By Joern Fischer
A little while back, I reported that our Faculty had landed a nice new grant — for a project called Leverage Points for Sustainability Transformation. Although we’re still in the final phase of sorting out the administrative details, in practice, this project is already starting to build momentum.
Our project website has just gone live. On it, we outline the key features of this project. This website is also where job ads will be posted — and there will be quite a few of those, with 8 PhD positions and 4 postdoc positions coming up. Moreover, we give an overview of what the actual project will be about. The project will focus on food and energy systems, with a comparative focus on Transylvania (Romania) and Lower Saxony (Germany). There will be three levels of work — a conceptual level, an empirical level, and a transdisciplinary level. Our overarching goal is to look for and examine the potential of “deep leverage points” in the areas of re-structuring institutions, re-connecting people with the environment, and re-thinking whose knowledge can be brought to bear to bring about a transformation towards sustainability. A summary of who the Principal Investigators are can be found here.
This project will deal with complexity, and also will be quite complex to manage, due to its size and range of issues covered. However, we are hopeful that it will be an important contribution to sustainability science — and also for the further development of the Faculty of Sustainability at Leuphana University. Unlike many large projects, we’ll have all 20 or so people involved with this project housed in the one building, and more than half of those will work exclusively on the project. Moreover, we’re developing a governance structure to carefully coordinate what different people are working on, and how information is exchanged formally and informally. As in the past, sharing the place where research is conducted, perhaps some cases that are being focused on, and developing specific processes for integration, should ensure that our work will be truly interdisciplinary, rather than just multi-disciplinary. (And of course, parts of it are explicitly designed to also involve stakeholders, meaning they will be transdisciplinary.)
Check out the new website, which has a lot more information, and sign up for updates on that website if you’d like to remain updated!