About the Forum

The World Sustainability Forum (WSF) is an annual sustainability conference organized by MDPI. Held for the first time in 2011, the forum covers research in a variety of fields that are closely related to sustainability and sustainable development, including:

  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Economic Sustainability
  • Social Sustainability
  • Renewable Energy Self-Sustainability
  • Energy Return-on-Investment
  • Governance and Sustainability
  • Sustainability Assessment and Policies
  • Remote Sensing for Sustainable Management of Land and Biodiversity

The forum aims to be a platform for researchers to present and engage with research-relevant stakeholders on questions, issues and challenges regarding sustainability. We seek to contribute to policy-relevant, change-oriented, and transdisciplinary research from, and collaboration with, science and technology, the life sciences, and the social sciences.

Six World Sustainability Forums have been held so far, all sponsored by MDPI and MDPI’s journal Sustainability. The first four World Sustainability Forums were held electronically on MDPI’s conference platform, Sciforum. The 5th World Sustainability Forum, held at the beginning of September 2015, was the first forum held in a physical location at the ZLF (Zentrum für Lehre und Forschung—Center for Education and Research), under the patronage of the University of Basel, Switzerland. The 6th World Sustainability Forum (WSF6) was held in January 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa and the 7th World Sustainability Forum (WSF7) took place in September 2018 at the UIBE in Beijing, China.

The 8th World Sustainability Forum will be held in May/June 2020 in Basel, Switzerland. The webiste will be online in January 2019.

The Basel Sustainability Forum

The WSF local forums are locally held, physical one-day conferences organized by MDPI and the respective local partners. Similar to the World Sustainability Forum, the WSF local forums are dedicated to expanding knowledge of sustainability in all its facets and seek to contribute to policy-relevant, change-oriented, and transdisciplinary research and collaboration between science and technology, the life sciences, and the social sciences. Specifically, the WSF local fora aim to provide researchers, stakeholders, as well as the general public with a local platform for exchange on a designated issue regarding sustainability.

The first WSF local forum, the 1st Basel Sustainability Forum: Energy, was held on 14th October 2016 in Basel, Switzerland, and was co-organized by the University of Basel and MDPI. It focused on the relations between energy and sustainability and aimed to sensitize an interested general public to new developments regarding energy transfer from the perspectives of the sciences, consumers and businesses.

The second WSF local forum, the 2nd Basel Sustainability Forum, focused on sustainable mobility — a key topic in an ever more dynamic world. Again, a co-production of the University of Basel and MDPI, the 2nd Basel Sustainability Forum: Mobility was held on Friday, 15th September 2017, at the 'Alte Universität', Rheinsprung 9/11, University of Basel.

The third WSF local forum, the 3rd Basel Sustainability Forum, focused on climate — a one day event presenting the current status of research and policy on climate change in Switzerland and beyond. Another co-production of the University of Basel and MDPI Sustainability Foundation, the 3rd Basel Sustainability Forum: Climate was held on Monday, 4th June 2018, at the 'Alte Universität', Rheinsprung 9/11, University of Basel.

The fourth WSF local forum, the 4th Basel Sustainability Forum on health — will focus on local and global issues associated with sustainability and health (SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-Being). The 4th Basel Sustainability Forum: Health will be held on Monday, 3 June 2019, again at the 'Alte Universität', Rheinsprung 9/11, University of Basel.

Electronic Forum

The WSF electronic forum aim to complement MDPI’s event series on sustainability with a digital format. Like the other fora, the aim of the WSF electronic forum is to foster the expansion of knowledge of sustainability in all its facets. By providing researchers with a digital platform for academic conversation on a particular issue regarding sustainability over the course of several weeks, the WSF electronic forum achieves a foundation for long-term, intensive sustainable exchange—flexible with regards to the participants’ schedules. Furthermore, as an alternative to the physical conferences, the WSF electronic forum avoids aviatic CO2 emissions and thus facilitates a new mode of scholarly exchange that is compatible with an ecologically sustainable behaviour.

Details on upcoming WSF electronic fora will be announced soon.