by organizations, corporations, governments, and civil society actors on sustainable development from around the world.

Description of the Book

The SDGs embody the collective aspirations of the world’s peoples: peace, freedom, development, and sustainability. Operationalized into 169 specific, measurable, and time-bound objectives, they address some of the central challenges of our times. Nation states, development agencies, corporations, civil society and communities have been mobilized to work on this global development agenda over a fifteen-year timeframe from 2015 to 2030.

The challenges associated with the struggles for attainment of these goals and objectives are as diverse and complex as the variety of human societies, national conditions and natural ecosystems worldwide. Despite decades of economic growth and technological advances, our world is plagued by poverty, hunger, disease, conflicts, and inequality, and many societies are under the strain of environmental changes and governance failure. We need creative solutions and pragmatic programmes to guide us to a more economically vibrant, socially inclusive, and environmentally sustainable future.

Such global-scale challenges call for the SDGs must be translated beyond bold concepts and aspirational targets into concrete programs and feasible plans that are substantively valuable, locally acceptable, and operationally implementable. In the pursuit of the SDGs, positive results are far from guaranteed. Success is uncertain. Instead, the path forward requires difficult learning, experimentation, and adaptation by multiple stakeholders. Loss and sacrifice are foreseeable and often, inevitable. Workable solutions inevitably involve trade-offs and compromises that address the concerns of diverse groups.

Hence, the lessons from ongoing struggles and the early successes - productive failures and emerging practices - are precious nuggets that should be identified, analyzed and promulgated for cross-learning by, and the inspiration of, like-minded individuals, organizations, communities, and nations worldwide. They can also inform and enrich the curricula in universities, training institutions, and schools to prepare future generations of citizens, leaders and activists with the ethos and values of sustainability and social responsibility.

The primary focus of this book is the specific strategies and practices that ‘make sustainability work’ in different contexts around the world. To what extent are businesses able to contribute to the accomplishment of the SDGs? How can governments and public agencies mobilize nations and communities to participate in the action plans emanating from the SDGs? What can international organizations and development agencies do to address these complex challenges on the global scale? And what can civil society organizations and ordinary citizens do to contribute to this new global agenda?

This book offers a platform for academics, practitioners, and concerned global citizens to identify pathways forward on the immense challenges of sustainability. What insights and solutions can we offer to those in the frontlines of promoting sustainable development? How can the world learn from the crucibles of programme designs and the laboratories of practice on ‘what works’ and ‘what does not’ in advancing the SDGs? How can educators effectively integrate the lessons from the trenches of sustainable development into management education around the world? These are the central foci of this book.

The SDGs, adopted by world leaders to mobilize global efforts on sustainable development, are:

  1. Poverty - End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  2. Food - End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
  3. Health - Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
  4. Education - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
  5. Women - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  6. Water - Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
  7. Energy - Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and clean energy for all
  8. Economy - Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
  9. Infrastructure - Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
  10. Inequality - Reduce inequality within and among countries
  11. Habitation - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
  12. Consumption - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
  13. Climate - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  14. Marine-ecosystems - Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
  15. Ecosystems - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
  16. Institutions - Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
  17. Sustainability - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

This bookwill be an edited collection thatexplores the practice and policy issues relating on how the SDGs and the sustainability agenda are being advanced throughout the world. It will identify problems, present evidence, and offer solutions that will inspire other practitioners to bring these important global sustainability issues into the practice of their professions. Academics will also be influenced to incorporate these issues into their curricula.

The content of its chapters includes but is not limited to the following:

  1. Empirical basis and theoretical rationales for the SDGs from different disciplinary perspectives;
  2. Case studies on the work of public leaders, business managers, civil society activists, and management educators in defining and addressing the social, environmental, and humanitarian issues embodied in the SDGs;
  3. Lessons learned from the actions and experience of civil society, governments, corporations, and academia around the world involved in the pursuit of this new development adopted;
  4. Challenges of, and solutions to, attaining the SDG’s 2030 agenda to “reach the furthest behind first” and to ensure that “no one will be left behind”;
  5. Strategies to build upon the lessons of the Millennium Development Goals (2000-2015) to ensure that the SDG action plans reach the poorest and most disadvantaged social groups and regions;
  6. Experiences of public leaders, business executives, and civil society activists and citizens around the world in using multi-stakeholder partnerships, innovative program designs, and pragmatic implementation strategies to advance sustainable development;
  7. Pedagogy and practices on how the SDGs and related themes on sustainable development can be integrated into management education around the world;
  8. Findings of research on topics relating to SDGs-related issues, strategies, and programs in specific contexts.

The list above is suggestive of the range of categories under which we are accepting contributions. It is not an exhaustive list; the editors welcome topics that address the central issues of the SDGs and the sustainability agenda from various geographical, theoretical and organizational perspectives.


This project aims to develop a multi-disciplinary, comprehensive understanding of the issues and challenges relating to the advancement of the SDGs in different contexts to capture the lessons learned and inspiring examples from practice. As such, submissions based on different approaches, whether reflexive, empirical, hands-on or applied theory, will be considered.

All chapters should be between 2,500 and 4,500 words in length, and contributors should ensure that cases are placed in the context of the sustainability agenda promulgated by the SDGs. The editors are particularly interested in chapters that critically evaluate illustrative examples of good practices and innovations from a range of business, organizational, and global perspectives.

Papers must be submitted, without exception, as per the editorial guidelines, including those of Routledge which can be found at: Potential contributors are encouraged to visit the websites of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the PRME, including its Working Groups for further information. They may also contact the editors, whose email addresses are noted above, if they have additional questions.

Please submit abstracts of no more than 1,000 words, together with a full CV for each author, to Rebecca Marsh, no later than 1 March 2018: [email protected]

Timeline Abstract and CV submission 1 March 2018
Selection of abstracts & notification to successful contributors no later than 1 June 2018
Full chapter submission 1 December 2018
Revised chapter submission 15 May 2019
Publication Winter of 2019

About Greenleaf

A leading publisher in the areas of responsible management, ethics and social responsibility.

Find out more