Current patterns in the production and consumption of goods, energy and services are not environmentally sustainable in both industrialised and developing countries. A more comprehensive industrial transformation towards sustainability is hence needed, in particular in the richer countries of the North. It has to be asked how this transformation towards sustainable patterns of production and consumption can look like, how far it must go and through which forms of governance and which actors it can be achieved.
The 2003 Berlin Conference aimed at bringing together new and innovative research in this field — in particular with an empirical emphasis — that indicated possible pathways for the successful governance of industrial transformation processes. The following issues were addressed by the presentations:
- Historical experiences with the management of industrial transformation
- Methods for the forecast of future trends
- Conclusions on the possible and necessary scope of industrial transformation
- Awareness of the potentials of political instruments that build on cooperation and information
- Recommendations for the cooperation of different societal actors
With this debate it was not only intended to enhance the research on Global Change, they also has been introduced into the political process. The results and debates has been made available to the public through a documentation in the internet and a book publication.
By the 2003 Berlin Conference, an opportunity was provided to German science to establish an internationally acknowledged exchange institution for experts, in particular of social science Global Change research. With this, an contribution should be made to the continuing integration of German science into international networks, in particular the IHDP.