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?


Narratives and Images of Sustainability

What are the principal narratives in the field of sustainable development research? What does the success or failure of political narratives depend on? Researchers in this project explore how and by whom sustainability is 'narrated' and understood and make suggestions for successful narratives. They also examine how art can foster dialogue on sustainability.

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A Mindset for the Anthropocene (AMA)

The transformation towards a sustainable society calls for a fundamental change in thinking and a willingness to question deep-seated attitudes, convictions, and worldviews. What role can mindfulness play in decision-making on sustainability issues? And how can a shift in human behaviour and thinking come about?

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Knowledge, Learning and Societal Change Alliance (KLASICA)

How can collectively produced knowledge help to initiate societal transformations towards sustainable lifestyles? How can mutual learning motivate and guide collective action? The KLASICA project addresses these questions in cooperation with the international Future Earth research initiative.

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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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