ICSS2010 has a challenging central ambition: to map and structure the existing knowledge, methodologies, and research priorities in Sustainability Science. This ambition is motivated by the necessity of contrasting the risk of dispersion and fragmentation that a domain with such a wide range of research interests such as Sustainability Science inevitably runs.

The Conference has six primary objectives:
  1. Strengthen the framework of sustainability science and identify the epistemological pillars of sustainability science, as well as discuss the methodology aspects.
  2. Present case studies of trans-disciplinary research practices to address the complexity of human-nature interaction
  3. Review and discuss the current status of high education in sustainability science with regard to diverse visions, approaches, and methodologies used
  4. Discuss the possibilities and challenges of an effective collaboration civil society, industry, policy makers - academia for a transition towards sustainability.
  5. Examine the central issues and challenges of global sustainability giving equal attention to the perspectives of the South
  6. Identify specific and concrete activities and instruments to consolidate the collaboration among research institutions and Networks.
ICSS2010 differently from most of the scientific conferences will not have a call for papers. The contributions to the conference will be organized and systematized and each session will be output oriented. For this reason the access to the audience of the conference will be open while speakers and contributors to the session will be invited by the secretariat of the conference.

The organizing methodology of the conference, schematically, is the following:
  1. The Steering Committee reunited identified the session Chairs, on the basis of their demonstrated expertise on the theme of the session and on their capability of actively contributing to strengthen sustainability science, and the Co-Chair, which are members of the organizing universities, for their expertise and capacity of working with the Chair and helping in the organization of the session.
  2. The Chair, identifies 3-4 experts that will be invited to the session. The Chair has the responsibility of preparing a background document which addresses the central themes of the session, the current state of knowledge (literature review), and the open research questions.
  3. The invited speakers to the session will be expected to contribute to the sessions with a paper and a presentation that follows the indications the Chair will give them.
  4. It will be responsibility of the Chair and Co-Chair to facilitate the production of outputs in relation to: I. Current state of knowledge in the particular stream. II. Open research questions the community considers relevant for the stream in the short term (next 1-3 years). III. Deriving a research agenda and indicating who/which group commits to contribute what over the next 1-3 years (coordination).
  5. There will be no parallel sessions and panels in order to have the contribution and the confrontation with all the experts invited at the conference for every session.
  6. The journal Sustainability Science will dedicate a special issue to the works produced for and during ICSS10, and selected work will be published.