Societal Transformation

In Germany, numerous players in political discourse emphasize the importance of an extensive transformation of politics, economy and society, in order to do justice to the challenges of a sustainable development. But what is exactly societal transformation? At the FFU, we understand societal transformation to be a long process that comprises of extensive changes in different areas of the society (subsystems) – ranging from production and consumption patterns to legal concepts, from types of organisations to cultural practices and beliefs. These changes in individual subsystems are interdependent; this means that the changes in one subsystem will influence changes in another. Societal transformation is then the result when different changes in subsystems reinforce each other and give overall development of society a direction (e.g. sustainability). During the transformation processes, the ‘old’ and ‘new’ still coexist (e.g. in the form of technologies, social norms, economic and political systems). Only in the course of a transformation –by overcoming path dependencies and barriers – a direction will emerge in which transformative processes will change a society.
The FFU is engaged in different projects with the preconditions for and approaches to governing the transformation towards a sustainable society.

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This project contributes to measurement of progress towards Green Economy and its understanding for political decision making process in Germany. Based on a synopsis of rele-vant measurement concepts it identifies deficits of available concepts and develops suggestions for an adequate indicator system.

December 15, 2011 - September 30, 2014

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The project aims at expanding the period of time covered by Germany’s Sustainability Strategy to the year 2030 and at sketching out the development until 2050. To do this, major issue areas and challenges need to be identified, and strategies and sub-targets for their implementation have to be developed.

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Learning for a sustainable world: this is the motto of the project schools@university Sustainability and Climate Change. For one week, a wide variety of learning concepts focusses on these two themes in order to make tangible for pupils and teachers alike what they stand for.

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The Environmental Policy Research Centre is involved in the Alliance with a comprehensive project from the political science perspective. The project will investigate new governance requirements for the electricity system restructuring.

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The initative SUSTAIN IT! has the comprehensive goal of discussing local and global questions  of sustainability in the fields of politics, science, economics, adminstration, technology, society and education.

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Currently, an environmentally recyclable concept of a socio-ecological, sustainable growth and social model is missing, which would be a reference point for future economic and social prosperity and corresponding transformation processes. With this background, the main point of this study is the technical analysis and discussion of the following aspects:
1) theoretical and practical approaches of ecological and sustainable-oriented social and economic models – based on a national or macro-economic view.
2) conceptual and empirical reform efforts for the measurement of social welfare and economic prosperity.

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The European project “Schools at university for Climate & Energy (SAUCE)” will offer a series of one-week on-campus education programmes for pupils ages 10-13 on the core topics of energy and climate change.

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The study recapitulates the most important shortfalls and vacancies of the GDP figures. Founded on this analysis, the question of possible complementary indicators has been discussed.

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In time for the twentieth anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster and for the first time at the Free University of Berlin and in Germany, a thematically focused school university on climate and energy took place from 20th March to 24th March 2006.

Term: 01.05.2005 - 30.09.2006

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