Call for Papers: Leibniz Environment and Development Symposium (LEADS) 2023

The prevailing pattern of economic and social development all too often fails to deliver progress for all and to respect our planetary boundaries. We see climate change, biodiversity loss and environmental degradation caused by economic development that is accompanied by persistent or even rising inequality, poverty, and hunger. The current multiple crises are reinforcing some of these global problems. Simultaneously meeting the global challenges of achieving sustainable and inclusive development requires strong interdisciplinary and international research collaboration. However, research at the interface of environment and development is often hampered by traditional academic boundaries. New ideas and fresh research approaches as well as inter-disciplinary exchange are needed.

  • This is why several German research institutes ATBIGZ, RWIPIKZALF, ZMT and the GIGA – all members of the Leibniz Association – regularly organise the Leibniz Environment and Development Symposium (LEADS). The aim of LEADS is to foster interdisciplinary exchange and stimulate collaboration on global societal challenges among and between early-career researchers and senior scholars. This year’s LEADS will be hosted by the Economic Policy Lab "Climate Change, Development and Migration" at the RWI – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research in Essen on 27–28 November 2023. The Policy Lab is a dynamic platform that links research activities on the three topics.

    We invite submissions of original research papers, in particular by early-career researchers, that address challenges at the interface of environment and development. Submissions by researchers from within and outside the Leibniz Association are equally welcome.

    LEADS will provide ample opportunities for academic discussion and networking where participants are encouraged to explore new research collaborations. Accepted papers will be discussed at the conference by a dedicated discussant. We may also have a poster session. Two keynote lectures by Mascha Rauschenbach (DEval) and Erwin Bulte (Wageningen University) will complement the programme.

    Please send your submission (at least an extended abstract, ideally a full draft paper, in English) and a short CV (maximum two pages) in PDF format by email to by 30 September 2023. Decisions will be communicated by mid-October 2023. Final papers (completed or draft version) are due by 17 November 2023 for circulation with the discussant. The conference will start on the first day at around 13:30 and end at around 16:00 on the second day to facilitate arrival and departure on the same days. The conference will be held in English. Participation is free of charge.

    For further information please send an email to

    Academic committee:  Achim Schlüter (ZMT)Anette Ruml (GIGA)Jann Lay (GIGA)Kati Krähnert (RWI)Lasse Loft (ZALF)Maximiliane Sievert (RWI)Philipp Grundmann (ATB), and Tilman Brück (IGZ/HU) 

    Local organisers:  Gunther Bensch (RWI) and Maximiliane Sievert (RWI)


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