Call for Chapters: Digital Transformation, Environmental Sustainability, and Wellbeing in the Global South

Guest Editors

Dr Bridget Irene, Dr Julius Irene, Dr Kingsley Obi Omeihe and

Prof Joan Lockyer

We are excited to announce the call for chapter contributions to the highly anticipated book titled ‘Digital Transformation, Environmental Sustainability and Wellbeing in the Global South.’ This pioneering publication aims to gather diverse insights and analysis into challenges that sustainability strategies pose to the livelihoods and wellbeing of people in the Global South.

The emerging field of “happiness” is fundamentally transforming our capacity to assess societal advancement. Meaningful relationships and a sense of purpose and belonging are crucial for human well-being, and they have a greater impact than income. Societies that prioritise the well-being of their citizens promote dignity for everyone by making substantial investments in public goods and adopting a comprehensive approach to education. There is a growing body of research suggesting that well-being and environmental sustainability, goals often perceived as conflicting, are complementary to one another (Chapin and Kofinas, 2009; Angner, 2016). Highlighting the social factors that influence well-being challenges the traditional emphasis on economic growth and promotes the development of pro-social attitudes and behaviours that are essential for achieving a more harmonious coexistence with the nature. Fortunately, recent technological advancements that enable the widespread accessibility of knowledge and productive capabilities at minimal expense, as well as foster creative and collaborative endeavours, have the potential to engineer a shift towards a world with less environmental strain and improved human welfare (Volker and Pereira, 2023).

We should be guided by a positive vision of a future that is both robust and gratifying, rather than one characterised by arduous work and sacrifice. Until now, society has assessed the progress of human well-being by using inadequate indicators such as income, employment, and GDP.  Nevertheless, the developing field of “happiness” is offering novel methodologies that have the potential to completely transform the assessment of development and social progress (O’Mahony, 2022; Helne and Hirvilammi, 2015). The nascent discoveries from this emerging discipline are already exerting influence on economics, psychology, healthcare, urban planning, and the methodologies employed by national statistical agencies that inform policy decisions. If implemented, the new measurements could have significant consequences for transformative social change.

The concept of satisfying human needs while simultaneously preserving and potentially improving the natural environment is appealing (Qasim and Grimes, 2022). Ever since the Brundtland report of 1987 introduced a definition of sustainable development centred around the idea of meeting needs, there has been a widely held belief that it is feasible to attain a high standard of living without jeopardising natural ecosystems (see Bermejo and Bermejo, 2014). Extensive research in developmental psychology, labour economics, and related disciplines has demonstrated that the conditions individuals experience in their early years have a significant and enduring impact on various aspects of their later lives (Luthar, 2015). This includes their health, productivity in the workforce, and overall social well-being, which are all crucial for leading a fulfilling life. To promote a favourable social identity and diminish inequality, it is imperative that greater resources be allocated towards the well-being and development of people (from childhood to adult life). Inequality frequently dominates the social reform discourse and, to a growing extent, the sustainability discourse as well. However, the notion of “inequality” lacks clarity due to the various methods of measurement and the lack of demands for a world of absolute equality. Limiting the analysis of societal change to a mere examination of income disparities fails to sufficiently encompass the fundamental human experience that we truly value (Shen et al.,2020). Emphasising the pursuit of well-being, rather than focusing solely on wealth, offers a comprehensive and human-centered approach to addressing inequality (Plough, 2020). Ultimately, the most essential method to promote a healthy social identity and, consequently, improve well-being is to guarantee the dignity of individuals. By so doing, the potential benefits of robust support systems and safety measures for people’s wellness are expected to be immeasurable.

The vision of this book is to advance knowledge about the critical sustainability concerns that encompass escalating resource consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, pollution, social inequality, and wellbeing, all of which are being addressed while striving for rapid economic expansion (Gladys and Thierry, 2023; Garri, 2022; Qian, Li and Rugman, 2013). Profit expectations, strategic behaviour, and strategic leadership are significant factors that motivate multinational enterprises (MNEs) and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to pursue sustainability in rising and developing markets such as Global South. This pursuit is not solely driven by institutional pressures, as highlighted by Aguinis and Glavas (2012). The utilisation of digital technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), big data analytics, internet of things, and advanced robotics presents favourable prospects for facilitating more sustainable practices in various sectors including manufacturing, transportation, energy, and agriculture (Tsolakis et al., 2022; Spanaki et al.,2022). Nevertheless, if not handled prudently, the widespread adoption of data-driven technology may lead to inadvertent outcomes that undermine sustainability objectives, including heightened emissions, jeopardise worker livelihoods, and infringements on privacy (Schaltegger et al., 2022).  This book aims to advance our understanding of these complex issues by bringing together critical perspectives that explore best practices of utilising digital transformation as a catalyst, rather than an obstacle, for constructing environmentally sustainable and socially equitable Global South in alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

As editors, we are confident in our judgment that this book will advance discussions that consolidate conventional knowledge. Interested authors and experts within the field are invited to contribute their valuable insights to this publication. It is an excellent opportunity to share research, contribute to the academic discourse, and make a lasting impact on the studies on decolonisation around the following themes:

  1. Digital Transformation, Environmental Sustainability and Human Needs
  2. Contemporary Issues on Sustainability and Wellbeing
  3. Research Methodologies and Knowledge Development in Sustainability
  4. Gender Gaps in Sustainability

We particularly welcome submissions with a focus on:

