The transition to the Post-fossil Age is generating social, economic, and political tensions. Entire regions, economic sectors, and policy fields must be realigned to reflect the ambition of fostering sustainability on a regional and global scale. The research group "Social Transformation and Policy Advice in Lusatia" studies the socio-political implications of this transformation.
The group performs research and develops guidance for transformation processes such as the coal phase-out in the German region of Lusatia. Among its central research questions: What does the loss of industries that have shaped a region over decades mean for its social and economic structures? What cultural identities, perceptions and points of view are rooted in this industrial heritage? How can inequalities, for example between urban and rural areas, be addressed in the context of transformations? How can citizens contribute to the transformation of their living and working environments?
This interdisciplinary research group identifies the limits to and potentials for a cooperative transition to post-fossil societies. IASS researchers identify development pathways together with affected actors and provide scientific advice and support to policymakers, administrative bodies, and civil society.
The insights gained through this co-creative practice inform a concept of transformative research that invites critical reflection on the roles and effects of scientific research within processes of structural transformation. Different forms of knowledge are created in interaction with relevant actors and must be systematically understood and reflected upon. In doing so, researchers can take on a critical, facilitative and catalytic role, ensuring that the transition to the Post-fossil Age offers opportunities to foster a more just society.