The Future of Consumerism and Well-Being in a World of Ecological Constraints

Clark University, Worcester, MA, USA

June 12-14, 2013


Downloadable Copy of the Final Program

Downloadable Copy of Abstract Book (May 28, 2013 Edition)



The Sustainable Consumption Research and Action Initiative (SCORAI) is organizing an international conference to be held on June 12-14, 2013, at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, USA.

The Conference seeks:

1) To improve our understanding of the complex driving forces underlying prevalent consumerist lifestyles in the wealthy parts of the globe.

2) To generate insights about fostering a necessary transition toward alternative ways of pursuing individual and societal well-being in a technological society cognizant of ecological limits. 

3) To build on recent developments to establish a vibrant global research community focused on sustainable consumption.

Keynote Speakers
John Fullerton

Former Managing Director of JP Morgan and Founder of the Capital Institute, an online collaborative space for exploring the transition
to the New Economy.

Sheldon Garon

Professor of History and East Asian Studies at Princeton University and the author of Beyond Our Means: Why America Spends While the World

Carol Graham

Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and Professor at the School of Public Policy, University of Maryland, and the author of The
Pursuit of Happiness: Toward the Economy
of Well-Being.

Plenary Dialogue Speakers

Juliet Schor

Professor of Sociology at Boston
College and the author of Plenitude:
The New Economics of True Wealth, the
national best-seller The Overworked
American: The Unexpected Decline of
Leisure, and The Overspent
American: Why We Want What We Don't

John de Graaf

The national coordinator of Take Back Your
Time, an organization challenging time poverty
and overwork in the United States and Canada,
and the co-author of  the best-selling Affluenza:
The All-Consuming
Epidemic, and What is the
Economy For, Anyway

Dinner Speakers

Bob Massie

President of the New Economics Institute
based in Cambridge,
Massachusetts. He
is a long-term
leader in the field of sustainability
and served as the head of Ceres and co-founded
the Global Reporting
 Initiative and the Investor
Network on
Climate Risk.

Upcoming Deadlines

April 15, 2013: Deadline for paper authors to register for conference and pay registration fee (after this deadline we will need need to drop unregistered participants from the conference program)
May 1, 2013: Deadline for registering for on-campus accommodations 
May 15, 2013: Regular registration deadline for non-author participants
May 15, 2013: Deadline for authors to submit final papers (maximum length 5000 words; instructions for uploading will be provided)
June 12-14, 2013: Conference

Pre-Conference Workshops
Wednesday, June 12

Workshop A (9-10:30am): Doing Something Now? Tactics for Attacking Consumerism (Organizer: Richard Wilk, Indiana University)

This workshop session will encourage radical and creative thinking about how to slow down or even derail the runaway train of consumerist culture that threatens to destroy the planet.

Workshop B (11am-12:30pm): Systems Thinking: Framework and Methods for Working Smarter Not Harder (Organizer: Vanessa Timmer, One Earth)

Join this dynamic interactive workshop to build a shared understanding of the consumption and production system, and identify high-impact ideas and strategic solutions that make a difference. 

Click here to view more details about the Pre-Conference Workshops

A Note on the Format of Conference Sessions

The format of conference sessions will vary and include keynote addresses, moderated discussions, discussant-led sessions (followed by the authorís response); and brief presentations by authors (followed by comments by an assigned discussant). In all cases, authors will not have more than ten minutes to present the essential ideas of each paper and the majority of conference time will be devoted to discussion and debate. Under no circumstances are papers to be read aloud. Questions can be directed to

SCORAI Executive Committee

Jeffrey Barber

Integrative Strategies    
Forum (USA)

Halina Brown

Clark University (USA)   
Conference Chair

Maurie Cohen

New Jersey Institute of   
Technology (USA)

John Stutz

Tellus Institute (USA)

Philip Vergragt

Clark University and
Tellus Institute (USA)

Click to View the SCORAI 2013 Scientific Committee

Conference Refund Policy

Before May 15: 50 percent of registration; 100 percent of accommodation payment

May 16-June 1: No refund on registration; 50 percent on accommodation payment

After June 1: No refund provided on registration or accommodation payment

SCORAI gratefully acknowledges the additional support of the following institutions


Return to main SCORAI website