Aneliya Paneva

Arjun Anantharaman

Azad Bahareh

Denise Krissel

Hannes Kath

Lea Langhauser

Maximilian Scharf

A project of your PhD-council

Our vision

Sustainable development is a broad and controversial field. Often, sustainable development seems far removed from daily life and the current research topic in the respective field of young scientists. We believe that this is not the case and that it will become increasingly important in the future.

What is planned?

The PhD council of the University of Oldenburg organizes a bicycle tour project under the theme of sustainable development and thus supports the movement of the "Scientists for Future". For three days, the region around Oldenburg will be explored by bicycle. The aim is to visit innovative community projects, initiatives, organizations, and places that support sustainable development - especially in the area of climate protection. The tour is aimed at young scientists with the vision of becoming an annually repeating, self-supporting, and inclusive project. To ensure this, alternative transportation will be provided, among other things, to enable people with limited mobility to participate in the tour. The special feature of this project is the examination of the above-mentioned topic in an informal context within which interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary exchange between different actors from science and practice is stimulated.

What is the (added) value for climate?

The young researchers gain insight into local and regional structures as well as well-founded information on various areas of sustainable development. Practical questions can be asked and new approaches developed in direct exchange.
The target group plays a major role in current and future debates and the resulting social decisions. Among other things, they act in the roles of scientific advisors, leaders, and teachers. Scientific work provides evidence, insights, and recommendations for current and future generations. As revealed in a non-representative survey conducted as part of this project, 24 of 67 doctoral students surveyed indicated that the topic of sustainability is not sufficiently addressed in their faculties. The topic of climate protection must therefore be addressed in an inter- and transdisciplinary manner. The proposed project builds bridges between young scientists and existing projects in the region outside the university framework. In this way, a new interface between research and business in the region can be created.

By traveling by bike, a climate-neutral way of traveling as well as regional destinations are promoted. But it is not only the climate that benefits from a CO2-neutral trip on this tour. Rather, the tour provides a framework for a contact and networking platform to make sustainable development more of an issue and raise awareness of it.

What is the target group?

First and foremost, young scientists from all disciplines at the University of Oldenburg are addressed. Since the target group is located at the university, research institutions and students will also benefit from the project. Some professors have already been involved in the planning phase in order to establish contacts. At the regional level, individual projects and initiatives will be involved.  The project is initially designed as a pilot project. Depending on the financial possibilities and the response of the project, the offer will be extended to a wider group of people:

Currently, we are in exchange with the Scientists for Future movement, which also provides access to other local groups in the region in which the initiative can find appeal.

What is creative and new about it?

What is creative and new about the initiative is the informal scientific framework. The interface of business and research and their linkage takes place without obligation. The different groups meet, can become aware of each other and exchange ideas, which in many cases could not take place, especially due to the last health crisis. The bicycle tour is an alternative framework for an informal learning environment. In this, the formation of key competencies, as well as an examination of the topic of sustainable development, without predetermined learning instructions, is stimulated. The proposed project has the potential to develop a sustainable and self-motivated connection between disciplines on this topic.

Climate protection or climate adaptation?

The discussion of both topics - climate protection and sustainable development - takes place at the intermediate stops of the tour in the form of lectures, guided tours and discussions. The regional climate scenarios and adaptation measures thus find practical illustration. The informal setting offers the opportunity to process both topics in private discussions.

Who benefits from this?

Young scientists benefit from the proposed project. The bicycle tour provides a framework within which networking, exchange, and discussions on highly relevant topics outside of one's own specialization can take place. The university's support of projects to combat the climate crisis will be publicly displayed through printed T-shirts.  

In addition, regional actors will be given a platform to present themselves and attract highly qualified university graduates to their work, and bicycle tourism in Lower Saxony will be strengthened.

Can others get involved?

During the project, mainly participants and regionally engaged people can participate. The tour addresses people with an already existing interest in sustainable development. However, the promotion of the tour through the doctoral students' representation of the university reaches doctoral students of all faculties. Since the project is primarily intended to be a low-threshold offer, this is a leisure offer related to the topic of climate protection (especially due to few offers of networking activities in recent years). International young scientists are also addressed since for this group of people the community of PhD students is an important contact point for first contacts.

The offer is not only directed at members of the University of Oldenburg, young researchers from other universities should also have the opportunity to participate. Another possibility to involve other groups of people is to report on the experience and discuss it afterward. For example, a presentation and exchange with interested citizens (e.g. in the form of a photo exhibition) can take place as part of a follow-up event.

(Changed: 19 Jan 2024)  | 
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