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!
When John Elkington popularized the triple bottom line concept for accounting companies’ performance more holistically, the notion of people, planet and profit – or the ecological, economic and social dimensions of sustainability – immediately caught the attention of business people, consultants and researchers. The only problem was: there is no tripple bottom line. With a bottom line you draw the net value of a balance sheet of whatever kind. You add and subtract the ‘goods’ and ‘bads’ and arrive at a bottom line value that tells you if there is more ‘good’ than ‘bad’ in your balance. If you draw an economic bottom line, which is more or less a financial bottom line and not a holistic account of a company’s economic prospect, it is money flowing out is subtracted from money flowing in – very basically (I won’t get into much more details on monetary or other assets). In financial terms, there is a more or less […]
As a researcher who has dedicated his professional interest to sustainability and its paradoxical connection to growth, I try to be a “public academic”. Public insofar as the very notion of sustainability and its implication for a society, that can most likely be termed “unsustainable”, is highly political – and relevant to all, regardless if they are decision makers in politics and business or “just” ordinary citizens caring for their own and their families’ future well-being. If you do sustainability research for a living, your results are the results of everyone, keeping in mind that you hardly reach this ominous entity we call the public. This blog is one of my attempts to ensure publicity. Academic insofar as, although I am passionate about my research and its results as a citizen, it reflects my professional work to the best standards I can assure – not beyond doubt, but hopefully beyond […]
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 […]