  • Alternative sources of livelihoods in rural communities
  • Human capitals approach.
  • Poverty, Needs and Ecosystems for sustainable development and wellbeing.
  • Anthropogenic Assets and quality of life for rural communities.
  • Market-driven solutions that preserve the environment and empower indigenous communities.
  • Actionable intelligence in promoting sustainable development.
  • Poverty and deprivation – impact of physical resources and income on wellbeing
  • Material Requisites of Wellbeing
  • Transformative Social Development
  • Sustainable Development – holistic transdisciplinary meta-frameworks
  • The Economics of Well-being
  • Social capital and economic growth
  • Sustainability theories and approaches.
  • New approaches, models, and frameworks for sustainability research.
  • Knowledge and solutions for more resilient societies.
  • Relational Methods for Achieving the UN SDGs.
  • Gender (In)Equality in Sustainability and Sustainable Development.
  • Ecofeminist Perspective. 

Submission Guidelines:

Please send abstracts of proposed chapters, not exceeding 500 words, on or before the 30th of July 2024. Proposals will be treated on a first-come, first-served basis, so early submissions are encouraged. Abstract proposals should be forwarded to the editors:

Dr Bridget Irene ()

Publication Timeline:

  • Abstract Submission Deadline: July 30, 2024
  • Notification of Acceptance: August 15, 2024
  • First Chapter Draft Submission Deadline: December 30, 2024
  • First Round of Reviews: February 2025
  • Second Round of Reviews: April 2025
  • Full Chapter Submission Deadline: May, 2025
  • Expected Publication: August 2025

Author guidelines:

Please see the instructions here:

author-guidelines 

 your-book-manuscript

For any inquiries or further information, please contact, Dr Bridget Irene

Thank you for considering contributing to the ‘Digital Transformation, Environmental Sustainability, and Wellbeing in the Global South’

References

Aguinis, H. and Glavas, A., (2012). What we know and don’t know about corporate social responsibility: A review and research agenda. Journal of management, 38(4), pp.932-968.

Angner, E. (2016). “Well-being and economics,’ in The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Well-being, ed G. Fletcher (London; New York, NY: Routledge), 492–503.

Bermejo, R. and Bermejo, R., (2014). Sustainable development in the Brundtland report and its distortion. Handbook for a sustainable economy, pp.69-82.

Garri, M., (2022). MNE’s sustainability strategies in emerging and developing markets. International Journal of Organizational Analysis, 30(3), pp.743-759.

Helne, T. and Hirvilammi, T., (2015). Wellbeing and sustainability: A relational approach. Sustainable Development, 23(3), pp.167-175.

Kofinas, G.P. and Chapin, F.S., (2009). Sustaining livelihoods and human well-being during social-ecological change. Principles of ecosystem stewardship: Resilience-based natural resource management in a changing world, pp.55-75.

Luthar, S.S., (2015). Resilience in development: A synthesis of research across five decades. Developmental psychopathology: Volume three: Risk, disorder, and adaptation, pp.739-795.

O’Mahony, T., (2022). Toward sustainable wellbeing: Advances in contemporary concepts. Frontiers in Sustainability, 3, p.807984.

Plough, A.L. ed., (2020). Well-being: Expanding the definition of progress: Insights from practitioners, researchers, and innovators from around the globe. Oxford University Press.

Qasim, M. and Grimes, A., (2022). Sustainability and wellbeing: The dynamic relationship between subjective wellbeing and sustainability indicators. Environment and Development Economics, 27(1), pp.1-19.

Qian, G., Li, L. and Rugman, A.M., (2013). Liability of country foreignness and liability of regional foreignness: Their effects on geographic diversification and firm performance. Journal of International Business Studies, 44, pp.635-647.

Roig, R., Aybar, C. and Pavía, J.M., (2020). Gender inequalities and social sustainability. Can modernization diminish the gender gap in political knowledge? Sustainability, 12(8), p.3143.

Schaltegger, S., Christ, K.L., Wenzig, J. and Burritt, R.L., (2022). Corporate sustainability management accounting and multi‐level links for sustainability–A systematic review. International journal of management reviews, 24(4), pp.480-500.

Shen, J., Iandoli, L. and Aguirre-Urreta, M., 2022. Human-Centered Design for Individual and Social Well-being: Editorial Preface. AIS Transactions on Human-Computer Interaction, 14(4), pp.446-460.

Spanaki, K., Karafili, E., Sivarajah, U., Despoudi, S. and Irani, Z., (2022). Artificial intelligence and food security: swarm intelligence of AgriTech drones for smart AgriFood operations. Production Planning & Control, 33(16), pp.1498-1516.

Thierry, M.A. and Emmanuel, O.N.B., (2023). Does financial development increase education level? Empirical evidence from sub-Saharan Africa. Journal of the Knowledge Economy, 14(4), pp.3878-3903.

Tsolakis, N., Zissis, D., Papaefthimiou, S. and Korfiatis, N., (2022). Towards AI driven environmental sustainability: an application of automated logistics in container port terminals. International Journal of Production Research, 60(14), pp.4508-4528.

United Nations, (2002). Explainer: How gender inequality and climate change are interconnected. Available at https://www.unwomen.org/en/news-stories/explainer/2022/02/explainer-how-gender-inequality-and-climate-change-are-interconnected {accessed on May 5th, 2024].

Völker, T. and Pereira, Â.G., (2023). “What Was That Word? It’s Part of Ensuring Its Future Existence” Exploring Engagement Collectives at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre. Science, Technology, & Human Values,