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!
The recent report on ‘Better Growth, Better Climate’ immediately resonated strongly with the media and policy makers. In a nutshell, the report argues that we can have everything: inclusive growth and development, better climate and ecosystem stability, and most likely we also can save the whales. I don’t want to belittle the strategic intent of the report and its drive towards very sensible policies in the light of an ever-increasing global ecological crisis. I especially welcome its focus on cities as a level of transformational government, the plea for establishing a low-carbon infrastructure, and a cut to non-sustainable subsidies in the energy sector. This will all be necessary for tackling climate change, but also for providing a decent life for us and our children. Blind faith in growth… What puzzles me, however, while reading the report is the blind faith in growth itself. Let me be absolutely precise here: growth […]
Earlier this year, I wrote a blog article on “The End of Europe“. The motivation behind it was this nagging feeling that something went wrong on the old continent, that something along the way to European integration got lost – the heart and soul of Europe and what this European project is about. For 500 years, Europe was about civilization – and dominance, colonization, exploitation of people and planet, bloody wars at home and abroad; but also great successes in the progress of humanity, with the formulation (and “sacralization” according to Hans Joas) of human rights, born out of the European traumata so inseparably connected to its cruel history. Europe, first and foremost, is not a geographical expression but an idea. And today it seems that Europe lost its idea. I wanted not only to analyze the reasons why Europe lost its ideational foundation but also how the emerging discourse, the emerging activism […]
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 […]