Das Cluster thematisiert u.a. die folgenden Fragestellung und Aspekte:

  • Die Multi-Level-Perspective ist eine analytische Sichtweise auf Veränderungsprozesse, die auf verschiedenen Ebenen stattfinden und sich gegenseitig beeinflussen können. Welches Potential hat dieser Ansatz zur Analyse und zum Verständnis von Transformationspfaden?
  • Was sind Hemmnisse und Pfadabhängigkeiten, die Transformation behindern können bzw. ihr im Wege stehen? Wie können sie überwunden werden?
  • Was sind Schlüsselakteure für unterschiedliche Transformationspfade? Welche Rolle spielt Bewusstseinsbildung dieser Akteure?
  • Wie kommt Transformation zustande? Wie und unter welchen Bedingungen kann Transformation von wem gestaltet werden?

“Voluntary simplifiers” live more sustainably as they deliberately reduce their consumption

According to a current study by researchers on the BMBF project „Strategies and Potentials to Initiate and Promote Sustainable Consumption” (SPIN), 14.4% of the adult German population make a decision to consume significantly less than they could financially afford. Such people can be described by the term voluntary simplifiers.

Input papers on transformation pathways

The project “Evolution to Green” has produced a number of input papers on the topic of transformation pathways to a green economy.

Models of Change

An input paper by Walter Kahlenborn, Valentin Tappeser and Lisa Chichowitz (all adelphi) of the Evolution2Green project titled  „Models of Change as an Analytical Approach – Operationalisation for an Analysis of Fundamental Transformations in the Economic System“ makes the “Models of Change” approach practicable for the analysis of systematic transformations in the economic system.

Developing sustainability in vocational education and training


Vocational education and training for sustainable development promotes competency in sustainable living and economic activities in order to preserve the natural basis of life for future generations. This requires bringing economic, social and ecological responsibility together in a harmonious way.

What can we do at the work bench, in the office or behind the counter in order to promote sustainable development? Which professional skills are necessary for a more sustainability-oriented work model? And what does a place of learning that facilitates these kinds of changes look like?

Research Project: „Well-Being Transformation Wuppertal (WTW)

May 2015 to Apr 2018

What do a sustainable economy, quality of life and urban transformation mean in cities such as Wuppertal, which are struggling with deep structural changes? How can impulses for more sustainability coming from the city’s civil society be described, structured and supported? How can quality of life be decoupled from material economic growth and resource consumption? The project WTW seeks comprehensive answers to these questions.

From climate protection concepts to target-group-specific renovation: Strategies, solutions and best-practise examples for dynamic communities (Sandy)

Jan 2015 to Dec 2017

Energy refurbishment and modernization of the housing stock play a key role in municipal climate protection concepts. However, their practical realization encounters large problems. The diversity and motivations of homeowners and tenants, especially elderly people or people with migration background and those confronted with increasingly dynamic real estate markets in growing or shrinking regions have hardly been addressed. Therefore, the connected challenges remain unanswered and opportunities unseen. In the light of the above, a toolbox for municipalities with target group oriented measures, instruments and strategies will be developed, based on the analysis of specific cases in several case municipalities. The toolbox is designed to also take into account the various living situations of owners and tenants.

Transparency and transformation in the sustainable food economy. Collaborative approaches for more sustainability from the resource to the end consumer (Transkoll)

Apr 2015 to Mar 2018

The final goal of this project is to develop and validate a toolbox of instruments and methods for small and medium sized enterprises (KMUs) that help to integrate sustainability in the whole food industry chain. Furthermore, the goal is to learn more about motives of action, structural and psychological barriers – respectively the behavior of the employees and the companies that have business relationships. It will also be evaluated how to establish transparency between the resource and the consumer and how to tackle insufficient consumer willingness to get product information.

SMEs and rural areas under demographic change – opportunities by social-environmental acting? (Regio TransKMU)

Jan 2015 to Dec 2017

Hardly any trend in Germany is discussed as intensely as demographic change. Rural regions will be particularly affected. It intensifies the internal migration already taking place and may lead to negative impacts on regional social structures.  It also exacerbates the existing or expected lack of specialists, which especially affects small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) and therefore the competitiveness of a region. The question emerges: which factors can increase the attractiveness of regions as a place to live and the attractiveness of SMEs as employer in a way that makes people want to stay. Given this context, the research project Regio TransKMU researches whether and how SMEs that act sustainably (in social and environmental terms) can shape rural areas and make them more attractive.

New opportunities for a sustainable food system through transformative enterprise models (nascent)

Apr 2015 to Mar 2018

In order to develop a sustainable food supply system, that enables food sovereignty and resilient food production on a regional level, the focus on local initiatives is increasing.

Initiatives with transformative potential are no longer exclusively situated in the sphere of either production or consumption, they are not only situated in either urban areas or the countryside, and are not only driven by economical success and/or limited by ecological demands. Instead these initiatives may diminish the impact of exogenous shocks and facilitate creative adaptation to changing environmental, socio-economic, and political conditions.

