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?

IASS Discussion Paper

Brazil: Can Covid-19 Open the Door for New Pandemics?

Brazil is one of the hotspots of the corona pandemic, and the Brazilian Amazon is particularly hard hit. In a new Discussion Paper, IASS Fellow Artur Sgambatti Monteiro and Lucas Lima dos Santos describe the impacts of the pandemic on the region. The virus has overwhelmed the poor healthcare system in Amazonian cities and towns. Indigenous groups are especially vulnerable because the pandemic has opened the floodgates for the illegal deforestation and invasion of their territories. The authors warn that the encroachment on previously untouched parts of the forest could give rise to new transmissible zoonoses.

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Urban mobility

Media Continues its Love Affair with Cars

How do daily newspapers in Germany report on the subject of urban mobility? For a study by the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) that explores how current and future urban mobility are reported on in the German media, a team of researchers examined a selection of articles from daily newspapers. The study reveals that sustainable forms of mobility are seldom discussed. Similarly, the climate crisis is rarely mentioned in articles relating to mobility and transport. If the articles have one thing in common, it is the implicit assumption that the car-friendly city is desirable.

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Blog Posts

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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