01 June 2014 - 06 June 2014

Lucca, Italy

Gordon Research Conference on Industrial Ecology

The 2014 Gordon Research Conference on Industrial Ecology will focus on the science informing the transformation of the industrial metabolism towards sustainability. IIASA Researchers Nebojsa Nakicenovic and Shonali Pachauri will deliver keynote presentations at the conference, where they will present frontier research in addressing the complex connections between global development challenges and a sustainability transformation of the industrial metabolism.

The concept of industrial metabolism refers to the exchanges between social and environmental systems which constitute the physical basis of modern societies: the use of raw materials, their conversion into manufactured capital, goods and services, and their subsequent release to the environment as wastes and emissions. Besides unquestionable contributions to human welfare, the industrial metabolism also negatively impacts the Earth's climate and ecosystems. Quantifying the industrial metabolism and assessing the potential to abate its environmental impacts through improved resource efficiency, decoupling, recycling, and eco-symbiosis have characterized industrial ecology research over the past two decades. In recent years, the research orientation has moved towards more comprehensive and scenario-based analysis, applying sophisticated analytical tools and linking the science with institutional and policy applications.

Significant challenges motivate a stronger focus towards transforming the industrial metabolism. These challenges include climate mitigation, climate adaptation, raw material constraints due to rapid industrialization in large economies, shifting demand structures resulting from technology transitions, accelerated global interconnectedness of production and consumption, rapid urbanization and a prevailing inequality regarding access to the global commons.

IIASA Energy Program scientists Shonali Pachauri and Nebojsa Nakicenovic will deliver keynote presentations during the conference. Dr Nakicenovic will speak on "Transformational Pathways toward Sustainable Energy Futures", while Dr. Pachauri will be speaking on "Universal Modern Energy Access: Potential Synergies and Tradeoffs with Other Sustainable Development Goals". Their presentations will contribute to open discussion with participating audience members.

Gordon Research Conferences (GRCs) seeks to establish good and direct communication between scientists by promoting discussions and the free exchange of ideas. 

Visit the Gordon Research Conference website for the full program and further information.

Print this page

Last edited: 16 May 2014


Nebojsa Nakicenovic

Emeritus Research Scholar

Transitions To New Technologies

T +43(0) 2236 807 411

Shonali Pachauri

Acting Program Director:Senior Research Scholar

Transitions To New Technologies


T +43(0) 2236 807 475


International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313