By Joern Fischer
So here’s yet another blog. The web seems to be full of them, and increasingly so. So do we really need yet another voice on sustainability? Perhaps we do. We are starting this blog in an effort to communicate our ideas on sustainability to a broad audience, and to a different audience than those people who would read our scientific papers.
This blog will have a number of contributors. Myself and those working directly with me at Leuphana, but we’ll also get some other people to occasionally contribute some material. The essence of this blog, we hope, will speak to your mind as well as your heart. The blog is written by a bunch of academics or scholars, so of course we try to analyse problems as we see them and think about them. But sustainability will require a lot more than just a lot of good, hard thinking – it will require us to engage our hearts, not just our minds.
Sustainability is an inherently normative endeavor. We care about life on earth, that’s why we’re in this business. Personally, I ended up in academia, but I could have just as easily ended up in one of the parallel worlds also suitable to those who are striving to create a better world: the public sector, the non-government sector, or even the private sector in many cases. Good people are everywhere. Arguably, to help reach sustainability at a societal level, we need to do better to get these good people organized to nudge society ahead in its efforts to create a world that is more sustainable – both socially and ecologically (I consider economics to be a subset of social issues, since a healthy economy is only worth having if it leads to a ‘good’ society where people are comfortable with their lot).
So what kinds of contributions can you expect in our blog?
Well, there’ll be some stuff that is more or less straight academic discussion. We’re an interdisciplinary team, currently working on a sustainable development project in Romania; our team spans interests in land use change, butterflies, plants, carnivores, birds; but also things like cultural ecosystem services and the norms, values and rules that guide societal behavior.
But beyond the academic stuff, we also hope to provide some thought-provoking material that’s not straight academic stuff. Like little anecdotes we experience in our travels or everyday life that make us see and feel the world in a different way. Like sharing inspiring thoughts that we have read or heard, and that you, too, might find inspiring. And of course, if and when we consider it appropriate, we will take the liberty to comment on political events.
This blog is, essentially, an experiment. Many blogs start, and then die. We hope ours will be vibrant for a long time, and that you will find it interesting.
We look forward to sharing our thoughts with you!