Project overview SWS - Study
1. The socio-ecological transformation: urgent and challenging
Three examples from central fields of action of the socio-ecological transformation of economy and society will first briefly illustrate how urgent rapid changes are, especially with regard to the key Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). At the same time, these examples also illustrate which obstacles impede the necessary change or which reasons are put forward against it – but that it is nevertheless possible to shape the change.
3. Obstacles to transformation
Those who want transformation must also know what makes it difficult and what blocks it – also because some of the initially obstructive factors also contain starting points for transformative action. In order to do justice to the abundance of individual factors and their many interactions, specialised knowledge from different perspectives, e.g. technological, economic, social science and other perspectives, must be used. Only in an inter- and transdisciplinary synopsis can one counteract the various dangers associated with complexity: on the one hand, a widespread "fragmenting specialisation", on the other hand, a feeling of hopeless overload or the illusion that one's own (and thus concretely achievable) contribution is negligibly small and thus dispensable. Finally, this complexity, which is indeed "incomprehensible" for the individual, can tempt people to deny the problems.
4. How transformation can succeed
Those who bear responsibility in politics, business or society and are aware of the obstacles described above deal with the challenges transparently and in a planned manner and do not indulge in simple illusions of planning or feasibility: they are aware that no one knows everything in complex relationships and always reckon with the fact that unpredictable things can happen. He or she understands that appropriate formal and informal institutions, both national and international, are needed to meet these challenges and that different interest groups can misinterpret and exploit the complexity to their own advantage. Transformation policy must therefore also address the power imbalances that prevent necessary changes in order to maintain the status quo.
5. And the church?
Finally, it will be discussed whether, to what extent and under what conditions religious communities and churches can be "agents of change" and address specific contents that others cannot or can less clearly provide.