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

Headline: A Mindset for the Anthropocene (AMA)

Laufzeit:
bis

Growth and consumption, competition and rivalry: these ideas shape our behaviour, our lifestyles, and our societies. Transformations towards more sustainable societies call for a fundamental change in thinking and a willingness to question deep-seated attitudes, convictions, and world views. In this project, researchers will study the potential of mindfulness to shape decisions around sustainability issues, explore the evolution of shifts in collective thinking and action, and identify opportunities to foster change towards a more cooperative and sustainable future. The project also provides valuable input to researchers working on other projects at the IASS with a focus on collective behavioural change.

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.