ISIE President's Message: November 2020

Dear society members,

Let me give you a quick update on a few important things that have happened over the last quarter. As you may already know, we have postponed the ISIE Conference in Leiden to the first week of July 2023. I am very grateful to Ester and the team at Leiden University for the effort they have already taken in preparing our biennial conference and for being available in a couple of years to host our conference. This has been a difficult time for everyone, and their flexibility has been exemplar. So thank you.

We are not going to let 2021 pass by without a significant event. We are planning and Industrial Ecology Day for the June/July period 2021, in place of our biennial conference. The plan is to start the day in Sydney and to end in the day in San Francisco and during this long day we are hosting numerous events around the clock, and around the globe. We are currently establishing the organising committee for the First Industrial Ecology Day and seeking expressions of interest for hosts of one-hour events and are hoping for the interest of our main industrial ecology institutes in Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas.

We are also pleased to announce the new Island Industrial Ecology Section. A group of proponents interested in island studies and in exploring the novel theoretical and methodological contributions that will arise form studying the industrial ecology of islands and the resulting policy and business impact has formed and worked hard to create the new section. We welcome the new arrival and expect to tap into new members interested in a focus on islands big and small. The new section can now be accessed on the ISIE website here.

Another thing that has exited us is the circular economy member proposal that was brought to our last AGM. After an initial discussion with the circular economy proponents, it was agreed that this group would organize a meeting in October to discuss the relationship between circular economy and industrial ecology more thoroughly. They are also preparing a position paper. In addition, we are exploring the possibility and attractiveness to use the First Industrial Ecology Day to discuss the relationship between industrial ecology and circular economy. You can expect to hear more about this soon.

Identifying our community’s relationship with this fast-growing global interest in circular economy is obviously strategically important for the ISIE. In a similar vain we need to become more proactive in creating and maintaining our global network and have started talks about formal partnerships with the UNEP International Resource panel and the World Resource Forum. Now that we have established the governance and operating principles of the ‘new’ ISIE we can shift focus on our external partnerships and our voice in the world.

One thing I am extremely happy about is that we have been able to strengthen the relationship between the ISIE and the thematic sections of the ISIE. We do this by inviting section chairs and the leadership of important initiatives to our fortnightly executive meetings and we are integrating the section board members in the several ISIE committees in a more systematic fashion. This improves the information flow and transparency between the board of the ISIE and the sections and enables a stronger and more tightly knit community.

Finally, I would like to share with you that we have established a new ISIE development board which is a mechanism to keep longstanding ISIE members engaged in the society and to create a fundraising mechanism for ISIE initiatives. I am grateful to Tom Graedel and Marian Chertow who have introduced this initiative and have been appointed as co-chairs of the ISE Development Board.

I am sure there is much more to talk about, and I encourage you all to share news and noteworthy in one of our forthcoming newsletters. Please be in touch with Paul Hoekman (, Nina Kisbey-Green ( or me if you would like to discuss any of this or to add your ideas.

With best regards,