ISEE 2000 Conference

"Business, the Economy & Sustainability" theme

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The "Business, Economy & and Sustainability" (BES) theme is being developed through a participatory process.  Your active involvement in shaping the program of activities is welcomed.


Activity has already started

The Business/Economy/Sustainability theme is not a single event. It is a twelve month process - made up of the following elements:

Voluntary activities are being organised in countries around the world to support this program.  To find out what is going on, subscribe to the free announcement email list.


BES Email-based Announcement List

Anyone interested in being kept up to date about theme activities should subscribe immediately to the free announcement email list.  You do not need to have registered for the physical conference (People and Nature) or for the electronic mini-conference to subscribe to this list, and a subscription creates no obligations.  (However, to participate in the theme activities you must register.)

Subscribe by sending a blank email message to You can also subscribe by going to the special Onelist subscription web page at but this method is not as user friendly.


The focus of the BES theme

The theme will address the challenge of how "to engage firms in the rapid creation of a sustainable economy".
Please note: to be acceptable, papers and other contributions to the Business/Economy/Sustainability theme will need to demonstrate or propose actions that specifically target sustainability. Untargeted contributions about general 'greening' or the more ethical operation of the economy or firms will not be sufficient to qualify contributions for the conference.

The Business/Economy/Sustainability theme's objectives are to:


The scope of the BES theme

The Business/Economy/Sustainability theme aims to span issues ranging from the vision of sustainability to how an ecologically sustainable economy can be created.  The topics to be covered are:

We are looking for material that provides insight into:

Papers could contain material about:


The BES theme - at the July 2000 physical conference

The Business/Economy/Sustainability theme will run as a thread through the main conference to held in Canberra, Australia, from 5-8 July 2000.

There will be at least one plenary session devoted to the theme.  There will also be sessions for the presentation of papers and open format sessions that may be devoted to debates or workshops. A field trip on the Business/Economy/Sustainability theme will also be conducted.

Authors hoping to present papers at the physical conference need to submit an abstract by 30 September 1999.  It is planned to mail out acceptances or rejections of papers in February 2000. For further information about the submission of abstracts and the preparation of papers see the guidelines for authors.

Relevant, good quality papers that are not able to be fitted into the physical conference program will, with the author's permission, be used in the electronic mini-conference.

With the permission of the authors, material from papers presented at the physical conference may be included in the Business/Economy/Sustainability theme book, "Redesigning commerce - for a sustainable future".


The BES theme via the Electronic Mini-Conference

The electronic mini-conference is the most important component of the Business/Economy/Sustainability theme.

Activities that make up the electronic conference include:

Prior to the physical conference: Email-based 'tuning-in" seminars
on the topic of:
  • "how can firms contribute to the rapid creation of an ecologically sustainable economy"
  • "advancing the ecological economic research agenda on issues relating to sustainability and the firm"
Networking via email

This activity has already commenced. Register now to participate.

  • to encourage the submission of papers for the physical and electronic conference components
  • to plan the open-format sessions of the physical conference
  • to plan the formal electronic mini-conference following the physical conference in July 2000
After the physical conference A series of actively moderated, high profile seminars
  • Sustainability! But what does it mean?
  • How far, how fast?
  • Images of sustainable futures and pathways there
  • Redesigning consumption
  • Redesigning the firm
  • Redesigning industry structures
  • Redesigning the economic playing field
  • Redesigning local economies
  • Strategies for change
Display papers on the mini- conference web site which are of good quality and which fit the focus and scope of the BES theme
Small email list-based conversations around each paper on the mini-conference web site
An actively moderated, high profile seminar on how to create an ongoing process of global collaboration around the Business/Economy/Sustainability theme

People registered for the BES Electronic Mini-Conference can also participate in a collaborative project to develop a database of ethically rated firms & catalyst organisations.  A copy of the database shell and the current data set will be provided to each interested mini-electronic conference registrant.

Further information and updates on the BES Electronic Mini-Conference will be made available here, as the information becomes available.

If you have registered for the main conference, "People and Nature", registration with the electronic mini-conference on the Business/Economy/Sustainability theme comes as a bonus at no extra cost.

If you are not coming to the main conference in Canberra in July 2000 (or you are not yet sure), you need to register separately for the electronic mini-conference. It will cost you A$40 (Australian dollars). You can register via the main conference registration form. Should you later decide to go to the physical conference in Canberra, your A$40 registration will be counted as part of your payment for the main conference.

Please register for the electronic mini-conference as soon as possible as activities have already commenced.



To register for the physical conference/electronic mini-conference together or for the electronic mini-conference alone go to the Registration Form.


A shared database of sustainability-promoting firms and catalyst organisations

People registered for the BES Electronic Mini-Conference can participate in a collaborative project to develop a database of ethically rated firms & catalyst organisations.  Participants in the BES Electronic Mini-Conference will given a database shell and the current data set.  Each participant is encouraged to expand the dataset and to offer suggestions for improvements in the database shell. The improvements will be shared with all registrants.  The database will be maintained and expanded after the conference via a global network of national and sub-national dataset managers.  Any organisation interested in having such a role and individuals wishing to assist the project should contact the organisers at:


The BES book - "Redesigning commerce - for a sustainable future"

Greenleaf Publications will be publishing the book "Redesigning commerce - for a sustainable future" based on the contributions to the Business/Economy/Sustainability theme.


The BES Advisory Network

A global advisory network has been established for the Business/Economy/Sustainability theme. We are actively building up this network. We hope to have at least one advisor in each country / economy.



Registrants to the ISEE 2000 conference in Canberra and to the BES electronic mini-conference are invited to participate actively in all aspects of the BES theme - professionally and as volunteer organisers.  We are looking for lots of input to help us shape the structure, content and conduct of the Business/Economy/Sustainability theme.

The BES theme organisers are building up a volunteer team of organisers from around the world.  Please let us know if you can help us find volunteers.  Almost all that needs to be done can be done via email and the web so people from anywhere in the world are encouraged to get involved.

We have set up a participation web page that details what needs to be done.


Partners and sponsors

Green Innovations, the Business/Economy/Sustainability theme coordinator, is looking for other organisations that are interested in being a partner in or sponsor of the BES theme activities.  If you would like to discuss the possibilities of partnership or sponsorship please contact:

The minimum involvement to qualify for the status of a Partner is to:

Partners are encouraged to participate in the advisory network and/or to join the organising team.

Any assistance your organisation can offer beyond this level of support would be most welcome.


Who is coordinating the BES theme?

The Business/Economy/Sustainability theme is being coordinated by Green Innovations, a small Australian not-for-profit organisation that specialises in encouraging corporations to become sustainability-promoting.  If you want to contact Green Innovations about the ISEE 2000 Business/Economy/Sustainability theme please send emails to:



Through our resources web page we will put you in touch with organisations and other resources from around the world that can help people interested in the Business/Economy/Sustainability theme.


Author:  Philip Sutton
First posted:  23 July 1999
Content updated:  10 February 2000
Format updated:  12 August 1999
Feedback & Enquiries: