Oldenburg boasts a long tradition of sustainability research with its key focus on the societal challenges that result from the changes in the relationships between human behaviour, nature and technology. The research activities address concrete questions set against the backdrop of the Grand Challenge of sustainable development. Oldenburg’s problem-oriented research is both international and regional and is rooted in an inter- and transdisciplinary approach to developing reflective insights to problem-solving.
Sustainability research in Oldenburg comprises a range of research areas:
- Coastal areas: Scientific investigations explore social and ecological systems in the crossover zone between marine and land-based systems together with agriculture and the food sector in coastal regions.
- Climate and society: Research is focused on climate change and its societal dimensions and in particular on adaptive strategies and measures.
- Humankind-Nature-Technology interactions: Featured topics include environmental and sustainability economics, post-growth economics, business environmental protection, nature protection and knowledge regulation supplemented by the analysis of the interdependencies between sociality and the human body, nature and technology.
- Cross-sectional integrative systems analysis and transdisciplinary design: Here the emphasis is placed on the development of conceptual inroads into the sustainability complex. These include resilience, social theory and integrative methods together with the design-oriented topics of sustainability education, sustainability and innovation management, governance and development cooperation.
Sustainability research in Oldenburg is anchored in a range of university institutes and faculties. Interdisciplinary interlinking and cooperation activities are initiated and managed by COAST and its members CENTOS, CEM and ZENARiO and partly by ICBM and Forwind. Research funding is provided by the DFG, the EU, the Volkswagen Foundation, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research BMBF and Lower Saxony’s Science and Culture Ministry. Sustainability science is also an established element of Oldenburg’s portfolio of study programme with a Masters Cluster offering a total of nine masters programmes.
The development of the sustainability focus is ongoing in response to specific scientific problem-solving assignments. Oldenburg’s sustainability research profile continues to diversify itself through doctorate programmes, additional projects and its enrolment in the international Future Earth Programme.
More information on COAST