A Mindset for the Anthropocene (AMA)

The AMA project studies the opportunities to transform collective thinking and action for a mindful and cooperative future. (c) IASS/Rolf SchultenThe AMA project studies the opportunities to transform collective thinking and action for a mindful and cooperative future. (c) IASS/Rolf Schulten

Egoism, competitive thinking, and consumerism – these qualities characterise the dominant behaviours, life-worlds and lifestyles in modern industrial societies. But the transition towards more sustainable societies presupposes a radical transformation of many of the attitudes, convictions and world views that are deeply rooted in contemporary culture. Can human qualities such as compassion, altruism and mindfulness foster changes in collective thinking and action, and lend momentum to a transformation towards sustainability? The research project “A Mindset for the Anthropocene” will investigate this connection, establish a platform for debate, and promote the cultivation of transformative mindsets in sustainability contexts. 

New thinking for a sustainable society

The practice of mindfulness has recently emerged as a mega-trend in Western societies. With its focus on inner qualities, mindfulness is generally thought of as a practice to benefit individual well-being and personal development. But could it also stimulate processes of collective transformation towards sustainability and help to protect the natural environment? Against this background, the AMA project will study the opportunities to transform collective thinking and action for a mindful and cooperative future.

Providing support to other IASS projects

Workshops at the institute and events staged within the framework of other IASS projects will provide opportunities for researchers to experience and reflect upon the role of mindfulness in sustainability processes. This will be complemented by a series of events at the IASS to foster dialogue with external partners. The project will establish a platform for debate and, with the support of IASS Fellows, create a network dedicated to promoting mindfulness as a tool for societal transformations towards sustainability. Other outputs from this project will include regular contributions to the IASS blog and at least one scientific paper.

Duration:

Indefinite

Project partners:

  • Network “Mindfulness for Social Change”, TU Berlin

Topics:

Mindfulness, empathy, inner qualities, mindsets

Team:

Research Associates: Thomas Bruhn, Zoe Lüthi

Supervising Directors: Prof. Mark Lawrence, Prof. Patrizia Nanz

Team Assistant: Tanja Baines