Will we become an innovative sustainable and socially responsible society?

The 18th IRDO International Conference on June 8–9, 2023 cocreated more than 60 authors from 12 countries and 30 contributions.

(Maribor, Slovenia) The 18th IRDO international conference “INNOVATIVE SUSTAINABLE AND SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE SOCIETY 2023: Empowering society, the environment and the economy for sustainability” was implemented from 8 to 9 June 2023, online. The conference was also the 3rd national conference of IRDO & Citizens’ Initiative for an Integral Green Slovenia. More then 60 authors from 12 countries from Europe, Africa, Canada, South America, Asia and the Middle East have co-created the conference with their 30 contributions, and 107 participants listened to them. The organizers of the conference were IRDO – Institute for the Development of Social Responsibility, the University of Maribor, Slovenia, the Slovenian Society for Systems Research (SdSr) and the Citizens’ Initiative for an Integral Green Slovenia. The conference was co-financed by the Youth Office of the Republic of Slovenia, and sponsored by Nova KBM, Medis-M, Prohit and Press Clipping.

Our society is undergoing a rapid change. Numerous drivers of change interact in a highly complex interplay of human needs, desires, activities, and technologies, contributing to ‘the Great Acceleration’ in human consumption and environmental degradation. The UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a global blueprint for system-wide sustainability transformation across the world, and the current EU policies framed by the European Green Deal are similarly concerned with reaching long term sustainability in Europe. However, it remains questionable whether operationalisation at the regional, national, and local levels is sufficiently effective in coping with the dynamic complexities of European and global trends (e.g., climate change-related extreme weather events, the Covid-19 pandemic, the present war in Ukraine).

Addressing sustainability challenges requires knowledge that spans across policy domains and disciplines. The relevant EU policy framework aims to ensure that sustainability policy and action are based on the best-available knowledge, and sustainability uptake is strengthened by research, innovation and education, including sustainability reskilling (i.e.; GreenComp, European Competence Framework for Sustainability). Although the current knowledge systems have delivered major benefits to advance sustainability, they pose certain limitations, primarily supporting incremental change rather than the systemic transformations towards sustainability. A more holistic knowledge development for sustainability is at the core of many European and intergovernmental organizations (e.g., EEA and OECD), and a wide range of scientific and civil society networks or platforms also serve as continuous support systems to accelerate the paradigm shift. Several systemic enablers could contribute to the accelerating adequate implementation of sustainability policy frameworks through systems innovation.

The implementation of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive on EU level calls for a significant shift in corporate governance towards socially responsible management, enabling companies to emerge as industry leaders by prioritizing sustainability which is also gaining importance in Slovenian companies. By applying sustainable practices, businesses can contribute to the well-being of the planet and society, ensuring long-term success in a rapidly changing global landscape. Towards green transition we need innovative socially sustainable actions and organizations. To change our habits, we need general curriculum guidelines, and demand for more constant training offer for social responsibility, digitalization, and social economy.

Slovenia is ideally poised to be a model economy of well-being, with several opportunities for adopting a well-being economy approach to governance that uses an integrated genuine wealth (five capital assets: human, social-cultural, natural, built, and financial) accounting and decision-making system, integrating the UN Sustainable Development Goals into Slovenia’s economic-ecological-well-being framework. Slovenia has considerable comparative advantages in overall quality of life amongst EU Nations, with other areas needing improvement. Country’s opportunities for adopting a well-being economy approach implies:

  • that the European Green Deal, an ambitious plan to make the EU the first climate-neutral continent by 2050, is considered as a starting point,
  • ensuring Slovenia’s overall ecological footprint is in harmony with the biocapacity of Slovenia’s rich forest and other landscapes,
  • public policies are oriented towards the protection, preservation and strengthening of Slovenia’s natural wealth that in turn ensures human health and well-being of citizens.
  • well-being impact analysis is integrated into public policy analysis, budgeting, and fiscal management for Slovenia.

Supporting partners of the IRDO International Conference were: World Organisation of Systems and Cybernetics (WOSC), International Academy for Systems and Cybernetic Sciences (IASCYS), Pau, France, European Academy of Sciences and Arts, Salzburg, Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (BCSSS), International Federation for Systems Research (IFSR), Center of Risk & Crises Management (CRC), Vienna, Austria, COPERNICUS Alliance – European Network on Higher Education for Sustainable Development, CSR Europe, Danube University Krems, Austria, Slovenian Association for Quality and Excellence, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Štajerska, Slovenia, Association of Employers of Slovenia, Managers’ Association of Slovenia, Network for Social Responsibility of Slovenia, Association Social Responsibility Academy, Gallus Foundation.

Co-financer was Ministry of Education, Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Youth. Sponsors were Nova KBM, Medis-M, Prohit & Press Clipping. So far, over 1.500 authors from all over the world have participated in the previous 17 IRDO conferences. More you can see at https://www.irdo.si/en/irdo-conference/.

 For more please take a look at:

2023 IRDO International Conference 8-9 June 2023, Slovenia – Invitation

2023 IRDO International Conference 8-9 June 2023, Slovenia – Program – Day 1, 8.6.2023

2023 IRDO International Conference 8-9 June 2023, Slovenia – Program – Day 2, 9.6.2023

2023-IRDO-International-Conference-Registration-form, participant

2023 IRDO Conference – Press Release_5.6.2023

2023 IRDO Conference – Press Release_12.6.2023

IRDO 2023 Conference – Conclusions 8-9 June 2023 eng ok

Proceedings with author’s contributions (abstracts) from the conference: https://www.irdo.si/irdo2023/index.html

Donations and sponsorships: If you are coming from Slovenia, you are kindly asked to support IRDO work with youth with your contribution (Allocate 1 % of income tax for youth development and social responsibility and sustainable development). More info can be found here: https://www.irdo.si/namenite-1-dohodnine-za-razvoj-mladih-in-druzbene-odgovornosti-ter-trajnostnega-razvoja/

Looking forward to see you at the  19th IRDO International Conference on June 2024, online!

Organizer & Contact:

Additional info IRDO – Institute for the Development of Social Responsibility: www.irdo.si  

  • IRDO – Institute for the Development of Social Responsibility, Cesta 13. julija 65a, SI-1261 Ljubljana – Dobrunje, Slovenia, EU, Web: www.irdo.si , Email: info@irdo.si , Phone: +386 31 344 883
  • Anita Hrast, MSc., Manager of IRDO – Institute for the Development of Social Responsibility and President of IRDO Conference Organizing Committee, anita.hrast@irdo.si
  • Emeritus, Matjaž Mulej, PhD. PhD., President of the IRDO Conference Program Committee, matjaz.mulej@um.si
  • Emeritus, Peter Glavič, PhD., Vice-President of the IRDO Conference Program Committee, peter.glavic@um.si
  • Prof. Igor Perko, PhD., Vice-President of the IRDO Conference Program Committee, igor.perko@um.si
  • Darja Piciga, PhD., Vice-President of the IRDO Conference Program Committee, dpiciga@gmail.com