Headline: Narratives and Mindsets

What do people associate with sustainability? What are the routes and structures that facilitate the adoption of behavior towards sustainable lifestyles, including eating habits and energy consumption? The knowledge about the drivers and promoters of collective behavioral changes is crucial for the design of transformation processes.

Research activities at the IASS aim to identify the factors that contribute to the success or failure of “sustainability narratives” and that shape public discourse as a result. The IASS research also explores how personal attitudes and qualities can be practically cultivated and how they can support collective learning processes towards sustainable lifestyles. Critical reflection on the various concepts of sustainability used in research at the IASS forms a third area of focus: how is transdisciplinary research affected by the use of different concepts of sustainability?

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The log and the flame: what fire can teach us about the transformation towards sustainability

The “Green Me Global Festival for Sustainability” is an annual event hosted at different locations around the world. Recent iterations of the festival have explored the elements earth, water and air across film screenings, discussions, and other initiatives. Researchers from the IASS have contributed to a number of these events over the years. The eleventh GreenMe Festival will take place in Berlin later this year under the motto “Action, Passion, Fire”. This prompted me to explore the themes of fire and sustainability in a dinner speech at a recent function to which sponsors and supporters of the festival were invited in early May. The following essay draws upon my comments there.

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