14/09/2023 | The prevailing pattern of economic and social development all too often fails to deliver progress for all and to respect our planetary boundaries. We see climate change, biodiversity loss and environmental degradation caused by economic development that is accompanied by persistent or even rising inequality, poverty, and hunger. The current multiple crises are reinforcing some of these global problems. Simultaneously meeting the global challenges of achieving sustainable and inclusive development requires strong interdisciplinary and international research collaboration. However, research at the interface of environment and development is often hampered by traditional academic boundaries. New ideas and fresh research approaches as well as inter-disciplinary exchange are needed.

This is why several German research institutes ATB, GIGA, IGZ, RWI, PIK, ZALF and ZMT – all members of the Leibniz Association – regularly organize the Leibniz Environment and Development Symposium (LEADS). The aim of LEADS is to foster interdisciplinary exchange and stimulate collaboration on global societal challenges among and between early-career researchers and senior scholars. This year’s LEADS will be hosted by the Economic Policy Lab "Climate Change, Development and Migration" at the RWI – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research in Essen on November 27-28, 2023. The Policy Lab is a dynamic platform that links research activities on the three topics and offers lively structures to bring together researchers at RWI and at surrounding universities and institutes.

We invite submissions of original research papers, in particular by early-career researchers, that address challenges at the interface of environment and development. Submissions by researchers from within and outside the Leibniz Association are equally welcome.

LEADS will provide ample opportunities for academic discussion and networking where participants are encouraged to explore new research collaborations. Accepted papers will be discussed in the conference by a dedicated discussant. We may also have a poster session. Two keynote lectures by Mascha Rauschenbach (DEval) and Erwin Bulte (Wageningen University) will complement the program.

Please send your submission (at least an extended abstract, ideally a full draft paper, in English) and a short CV (maximum two pages) in PDF format by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 30 September 2023. Decisions will be communicated by mid-October 2023. Final papers (completed or draft version) are due by 17 November 2023 for circulation with the discussant. The conference will start on the first day at around 13:30 and end at around 16:00 on the second day to facilitate arrival and departure on the same days. The conference language will be English. Participation is free of charge.

CfP: Leibniz Environment and Development Symposium 2023 (PDF)

See also last year’s Leibniz Environment and Development Symposium, LEADS 2022, at GIGA in Hamburg.

For further information send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Academic committee: Achim Schlüter (ZMT), Anette Ruml (GIGA), Jann Lay (GIGA), Kati Krähnert (RWI), Lasse Loft (ZALF), Maximiliane Sievert (RWI), Philipp Grundmann (ATB), Tilman Brück (IGZ/HU).  

Local organizers: Gunther Bensch (RWI) and Maximiliane Sievert (RWI)