Societal transformations are often initiated by individuals. This also applies to the sustainable economy issue: There are particularly committed people behind many smaller and larger developments that have been set in motion in recent years. Some of these "change agents" who were involved in projects of the "Scientific coordination of research projects on a sustainable economy" (NaWiKo) have been presented as part of the project's dissemination work.
How do new and innovative solutions come into existence? A sustainable transformation of our way of living can only succeed with innovative ideas and new ways of thinking and acting. This requires committed people. People who initiate something; who initiate change with conviction and passion. Such "change agents" were also active in companies or projects that have collaborated with various projects of the funding programme Sustainable Economy by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF).
Seven change agents from the fields of nutrition and agriculture were presented as part of the NaWiKo project: What drives them? In which parts were they successful and how did they succeed? Which obstacles could be overcome, with which problems are they confronted today? What can be learnt from their experiences, where are starting points for similar or completely different projects?
One change agent is Hans Möller, a dairy farmer who decided to switch to organic production early on - for the welfare of the animals, but also to enforce fair wages for milk producers. Christian Hiß founded "Regionalwert AG", through which citizens invest in their food supply. Anna Wißmann acts as a networker of the German food councils for the regional supply of food. Simon Scholl's cooperative "Kartoffelkombinat" supplies thousands of Munich households with regionally and fairly produced vegetables. Sabine Kauffmann founded a publishing house in the 1980s that not only focuses on healthy and sustainable nutrition and lifestyles, but is now fully owned by its employees. Christoph Deinert, managing director of the organic bakery "Märkisches Landbrot" in Berlin, is also concerned with social sustainability. And Pascal Biesenbach from Wuppertal is working on a special vision for the future: the "Arrenberg climate quarter" is to become climate-neutral by 2030, including, amongst others, its own food production.
The portraits of all Change Agents are available on the NaWiKo project website.