2017 WINTER THEME CALL FOR PAPERS: Future Casting Sustainability Education

Future CastingPDF: Future Casting Call for Papers

A Special Response Edition

Recent events within the United States and across the globe have left many of us literally waking up to a world that seems unfamiliar and unsettling. So much so that even knowing what to do next feels elusive. JSE Editor Clare Hintz and Assistant Editor Jennifer Mason, in collaboration with Guest Editors Christine Kelly and Ken Leinbach have come together to respond to today’s events by asking our field to vision together using what Jonathon Swift describes as the art of seeing the invisible. Please join us as we future cast the limitless possibilities the future holds.

“I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.


Call for Papers: Future-Casting Sustainability Education (Winter, 2017)

The special 2016 September issue of Scientific American explored the future. As the cover of the magazine states, “We are remaking our world and ourselves. What’s next?” On August 29th, an expert panel recommended that the International Geological Congress declare the Earth to be in a new geological epoch – the Anthropocene. This epoch is roughly dated from 1945 when human activities started to have a significant global impact on the Earth’s ecosystems and became a major geological force. As the executive editors of Scientific American noted, we are now running the great human experiment. Yet a growing amount of research and recent political outcomes across the globe indicate it is not a lack of scientific literacy that impacts our acceptance of scientific consensus on such issues as global climate change, but rather our need to be in alignment with our perceived tribe. Our need to belong is so great that we will choose to accept or reject science and sustainability in order to maintain our group association. Today, more than ever, we are all called to explore how to transcend these entrenched group identities that are ripping at the fabric of humanity.

As the field of sustainability education – and many of our institutions – grow and mature with this backdrop, we are called to action in all facets of society in ways we never have before. This special response edition of the JSE is intended to give our field the freedom to future cast the limitless possibilities the future holds. The goal of future casting in this issue is not to predict the future of sustainability education but instead to provoke a bolder and more creative vision of what seems invisible today. By doing so, we plant the seeds of our future.

In this response edition, we are looking for contributions that explore our field’s current vulnerabilities and share opportunities for the transformation in as-yet-unimagined ways that create new learning platforms for change. We invite you to invent a vision born not simply from an extrapolation of our history into the future but pulled from the far reaches of your imagination, from the pages of your dreams. We welcome a range of submission types that, for the moment, set aside our more traditional academic tone and instead speak from places within. We especially encourage quality alternative media such as digital postcards (perhaps from the future?), photo collages, video interviews (maybe even of tomorrow’s children’s children?) or discussions.

Submission deadline: January 15, 2016

Expected publication date: March 1, 2017.

If you are interested in submitting work for this issue, please visit the JSE website (www.susted.org), and register as an author using the RATS (review and article tracking and submission) system (follow the link to RATS at the top of the JSE home page). RATS also includes links to the JSE submission guidelines (select “submit” from the RATS interface). For further information, please contact the issue guest editor or the JSE editor. Please use “JSE future casting inquiry” in the subject line of your message.


We will also be accepting 120 word submissions that future cast the defining characteristics of our field and possibly even suggest the new name by which our field will come to be known. The top 15 will be selected for publication. All submissions will be used to create our future-casting word cloud. Please include “JSE future casting 120 word” in the title line of your short submission.



The lead Guest Editor for this edition is Dr. Christine Kelly, who can be reached at chrmkelly@earthlink.net.


Clare Hintz, Ph.D., Editor, editor@susted.com