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!
tl;dr: Utopian Sustainability needs to balance boldness and humbleness to envision a convivial future in which every individual can feel both at home and free. 500 years ago, English lawyer, philosopher and humanist Thomas More published his book »Utopia«. In it he described the »republic’s best state« on the island of Utopia, a fictional place that he used as a criticism and social commentary on the present state of European society at the beginning of the 16th century. The island of Utopia was then a thought experiment on how society might look like and how it might be structured if it followed the humanist ideal. The very word Utopia is of Greek origin and means a »non-place«, something that is not somewhere if only in our imaginary. To commemorate its anniversary, the Schader Foundation in Darmstadt, Germany organized a conference on »Utopia. Religion – Power – Society« in early November […]
tl;dr: The protection of domestic social production in free trade agreements works with Degrowth and ensures peace through trade Since David Ricardo, mainstream economics favors free trade over economic isolationism when it comes to increasing the »wealth of nations«. Although Paul Samuelson’s notable criticism on some aspects of free trade all but left a minor dent in this believe. The potential downsides of free trade, so the consensus goes, can be managed by (i) allowing for innovation and structural change, (ii) by increasing employability and enabling lifelong learning, as well as (iii) by redistributing globalization gains more equally within a country through taxation. In addition, free trade never was just about economic gains; it also was about strengthening peace between countries. Friedrich A. Hayek’s dream of interstate federalism and peace through trade is at the heart of what is the European Union today and has motivated the post-war institutions of […]
How does business work in a low to no growth environment? Prof. Dr. André Reichel talks about the challenges and opportunities for companies in a postgrowth economy Prof. Reichel, you are working on issues of postgrowth and business for many years – what changes are we about to witness in the next 10, 20 or 50 years in the economy Across Europe, we most likely will see receding economic growth rates in the coming decades. And although the global economy continues to grow, it does so at a significantly lower pace than in the years before the financial crisis of 2008/2009. At midpoint of the 21st century, global economic growth rates probably will be below one percent per year. That does not imply that business cannot grow in such an environment. But you will need new business models and a stronger sensitivity towards the rest of society. Regardless what you […]
tl;dr: If you have a proper formal model, you can sketch a future for companies that enables them to create a convivial society beyond growth. (This is an extended summary of a scientific paper to be published in a special issue on organizing for the postgrowth economy in »ephemera: theory and politics in organizations«) When you reflect about the future, especially if you want to go beyond coffeehouse level reasoning, some conceptual framework is necessary that can tolerate the future. Such a framework is given with the »Laws of Form« by British mathematician George Spencer Brown and its system-theoretical application by German sociologist Dirk Baecker. The »Laws of Form« are dealing with one question: how to inquire into anything? They are also giving the answer right away: through drawing a difference, through distinguishing the world in different parts, and the naming of these differences. The world is everything that is the […]