All systems go!?

Sustainability in the digital age

June 17-19, 2020

Católica Lisbon, Portugal


We look forward to welcoming you to Lisbon in 2020!


Call for Papers



CATÓLICA-LISBON is among the most prominent Business & Economics Schools in Europe, ranked 26th in the Financial Times Top European Business Schools ranking. We have achieved this position by combining world-class students and faculty, strong and diverse academic programs, innovative learning initiatives, unique partnerships with the most prestigious international schools, and a close relationship with the business world.



Smart City Innovation Lab

René Bohnsack and the interdisciplinary research team of the Smart City Innovation Lab unite the fields of business model innovation, digital transformation, and international strategy in order drive the transition to sustainable cities through smart business models. Founded in 2016 we work together with more than 40 international partners. SCIL is the creator of the, an online platform to build business models.


Sustainability in the Digital Age


For the GRONEN Conference 2020, we invite submissions in all areas of sustainability research. In line with this year’s conference theme, we particularly encourage submissions on the possibilities and perils of the digital economy for sustainability. Those may address, but are not limited to:


(1) Circular, shared, smart. The organization of urban and industrial transformation.

Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things will play a critical role in transforming sectors such as agriculture, healthcare, or mobility to greater sustainability. Smart cities and the circular, shared economy can change consumption and lifestyle patterns, but they also require cross-sector collaborations and shared infrastructures. Research questions in this focal area may cover:

  • What is the effect of connected technologies on the way we live, work, and consume? How do organizations use digital technologies to green urban spaces and meet increasing food, materials and energy needs?
  • How to organize data ownership and cybersecurity in smart cities and regions? What are new responsibilities for organizations and citizens in a digital economy?
  • Which tensions arise in designing and operating shared technology infrastructures? How to combine public, private, and hybrid value capturing logics?


(2) Modularized, customized, always-on. The sustainability of new work.

Digital technologies profoundly change the way we collaborate in ecosystems and platforms, reorganize decision-making and power, and govern inter-organizational partnerships. Citizen engagement platforms, micro-jobbing sites, or watchdog-portals are just a few examples that reflect changes in the way the contemporary organization interacts with its stakeholders. Research questions in this area may cover:

  • What is the effect of new work formats on supply chains and product lifecycles? Do digital technologies improve or reinforce issues such as precarious work and the marginalization of the poor?
  • How do organizations tackle critical issues such as data security and inclusiveness related to their social responsibility? Which role do online tools and social media play for the organization of social activism?
  • How can digital technologies support both inter- and intra-organizational collaboration for sustainability? Which role do digital technologies play, for instance, in facilitating the dialogue on CSR between multiple stakeholders?


(3) Performance, impact, scalability. The diffusion of sustainable innovation.

Digital technologies arguably create exciting opportunities for organizations to come up with new business models and solutions to societal problems that can scale beyond local contexts. Yet, many promising initiatives currently remain confined to pilot projects and experimental settings such as urban or living labs. Submissions in this area may cover:

  • What is the effect of technologies such as augmented reality, blockchain, drones and 3D printing on transforming current patterns of production and consumption? How to model, simulate, and validate the impact of innovation on sustainability?
  • How do sustainable technologies, product-service-systems and business models diffuse to the mass market? How do actors such as entrepreneurs and incumbents interact during the formation of new markets?
  • How can digital technologies help organizations to interact with users? How can they support the creation of a market need for sustainable products and solutions?


Session Format

GRONEN 2020 will combine a range of session formats. We aim to provide a suitable platform for academic exchange on research at different stages.

The conference will start with a panel debate on the conference theme. In line with the efforts of the GRONEN network to foster the dialogue between scholars and practitioners, both esteemed representatives from universities and industry will take part. The following program consists of both full paper and research development sessions. Upon submission, authors will be asked to indicate which format they prefer. Full paper sessions provide a platform for the presentation and discussion of fully developed papers. Sessions are grouped topically and authors have a 20 minute time slot to present their work, followed by a 10 minute discussion. The full paper sessions are not limited to focal areas of the conference theme. They are introduced and chaired by thought leaders in the field who serve as scientific committee (see GRONEN web page). Research development sessions offer a platform for scholars to present work-in-progress based on shorter papers. Presentation time is shorter with more time allocated to discussion. Development sessions are facilitated by several senior faculty members of the GRONEN community. In addition to the academic program and plenary sessions, GRONEN 2020 will include a number of professional development workshops (PDWs) led by prominent scholars in the field.

Please check for regular program updates.

 Review Process

All submissions (to full paper sessions, research development sessions, and doctoral consortium) will undergo a double-blind review process prior to acceptance. Full papers will be assessed with regard to their rigor and quality – similar to submissions to an academic journal. Short papers submitted to research development sessions will be selected based on their potential contribution and novelty. The scientific committee will review all accepted submissions and award prizes for the Best Conference Paper and the Best PhD Paper.

Doctoral Consortium

A doctoral consortium limited to 15 PhD students will take place right before the main conference, June 16th (full-day). The doctoral consortium offers a platform for PhD-students to discuss their projects and concerns openly with senior researchers in the field. To ensure high-level discussions, PhDs will be pre-assigned to two discussants who will take the time to review and comment on their work. The full list of discussants will be available in fall 2019 under: In addition, the doctoral consortium will include plenary sessions on publication and career advice as well as a social get-together to facilitate networking already before the official conference start.

PhD students must apply separately for the consortium, which enables them to also participate in the main conference. Applications should be sent to and include (i) a full paper or research proposal, (ii) a current CV, and (iii) any preferences of discussants. The doctoral consortium is open to PhD students at any stage. Yet, in order to enable high-level discussions, preference will be given to full paper submissions.

Special issue in Business Strategy and the Environment

A special issue of ‘Business Strategy and the Environment’ will be associated with GRONEN 2020. Scholars who submit their work to the conference are also invited to submit their work to this special issue. Furthermore, authors will benefit from the opportunity to exchange with the special issue editors and numerous members of the scientific committee of GRONEN 2020 who are editorial board members of leading sustainability journals. Participation in the GRONEN conference however is not necessary for submission to the special issue. 

Please find the Call for Papers under the following link:



The deadline for all submissions to GRONEN 2020 is January 20, 2020.


Submissions are to be in electronic format (doc or pdf files). Please find the link to the electronic submission system under:


The selection process, notification of authors, and registration of participants follows the schedule below:

January 1, 2020       Registration opens

January 20, 2020     Deadline for submissions

March 15, 2020       Notification of acceptance

May 1, 2020             Deadline for registration

June 16, 2020          Doctoral Consortium & Get together early arrivals

June 17-19, 2020    GRONEN 2020 Research Conference


Conference web page and details regarding the call for papers:

For any questions, please contact:


We look forward to welcoming you to Lisbon in 2020!


The organizing committee:

René Bohnsack                               Christina Bidmon                          Alina Margolina                              Cláudia Antunes Marante