The transition to the Post-fossil Age is generating social, economic, and political tensions. Entire regions, economic sectors and even policy fields must be realigned as a consequence. This research group investigates the prerequisites and opportunities for sustainability transformations as well as possible steering mechanisms and opportunities for participation at the substate level. Regions are important arenas for sustainable development as transformations at this level can support broader change. In addition, their economic, cultural, social and political relevance can lend momentum to transformations and strengthen identification with change processes.
The group's current research activities focus on the energy transitions in Lusatia and the Rhenish mining districts as well as sustainable food production in structurally weaker regions in the eastern German states. This work revolves around questions such as: How can citizens, children and young people contribute to the transformation of their living, learning and working environments? How do experimental spaces contribute to socio-ecological transformations? Which ecological aspects are taken into account, and which are neglected? How do the principles of sustainability shape transformations? How can inequalities - for example between urban and rural areas - be addressed in the context of transformations?
The research group collaborates with actors from politics, public administration and civil society to identify and elaborate pathways for sustainable development. These co-creative advisory activities underpin a transdisciplinary approach that invites critical reflection on the roles and effects of science within processes of structural transformation. In doing so, the researchers assume a critical, facilitative and catalytic role within transformations, ensuring that the transition to the Post-fossil Age offers opportunities to foster a more just and sustainable society.