Online Consultation: A Sustainable Way Out of the Corona Crisis

How can sustainability contribute to overcoming the corona crisis – and how can overcoming the crisis contribute to strengthening sustainability?  Researchers from all disciplines are invited to participate in an online consultation. Their answers will feed into a catalogue of recommendations that the Science Platform will present to the Federal Government.

About the Consultation

Researchers from all disciplines are invited to participate in the online consultation “A Sustainable Way Out of the Corona Crisis”.

With four guiding questions, the wpn2030 hopes to prompt answers and further reflection from the scientific community on the following overarching question:

How can sustainability contribute to overcoming the pandemic – and how can overcoming the pandemic contribute to strengthening sustainability?

Please submit your responses to the guiding questions online. You are welcome to respond to one or more of the questions. The interviews with experts on our website exemplify different possible approaches to the questions.

The results will be collated into a catalogue of recommendations that will be presented to the Federal Government with a view to updating Germany’s National Strategy for Sustainable Development.

The consultation process will run until 10 June.

The consultation process is being conducted through German. You are, however, welcome to respond to the questions in other languages. Please contact us if you require assistance.

Quesion 1: Can and must the concept of sustainability be reformulated?

The corona crisis has exposed the vulnerability of the systems underlying our society. As a concept that unites the economic, social and ecological dimensions, sustainability has always held the promise of more resilient systems. Thus by emphasising the resilience implied in the concept, it may be possible to strengthen its political and societal relevance.

This can be summed up in the following question: Can and must the concept of sustainability be reformulated – for example, by aligning it more explicitly with the notion of resilience – in order to strengthen the relevance of sustainability?

 

Answer question 1

 

The consultation process is being conducted through German. You are, however, welcome to respond to the questions in other languages. Please contact us if you require assistance.

Question 2: Where and how can systemic thinking and action be embedded and continually refined in political structures and processes?

The corona crisis has brought the interdependencies of our societal systems sharply into focus, highlighting their connections to biological and ecological systems and the challenges that brings for policymaking. The analysis of such interdependencies and challenges plays a central role in many research fields, especially sustainability research. At a time when the strategies proposed to tackle the crisis are being fleshed out, it is vital that these analyses help to shape policy and provide guidance on how to deal with the challenges that arise in this process.

This can be summed up in the following question: Where and how can systemic thinking and action be embedded and continually refined in political structures and processes?

 

Answer question 2

 

The consultation process is being conducted through German. You are, however, welcome to respond to the questions in other languages. Please contact us if you require assistance.

Question 3: What concrete solutions – sectoral and cross sectoral – are now required?

The corona crisis is revealing how quickly new, sustainable patterns of behaviour and innovations can establish themselves on a wide scale. Yet it also shows how swiftly such positive developments can give way to other one-sided and unsustainable priorities. Researchers have already developed a host of approaches geared to supporting sustainable patterns of behaviour and synergies and preventing setbacks – first and foremost through an analysis of the challenges and trade-offs that arise from (a lack of) coherence in sectoral policymaking for transformation processes. The corona crisis can be a window of opportunity to put this knowledge into practice.

This can be summed up in the following question: What concrete solutions – sectoral and cross-sectoral – are now required?

 

Answer question 3

 

The consultation process is being conducted through German. You are, however, welcome to respond to the questions in other languages. Please contact us if you require assistance.

Question 4: How can the scientific community contribute to overcoming this crisis and initiate a dialogue on sustainability issues in the process?

The corona crisis has redefined the role of science and made scientists more visible in the public sphere. In the pandemic, the foresight, factual knowledge, sound reasoning, and transparency that epitomises science has been a key point of reference for political action and its communication and acceptance in society. In future, scientists will be able to build on this experience in order to contribute more effectively to societal challenges, particularly in the area of sustainability. However, if they are to to do justice to the plurality of problems we face, scientific analyses and methods will have to be continually refined. Here, the scientific community is called upon to reflect on its work and make any necessary changes to the scientific system and science policy.

This can be summed up in the following question: How can the scientific community contribute to overcoming this crisis and initiate a dialogue on sustainability issues in the process?

 

Answer question 4

 

The consultation process is being conducted through German. You are, however, welcome to respond to the questions in other languages. Please contact us if you require assistance.

Contact

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions or suggestions in relation to the consultation.

Dr Konar Mutafoglu
Research Associate
0331 28822 482
konar.mutafoglu@iass-potsdam.de

 

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