Headline: 2nd KLASICA Taipei Symposium

Call for participation in and contributions to a symposium on

Social dynamics toward sustainable futures from narratives of vision and identity

The international Knowledge, Learning, and Societal Change Research Alliance (KLASICA) is very happy to announce the dates and theme of the second KLASICA Symposium in Taipei. We cordially invite researchers, policymakers, community activists, and practitioners who are concerned with societal transformations to sustainable futures in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to join us for this exciting symposium.

Theme: Seeking insights into social dynamics by identifying affective expressions of narratives of vision and identity that guide or motivate societal change toward sustainable futures in different contexts and cultures and exploring their applicability modeling social dynamics

We welcome applications to participate from all interested people from a wide range of disciplines and backgrounds and at all career stages. We particularly encourage participation by those who have experience of or are concerned with any of the following:

  • Narrative(s) that have played a significant role in framing or motivating actions by a community or collective
  • Social movements related to sustainability transformations in different communities, contexts, and cultures or
  • Computational modeling of social dynamics in the context of sustainability

To ensure that the symposium is an open and engaging mutual learning experience where we can work together to produce new insights and approaches to complex issues, we will limit the number of participants to a total of 50 people.

We particularly welcome contributions in the form of abstracts or short papers that present examples of narrative expressions of vision or identity.

We are seeking examples of narrative expressions of vision and identity that are evident in local or regional processes of change, including social movements or identity politics. A limited number of papers (15 to 20) selected from those submitted in response to the call will be used as the basis for discussion and development of a typology of narratives, as described below.


1) Identify and analyze examples of affective expressions of narratives that present a vision for sustainability OR reflect individual or collective identities (worldviews). These narratives should be related to guiding and inspiring societal change toward sustainable futures as set out in the SDGs. The essence of the narrative may be expressed in various formats (e.g., visual, verbal, musical) appropriate to and resonant with local contexts. One of the key challenges is to understand the importance and power of the relational, social ontologies embedded in narratives and how these influence decisions for collective action.

2) Create a typology of contemporary affective narrative expressions (and their forms or symbols) of vision or identity with regard to their function in offering guidance or rationale and motivation for or against societal change toward sustainable futures.

3) Based upon the motivations for and against change expressed in the typology of narratives, consider whether such expressions of motivation are viable and adequate as rules for agent-based computational models (ABM). The agents in the aggregate represent collectives making decisions and acting in support of their goals for sustainable futures in a community or an alliance of purpose.

Intended output and outcomes:

A) Paper(s) or a special issue in an international journal (to be determined by participant co-authors) describing the analysis and derived typology of affective narrative expressions and their significance in responses to societal change toward the SDGs and their potential for agent-based modeling of influences on collective behavior change.

B) collaboration with colleagues engaged in ABM on testing the feasibility and potential for innovative studies of contexts and conditions that could facilitate creative thinking about societal change toward sustainable futures in different cultures and contexts.


The costs of lodging, meals, and local transportation for the symposium within Taiwan will be kindly covered by RSPRC, National Taiwan University for those selected to join us for the symposium. There is no fee for registration.

Travel costs from locations outside Taiwan and return must be covered by the participants themselves.

NOTE: People attending the World Social Science Forum in Fukuoka, Japan from 25 to 28 September 2018 can make arrangements to fly directly from Fukuoka to Taipei and return – about 2 hours each way non-stop – for €100–430.

The symposium will begin with an informal gathering and dinner on the evening of Saturday, 29 September and conclude at around 17:00 on Tuesday, 2 October.

More information on KLASICA and the first Taipei KLASICA Symposium in 2016 is available at http://www.KLASICA.org.

Application to attend:

Please send the following information to Ms Angela Borowski at angela.borowski@iass-potsdam.de:

  • a brief professional biography
  • a short statement explaining your interest in participating
  • a 3-5 page description of an example of a narrative and its affective expression and how it influenced or connected with issues of sustainability its in its particular cultural, spatial, and social context.

To reserve a space, applications must be received no later than 15 June 2018.

We are looking forward to receiving your applications.