About ICSD 2015

2015 is a pivotal year for sustainable development! As we move from the MDGs to the SDGs, we need to hear from you! This year’s conference theme is Implementing the SDGs: Getting Started. The aim of the conference is to identify and share practical, evidence-based solutions that can support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will be agreed upon at the United Nations immediately following the conference. The ICSD provides a unique opportunity to bring together stakeholders from government, academia, the United Nations, international agencies, NGOs, and grassroots organizers to share practical solutions towards the achievement of more sustainable and inclusive societies.

ICSD began as a forum to connect students and faculty of the Global Association of Master’s in Development Practice Programs. Today, it has evolved into a global platform to share research and inform policy decisions about the most important issues facing our planet today. By partnering with the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), the conference has become an opportunity for all stakeholders to discuss the International Sustainable Development agenda.

Call For Abstracts

The Global Association of Master's in Development Practice Programs (MDP), in collaboration with the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), will hold the Third Annual International Conference on Sustainable Development (ICSD) on September 23 & 24, 2015, at Columbia University, New York.

If you would like to present at the conference, you must submit an abstract as directed below. The conference is also open to observers (i.e. non-presenters). Simply register to join us.

Submission Guidelines

The conference theme is Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Getting Started. The aim of the conference is to bring together persons involved in research, policy, practice, and business across all sectors including government, academia, the international agencies, NGOs, and grassroots organizations. Participants will share practical solutions for getting started on achieving the SDGs at local, national, regional, and global levels. Abstracts should also be relevant to one of the following 12 Thematic Areas of the conference:

  1. Accountability and Evaluation
  2. Agriculture, Food Security, and Nutrition
  3. Cities and Human Settlements
  4. Climate Change and Access to Energy
  5. Education
  6. Ending Extreme Poverty
  7. Financing for Development
  8. Governance (including peace building and justice)
  9. Health
  10. Inclusive Economic Growth / The Role of Business
  11. Planetary Boundaries (including biodiversity/ecosystem services)
  12. Social Inclusion (including gender & human rights)

Interested presenters should submit a 500-word abstract, in English, on a related solution. Each abstract may only be submitted once and under one theme. Failure to answer questions on the submission form or the submission of the same abstract under multiple themes could result in the abstract being declined.

Submit An Abstract

The conference committee will review abstracts and send all decision letters by June 15, 2015. Abstracts can be accepted as either poster or oral (i.e. PowerPoint) presentations. Presenters invited to give oral presentations must submit a full paper by August 3, 2015 in order to maintain their position in the program. Presenters failing to submit full papers will be moved to poster presentations. Presenters who do not register before the September 1, 2015 deadline may also forfeit their spot in the agenda.

Download the ICSD Submission Guidelines (522KB PDF)

Abstract Timeline

Abstracts & Presenter Information are due by May 29, 2015Deadline Extended!
Accepted Abstract Notifications are emailed by June 15, 2015
Submission of Full Papers with Accepted Abstracts are due by August 3, 2015
Registration Deadline for Presenters is September 1, 2015


The registration deadline is Sept 1, 2015 for everyone including presenters (panels and posters). Please note that if you are selected to present, you are required to register and pay the conference registration fee, unless otherwise noted. The fees below are our Early Bird rates, which will expire on July 1, 2015. Please register before July 1 to avoid the price increase.

Register Now!

You do not need to be a member of the Global Association of Master’s in Development Program (GAMDP) or the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) to participate. Participants (both presenters and observers) will represent academia (faculty, scholars, researchers, and students), practitioners, NGOs, government agencies, international organizations, and private companies. Participants will find a diversity of stakeholders and perspectives in the presentations and discussions.


Will you need a visa to enter the U.S.? To receive a formal invitation addressed to the U.S. Consulate, please write to info@unsdsn.org before August 1st. The email must include your full name as it appears on your passport, passport number, gender, title, institution, and mailing address. Please note that you need EITHER an accepted paper OR proof of registration and payment of the conference fee to receive a visa letter.


We apologize that we are unable to offer any financial assistance to participants, only the following variable fee structure. The fees below are our Early Bird rates, which will expire on July 1, 2015. Please register before July 1 to avoid the price increase.

Full Participant from OECD* Countries $300
Full Participant from Non-OECD Countries $250
MDP Faculty & Alumni Full Participant $150
Full-time Students $30
* Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development


Sponsorship & Advertising


Past Events

More than two years ago, an ocean away from New York, in the beautiful African city of Dakar, Senegal, the seeds for the First International Conference on Sustainable Development (ICSD) were planted. At a February 2013 meeting of about 70 faculty members from 24 academic institutions from around the world the idea was discussed. Why not? was the collective and supportive response. All of the attendees at the meeting were in Dakar for one reason — to find solutions to the complex challenges of sustainable development. If a conference could bring others into the dialogue, then a conference would be organized. Thus in an auditorium at Université Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar, it was decided that the Global Association of Master’s in Development Practice programs would partner with the Sustainable Development Solutions Network to launch the first ICSD.

ICSD 2014

Highlights from ICSD 2014 are available — including keynote videos and conference proceedings.

ICSD 2013

Download the ICSD 2013 Conference Proceedings (6.9MB PDF)

The Proceedings for ICSD 2013 are a compilation of many of the papers that were presented at the first annual ICSD, September 6 & 7 at Columbia University, New York, USA.

Refund & Privacy Policies

Refund Policy

All cancellations should be made in writing to info@unsdsn.org with exact payment information. If notification is received on or before August 30, 2015, a refund of 50% will be made. There will be no refund for cancellations made after August 30, 2015. If a registrant needs to cancel due to being declined a U.S. visa, a refund will be issued for the full amount, less a $10 fee to cover transaction costs, provided the registrant can provide proof of declination from the U.S. State Department/U.S. Embassies.

Privacy Policy

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ICSD does not sell, rent or lease its customer lists to third parties. In those cases, your unique personally identifiable information (e-mail, name, address, telephone number) is not transferred to the third party. ICSD may share data with trusted partners to send you email or postal mail, and provide customer support. All such third parties are prohibited from using your personal information except to provide these services to ICSD and they are required to maintain the confidentiality of your information

Security of your Personal Information

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Contact Information

ICSD welcomes your comments regarding this Statement of Privacy. If you believe that ICSD has not adhered to this Statement, please contact ICSD at info@unsdsn.org