Call for Abstracts/Panel Proposals/Papers

Organised by an interdisciplinary committee, the Global Studies conference is open to scholars, students and community members with an interest in debating the shape of the future. The conference will be held at and run by RMIT University from 16 - 17 June 2020.

The theme of our conference is 2031 - Looking Forward to a Less Troubled World.

The year 2030 is a compelling milestone in global governance. It is the deadline for the international community to achieve all seventeen UN Sustainable Development Goals. It is a distance marker and a near horizon made visible by trend analyses and strategy documents that assume we have the knowledge and the tools to make authoritative long-range forecasts. There are many risks that could render today’s long-term strategic foresights redundant. Technological innovations will continue to generate new commercial opportunities, change the ways the humans and human societies communicate and organise, and open new vectors for global social interaction and activism. Some more long-established industries and professions will reach their dénouement, to be replaced by new cottage industries or other forms of small-scale social and business enterprises. The danger is that social inequalities will remain entrenched. There is an urgent need to address many ‘old world’ concerns, especially issues of global human mobility and social inclusion in culturally and linguistically diverse societies. The resurgence of great power politics, the apparent stepping back from commitments to global free trade, and the persistence of anti and alter-globalist insurgencies, warrant the negotiation of a new basis for a just and peaceful global order sufficient to support efforts to create a sustainable future for us all.

This two-day interdisciplinary global studies conference envisages the world beyond 2030, where the Sustainable Development Goals have been met, or are close to being realised or, alternatively, where collective inaction and indifference have left the world teetering on the brink.

Contributions are invited for formal academic papers and panels as well as informal discussion forums that address the broad conference themes. Beyond opening new spaces for future-focussed and interdisciplinary conversations, this conference advances the essential work of defining future global priorities for humanity.

Key Themes

Submissions related to these themes are particularly welcome.

  • After the SDGs, what's next?

  • The future of development and humanitarian aid work

  • Migration, displacement and global political change

  • Global feminisms

  • Social mobilisation, activism and new modes of connection

  • The 2030s in global historical perspective

  • Distributed humanitarianism

  • E-governance and participatory democracy

  • First nations in a world of strident nationalisms

  • Modelling global risks: techniques and shortcomings

  • Global energy futures

  • New and great powers and the risks of global fragmentation

  • Technologies of warfare and the ethics of arms control

  • The “end times of human rights”? Reimagining the normative foundations of global order

  • AI and the human condition

  • Intelligent cities and urban securities

  • Cities of surveillance

  • New environmental technologies

  • How to create an inclusive globe?

  • Language and education as pillars of global social inclusion Mobilising social enterprise and social finance for global sustainabilit

  • Are we entering a post-capitalist age?

  • The colonisation of outer space


Please make all submissions through the form below. Paper and panel proposals should be no of more than 250 words. If you are experiencing technical difficulties with the form below, please send your submission via email to @service email.

Submission deadline dates listed below. Expect one week turnaround for all submissions.

Early acceptance: January 31, 2020

Timely acceptance: March 27, 2020

Late acceptance: May 15, 2020


Venue includes AV, data projector, microphones, lectern and computers. Any supporting materials must be brought via. USB.