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Sustainable research – creating transformative knowledge

Sustainable research – creating transformative knowledge

6 February 2012

This commencement event began the "Creating Transformative Knowledge" initiative of the Year of Science 2012 dedicated to the "Sustainability and the Future Earth Project," which is managed by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The goal is to provide an overview of the state of current knowledge and existing knowledge gaps that are relevant for actively supporting a transformation to sustainable development.

The Ecological Research Network (EcoRNet), together with the "Sustainable Research" network (NaWis), hosts the initiative "Creating Transformative Knowledge". EcoRNet is a collection of independent environment and sustainability research institutes providing cutting edge transformative sustainability research for more than 20 years. This was the first large public event not only for the NaWis-Round but also the Ecological Research Networks  (EcoRNet) of the independent  Environmental Research Institute, an organization that counts Ecologic Institute as one of its founders.

As a part of the upcoming science year "Future Project Earth", sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the initiative discusses how the science sector can drive for the transformation to a sustainable society.

The Kick-off Event, held on 6 February 2012, took place at the permanent representation of North Rhine-Westphalia in Berlin. Among other guests, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Research of North Rhine-Westphalia, Svenja Schulze, along with her counterpart from Baden-Wuerttemberg, Theresia Bauer, took part. R. Andreas Kraemer, Director of Ecologic Institute, moderated two podium discussions. The event and the following seminars and workshops highlighted best practice examples for transformative and interdisciplinary sustainability research on the national and international level.

The series of events is coordinated by the Wuppertal Institute’s Berlin office and is funded by the Mercator Foundation.

For more information about the outcomes of the event, please visit the event website: http://nachhaltigewissenschaft.blog.de/

Program (as of 12.01.2012):

11:00: Greetings from the hosts of the event

Presentation of the "Creating Transformative Knowledge" initiative of the Year of Science 2012

11:30: Opening remarks from Prof. Dr. Uwe Schneidewind (of the NaWis Network)

11:45: Podium discussion about the initiative with its managers (moderation: R. Andreas Kraemer/Ecologic Institute)

  •   Prof. Dr. Alexander Roßnagel/Coordinator Sustainability Strategy, University of Kassel
  •   Dr. Thomas Jahn/Head Scientist ISOE Frankfurt – EcorNet
  •   Michael Sailer/Head Scientist, Öko-Institut
  •   Reiner Braun/Head, Association of German Scientists (VDW)
  •   Stephan Ertner/Referee for Key Questions, Ministry of Science of Baden-Wuerttemberg

13:00: Lunch break  with a press conference about the initiative

Requirements for a transformative scientific system

14:00: Civil society as a scientific-political actor

Moderated podium discussion (moderation: R. Andreas Kraemer/Ecologic Institute)

  •    Prof. Dr. Angelika Zahrnt/Council for Sustainable Development
  •    Prof. Dr. Wilfried Kühling/BUND
  •    Hilmat Höhn/IGBCE NRW
  •    Steffi Ober/NABU
  •    Alejandro Esguerra/Initiative Greening the University/Tübingen

15:15: Coffee break

15:30: Requirements and best practices of a transformative scientific system – moderated podium discussion (moderation: Thomas Korbun/IÖW-VÖW)

  •   Prof. Dr. Claus Leggewie/KWI-WBGU
  •   Prof. Daniel Lang/Lüneberg
  •   Dr. Matthias Bergmann/ISOE
  •   Dr. Marie Loibl/Sparkling Science – Austria
  •   Ute Zander/RD4SD – European Research for Sustainable Development
  •   Thorsten Menne/Dirk Meyer – Ministry of Science of North Rhine-Westfalia – Initiative Progress NRW

16:30: Coffee break

Public afternoon/evening event

17:00: Remarks from the event host

17:15: Grand challenges as the basis of future innovation policy – the example of North Rhine-Westfalia from Svenja Schulze – Minister of Science of North Rhine-Westfalia

17:40: Science for Sustainability – views of the science initiative of Baden-Wuerttemberg from Theresia Bauer – Minister of Science of Baden-Wuerttemberg

18:00: Perspectives on a transformative scientific system – how can we bring ecological, social, and economic progress together? - podium discussion (moderation: Thomas Korbun/IÖW-VÖW)

  •   Svenja Schulze/Minister of Innovation, Science and Research of North Rhine-Westfalia
  •   Theresia Bauer/Minister of Science, Research and Arts of Baden-Wuerttemberg
  •   Hubert Weiger/Chairman of BUND
  •   Dr. Klaus Engel/Board Chairman, Evonik Industries
  •   Kathrin Menges/Board Member , Henkel AG & Co. KGaA
  •   Prof. Dr. Dirk Messner/WBGU

19:30: Closing remarks and reception at the Representation of the State of North Rhine-Westfalia

Further links:

6 February 2012
Berlin, Germany
Ecologic Institute, IÖW, IASS, ISOE, Leuphana, NaWis, NaWis Series, University of Kassel, University of Lüneberg, Year of Science 2012, Wuppertal Institute, Baden-Wuerttemberg, NRW