Current global processes of transformation present significant challenges for sustainability research, not least of all due to their inherently complex nature and associated risks. Many of these processes - globalisation and the digital transition, for example - are located at the intersections of technology, nature, and society. The research area on "Global Implications of Socio-technical Change" analyses the complex interactions between technology, nature, and society that socio-technical change entails, as well as their multifarious global implications. Each group in this research area analyses these interdependencies from their own perspective, complementing the work of the other research groups in the area.
The area pursues the overarching goal of studying the conditions for a broad societal transformation towards sustainability from an interdisciplinary perspective. In addition to this, the area develops formats for policy advice to ensure that its research results contribute to current processes of transformation.
Researchers in the group "Digitalisation & Sustainability Transformations" investigate the effects of applying networked digital technologies in industry and business as well as how digitalisation can be shaped to support that the transition to socio-ecologically economic activity. The "Planetary Geopolitics and Geoengineering" group uses approaches from Science and Technology Studies to investigate the politics of planetary environmental management. The "Systemic Risks" group investigates the effects of systemic interdependencies at the intersection of technology, nature, and society. In its interdisciplinary research, the group analyses the risks and potential benefits of transformation processes for sustainable development and generates policy recommendations for the transdisciplinary and transformative governance of systemic risks.