AScUS-2020 is a participants-driven (un)conference with the mission to engage attendees to stimulate in-depth discussions. The event did not feature any individual presentations; instead, all contributions from participants were be submitted online ahead of time. Discussion topics were also selected by the participants ahead of the event.

The (un)conference started with a virtual component several weeks before the conference, when the participants submitted their contribution and started generating discussions and sharing knowledge among participants. See below for details. The (un)conference culminated with a two and a half day virtual event hosted out of IE University in Segovia.

AScUS-2020 has ended!


The goal of AScUS 2020 was to produce actionable insights. This included the development of "Path-to-Action" documents that were based on the discussion sessions.

View the outputs
Thank you!

Many thanks to all the participants who joined our unconference! Thanks to the hard work of both the organizing committee, the many session organizers, and the participants, we were able to make this a fruitful and inspiring event. We hope everyone enjoyed the experience.


The unconference featured various awards, which were decided on by popular vote. Many thanks to the participants for voting during and after the event, and to all the involved organizers. Congratulations to all award winners!

View the awards


After the positive feedback as well as lessons learned from AScUS-2020, the organizing committee is keen to set up a new edition in 2021. We invite participants and other interested individuals or organizations to get involved. Initial preparations are starting in Q4 2020 so please get in touch soon to join the discussion. E-mail us at

(Un)conference Remote Format

The text below outlines the original format overview for AScUS-2020. We likely use a similar format in 2021, but changes may be made by the new organizing committee.

A pre-conference survey will be sent to group people based on common interest (e.g., an engineer seeks to discuss with a political scientist). All participants will also be given access to the contributions from all participants that were submitted by May 15th. All participants will be asked to record a short 1-minute video introduction of themselves, to which all participants will have access ahead of the events. Two weeks before the conference, the groups will be asked to meet virtually.

At the conference, all participants will join in together the first day. For the next two half-days, discussion sessions will occur, remotely on the topics selected by the participants ahead of time and run by a session moderator. Every discussion session will lead to a Path to Action document that will be posted on the conference website at the end of the conference. In the last half-day, all participants will gather again together for a final discussion.

Details on the format will be posted / updated before the conference.

2020 Organizing Committee

The conference is organized by a group of researchers based in Asia, North America, Europe and Africa, who met as part of the Sustainable Urban Systems (SUS) section of the International Society for Industrial Ecology (ISIE). While it is an independent event, the (un)conference is organized in close collaboration with Metabolism of Cities. Feel free to contact any of them for questions related to the (un)conference. The 2020 organizing committee was composed of:

  • Matan Mayer (host) | IE University
  • Shauhrat Chopra | City University of Hong Kong
  • Sybil Derrible | University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Paul Hoekman | Metabolism of Cities
  • Carolin Bellstedt | Metabolism of Cities
  • Aristide Athanassiadis | Metabolism of Cities
  • Eugene Mohareb | University of Reading
  • Kangkang Tong | Princeton University
  • Anne Ventura | University Gustave Eiffel
Go to project website

Team members

The following people from Metabolism of Cities were involved in this project.


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