The annual Future Dialogue is designed as a creative exchange between the sustainability sciences and a selected circle of influential personalities from politics, institutions and civil society.

Future Dialogue "Sustainability Research and the Corona Pandemic" 2021

took place on 22nd october 2021 from 2pm to 6:30pm at the Leibniz Association's office in Berlin.

The aim of the event was to promote exchange between various Leibniz institutions, major research organisations and academies as well as from research policy and, if necessary, to formulate a standpoint. In addition, suggestions for further activities of the network were gained.

The Corona pandemic has extensive and profound consequences and changes for working methods and the content of research. In particular, transdisciplinary research, which is a key feature here, and international peer scientific exchange are made considerably more difficult or are no longer feasible at all. They can hardly be realised in direct personal interaction, but almost only in digital formats, which leads to specific selectivities and exclusions. This reduced and modified exchange will not remain without effects on the quality and innovative character of scientific work on sustainability.

Moreover, the Corona pandemic has completely uncertain effects on the content of sustainability-oriented research and research funding: On the one hand, it is assumed that the pandemic will give new and additional momentum to transdisciplinary, transformative research and that its positions, which have so far been minoritarian in the science system, will receive significantly greater attention and significance. On the other hand, there is the expectation that science must primarily apply to the ("technical") limitation and overcoming of the pandemic in order to be able to return to "normality" as quickly as possible. This makes a critical discourse on the role of science imperative.

The short documentation of the discussion and results can be found here (document language: German).