The annual Futures Dialogue of the network is designed as a creative exchange between leading researchers in the sustainability sciences and outstanding personalities from policy, business and civil society in a small round. They address highly topical sustainability (science) issues and aim to juxtapose viewpoints and elicit new perspectives.

Futures Dialogue "Sustainability Research and the Corona Pandemic" 2021

22nd October 2021, 14:00 - 16:30

Headquarters of the Leibniz Association (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).