Living Labs in the Green Economy - Real-world Innovation for User-Integration and Sustainability

Mar 2015 to Feb 2018

The project demonstrates the potential of LivingLabs in the Green Economy. Within the project, innovations for assistance systems in the key areas of sustainable consumption (“living”, “retail”, “mobility”) are developed. In three German LivingLabs, companies and research organizations create and test new prototypes and business models with specific engagement of users.

Transformation: an analysis of economic, social and technological transformation pathways (InTrans)

Jun 2015 to May 2018

The goal of InTrans is to show pathways of transformation towards an economy that is ecologically and socially just. The focus will be medium- to long-term perspectives with regards to a changing environment. This project is constructed in an interdisciplinary way and brings together researchers from the fields of philosophy, economics and sociology. Concrete policy recommendations shall be derived. The targeted incorporation of practitioner partners ensures a high scientific quality and the relevance of all parts of the project.

Green Travel Transformation - A model for an integrated transformation process towards sustainable business practices in tourism

May 2015 to Apr 2018

The aim of the project is to significantly increase the share of more sustainable travel options in all booked travel products. Thus it is necessary that such travel products are visible (labelling) and bookable (within the information and booking systems). Targeted consultation by the travel agency staff regarding the realization of sustainable holidays can increase the sense of responsibility, efficiency and potentially sufficiency. Accordingly two aspects can be achieved: The advantages and chances of sustainability become visible to travelers and travelers have the possibility to specifically book sustainable products. Thus the sense of responsibility, efficiency and potentially sufficiency can be combined: The traveler consciously and frequently decides to travel sustainable. Hence travel products will be promoted, which use less resources, are bound to a favorable economic and social contexts and thus better correspond to the sustainability criteria.

Governance model for socio-ecological transformation processes in practice: development and testing in three areas of application

Apr 2015 to Mar 2018

Severe environmental problems seem to require a substantial and near-term shift towards greater sustainability in our production and consumption patterns. While many individual initiatives already exist in practice, comprehensive governance approaches targeted towards substantial transformations of whole socio-technical systems are lacking. In this respect, there is a great public need for systemically oriented and field-proven recommendations for forms of (more) successful governance of transformation processes.

The overall objective of the project is the development and testing of a heuristic, and the drafting of a manual planned as an E-Book to support practitioners in contributing to the initiation and in actively shaping socio-ecological transfor¬mation processes.

Comparing common good economy with corporate sustainability strategies (GIVUN)

Mar 2015 to Feb 2018

The aim of the scientific project “Comparing common good economy with corporate sustainabil-ity strategies (GIVUN)” is to provide a historical and economic-ethical context as well as empiri-cal research for an economy that is oriented after the common good. Furthermore, there will be an evaluation of the concept of the common good economy and other Corporate-Social-Responsibility (CSR) instruments. This will look at their transformative potential for integrating sustainability objectives into the corporate orientation.  Focus of the project will be research about the impacts of the corporate common good orientation on concrete working and production conditions.   Special regard will be paid to environmental effects and exploring conditions for the up-scaling and diffusion of common good economy for big corporations.

Evolution2Green - Transformation Paths towards the Green Economy: Shaping Path Change

Jun 2015 to May 2018

The Green Economy and related concepts such as Green Growth and the Green New Deal were seized upon with increasing frequency during the recent global financial and economic crisis. The concept of the Green Economy aims to identify new ways in which economic growth can go hand in hand with ecological sustainability, social inclusion and fairness.

The project’s potential for application is to be found first of all in the political arena. Additionally, the project’s findings will help businesses and NGOs to better perceive their role in the transformation to a Green Economy.

Development, testing and distribution of concepts for a sustainable out-of-home dining sector (NAH_Gast)

Mar 2015 to Feb 2018

Businesses based in the out-of-home dining sector (Außer-Haus-Gastronomie, AHG) work continuously on a range of dishes that are healthier and more sustainable to cope with these changes in lifestyles and demand. To do that they further develop their supply in response to consumer needs with the help of dialogues with them. This project aims to initiate and disseminate trans-formative processes for more sustainable production and consumption in the out-of-home dining sector.

The Handprint A complementary measurement of positive sustainability impacts of products

Jun 2015 to May 2018

The Handprint is an innovative and holistic approach to facilitate the measurement, evaluation and communication of the ecological, economic and social sustainability impacts of products.

Education for Sustainable Consumption through Mindfulness Training (BiNKA)

Mar 2016 to Feb 2018

Over the last years, mindfulness was successfully used to reduce chronical stress and increase well-being as well as the ability to concentrate. Education for Sustainable Consumption (ESC) and mindfulness training are combined in the BiNKA-project by focusing on the long-known problem of ESC, the discrepancy of individuals’ ecological attitude and their actual behavior. ESC aims at enabling people to consume more sustainably and is known as a crucial lever for the implementation of Sustainable Development. Overcoming the so called “attitude-behavior-gap” is one of the central challenges of ESC. Existing theories of the effects of mindfulness training suggest that practicing mindfulness strengthens awareness of one´s own core values, attitudes and behavior. Mindfulness might thus provide a tool to overcome the gap, potentially aligning values and behavior sustainably.