On these pages you can find my publications and talks on sustainability, degrowth, ecological economics, corporate responsibility, systems theory and organizational change within the next society. I also started a science blog in which I will post ideas, thoughts and notes from the field of sustainability science, research and education. Particularly I am interested in research collaborations and new ideas for sustainability research and practice. Enjoy and feel free to contact me!
Placing the notion of technology within a postgrowth setting is like introducing Conchita Wurst to a Vatican congregation. Not any congregation, but the Papal conclave. Not as a surprise guest to cheer everyone up, but as a serious proposal for the next Holy Father – or in this case: the Holy Trinity of the one, the other, and both. Technology? Are you sure? Technology is either regarded as the dominant means to follow the futile dream of decoupling economic activity from ecological impact thus producing »green« growth – and thus cementing the capitalist, growth-oriented machine, responsible for environmental degradation, productivity increase and workers exploitation, acting as the materialist »perpetuum mobile« spewing out one gadget after the other in order to keep us fixed in our roles as mindless consumers, feeling ever more hollow down to our human core. Of course there is room for technology when talking about postgrowth or […]
Europe is exhausted. It is exhausted after long years of what is labeled as the Eurozone crisis. It is exhausted after years of economic success and – now – pro-longed years of political failure. Every single attempt of deepening the political union of Europe after the enactment of the Maastricht Treaty in 1993 and the common currency that followed in 1999, failed in consecutive referendums. Remember Ireland 2001 with the Nice Treaty, remember the Netherlands and France in 2005 with the European constitution. This elitist concept of Europe was too much rooted in an overtly rationalist model of economic necessities. But humans are more than economic machines doing what markets expect and require from them. At the same time, the European Union still remains the largest economic entity in the global economy. The continent is also still unrivaled in terms of the economic and social welfare that it provides to […]
An Essay on Organization and Management in the Sustainability Society* From crisis to meta-crisis At the Convocation of the United Negro** College Fund in 1959, John F. Kennedy referred to the Chinese word for “crisis” being made up of two symbols, one denoting “danger” (wēi), and the other denoting “opportunity” (jī). Today, many decision makers in politics and the economy use this phrase addressing the slowly retreating economic and financial crisis. From a linguistic viewpoint, this translation is without any substance and clearly not more than a handy rhetorical device in challenging times. The times are challenging indeed, and a closer look at the meaning of jī in wēijī might give a much clearer description of these times: crucial point. In this essay it will be argued that we witness such a crucial point which is unprecedented in human history, probably only comparable to the dramatic changes from a […]
In the discussions on the future of economic growth, business as usual is not an option. That alone can be regarded as good news. When the modern narrative of growth is evoked in policy debates, it is always green growth that is summoned. Green growth is sought to be resource-efficient, low-carbon and socially inclusive. Green growth is the key strategy to battle climate change, bring eco-friendly development to emerging countries, renew economic structures in industrialized nations and produce robust jobs for a changing world. And it will also probably save the whales. If green growth is such a wonderful thing, in line with everything everyone could possible want – economically, ecologically, socially – why isn’t it happening everywhere big time? Of course it is argued that it already happens in some places whereas others will have to catch up. In Germany for example there are signs of green growth when […]