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Konferenz Mitschnitt


Konferenz Aufzeichnung 2022

Auf den folgenden Seiten veröffentlichen wir die Aufzeichnungen der Konferenz. Bitte folgen Sie den Links zu den Keynotes, Panels, Sessions und Diskussionen der jeweiligen Konferenztage. Bitte wechseln Sie auf die englischsprachige Seite indem Sie auf diesen Link oder die kleine englische Fahne im Menü links unten klicken. Vielen Dank.

On the following pages we hereby publish the recordings of the conference. Please follow the links to the keynotes, panels, sessions and discussions of the respective conference days.

 September 1st, 2022 Keynotes, Sessions & Discussions
 September 2nd, 2022 Keynotes, Sessions & Discussions
 September 3rd, 2022 Keynotes, Sessions & Discussions
















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S Environmental Justice

Environmental Justice

Chair: Nikko Casil

Contributions: Morteza Honari, Fransisco Padilla

Dabaters: Eva Ekehorn, Eduardo Acosta, Nikko Casil



Environmental Justice - Presentation Session Part 1


Presentation from Morteza Honari: "Ecology of Sustainability:
 Managing Changes in a Changing World"



‘Ecology of Sustainability’ will present on my experience in life and work across contrasting ecosystems from the central desert of Iran to the tropical forests of Australia; from the metropolitan cityscape of Tehran to the academic garden of Ann Arber, the University of Michigan; and from the University of Edinburgh in the ancient capital of Scotland, to the meticulously planned capital city of Australia, Canberra.

These physical settings are as diverse as the cultural halos in villages, tribes, cities, deserts, forests, mountings, and valleys.

It was me living and working in such a vast different places and cultures, have to live and work and communicate and be a part of their ecosystems.

With an academic background in geography, anthropology, culture, health and the environment, coming from a family of teachers, poets, and social activists, finding myself conducting research, writing and publishing books and papers in two languages, lecturing and teaching, and planning television and radio interviews.

All these pasts have left traces in my mind and in my understanding the concepts and human ecology and of the human.

This presentation is to share my experience of the concepts of health, culture, human settlements, environments and development through the window of human ecology.


Presentation from Fransisco Padilla: "Recognition of Cultural Diversity in International Cooperation: only words?"



Today we celebrate cultural diversity, however when it comes to knowledge or to the transfer of knowledge and expertise from one part of the word to the other, often we tend to hold on to western knowledge and to the transfer of it from the west to non-western cultures and environments. This tendency can often be found within international cooperation for development. International cooperation for development and science itself aren't far away from each other, since often within development projects we find the transfer of scientific knowledge.
Therefore, this behavior can be explained by implementing a post-development-perspective. Among many things that post-development-theory criticizes about international initiatives for development, there is the western dichotomy of developed and underdeveloped. This dichotomy on one hand legitimizes a linear model of development, where the western standard lies at the top and other development paradigms are like previous steps. On the other hand, the developed-underdeveloped-dichotomy also builds the foundation for the dominance of western knowledge and often marginalizes non-western knowledge, that shows a different human-nature-relation. This dichotomy builds a barrier for a true recognition of cultural diversity in knowledge and its transfer within international cooperation for development or even for investigation. In order to truly celebrate cultural diversity, it's time for a multipolar model of development and knowledge.


Environmental Justice - Presentation Session Part 2 - Discussion



Presentations turned out

Contribution from Eduardo Acosta: "The power of the ancestral philosophy of Alli kawsay (Buen Vivir) in the indigenous movements of Colombia - Ecuador vs. the exclusion by the big mining development, contribution to the Rights of Mother Nature from the global south in middle of climate change"

The purpose of this research is to present the urgency of listening to indigenous
epistemologies of Sumak Kawsay (in kichwa language: Buen vivir-Good Living) and also to accompany the care/defense of the biodiversity-rich indigenous territories of the Andean region. As a research question: How is the anthropocene affecting the indigenous territories and with it the threats of the epistemologies of the Sumak Kawsay/Buen vivir? This ethnographic research has been carried in the last 7 years, in Republics of Colombia and Ecuador, in Indigenous Regional Council of Cauca CRIC, and The Indigenous Confederation of Ecuador CONAIE. Theoretical references: epistemology of indigenous communities, indigenous intellectuals. The anthropocene affects considerably the species of flora and fauna, the glaciers, water reserves, páramos understood as places where the water is born for the species. With it the territories Pan Amazonas region of native communities are strongly affected in their cosmovision to know. Due to its high impact in high mountain areas, climate change affects the melting of glaciers, strong droughts, seasonal changes for food production, water shortages and with this the displacement of animals and indigenous people and with it affects their traditions and cosmovisions due to geographical relocation and spatial - socio-cultural changes. Ethnographic work is used: interviews, participant observation, and documentary analysis. Key to comment how from the epistemologies, their spirituality's, indigenous cosmovision, the elders (grandparents and grandmothers) announce that if there is no respect for the species on earth comes catastrophe, which from modern science is already evident.


Contribution from Nikko Casil: "Intersectionality as a Global Framework for Environmental Justice"

In this paper, I argue that intersectionality must become the fundamental framework for Global Environmental Justice. I explore how climate change is disproportionately impacting poor and marginalized communities and that various social structures of oppression tend to compound with each other leading to unequal experiences of the environment. I begin by discussing concerns on environmental inequality and the dangers of economic and technocentric policies for climate change. Following this, I will discuss political challenges to intersectionality as a framework not only in environmentalism but also in larger social justice works. Intersectionality provides a rational explanation for why it is not incidental that there is higher infant mortality in Black communities; that people of color live in areas of poor environmental regulations and protection; that women of color tend to work in toxic facilities of clothes and manufacturing—all these declare a significant pattern of systematic and systemic social dynamics that undergird the compounding and intersectional nature of environmental injustice.


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S Transdisciplinarity


Moderation: Dirk Marx

Contributions: Sister Jayanti, Germán Bersalli, Ian Douglas, Adam Douglas Henry, Dirk Marx



Transdisciplinarity - Presentation Session Part 1


Presentation from Sister Jayanti:


  No Abstract


Transdisciplinarity - Presentation Session Part 2


Presentation from Ian Douglas: "Teaching Human Ecology by walking round an old gravel pit"



The study of human ecology cannot be disentangled from a process of becoming both ecological and sociological in the field. Bringing practical experience to the forefront of education in human ecology helps people to become aware of the need for sensitivity towards all other human beings and to all components of the ecosystems in which they live. In teaching about the urban environment and sustainable development in Manchester, beginning in 1979, I found field excursions and small field projects to be among the things that students recalled the most vividly decades later. In a complex city whose character has changed over 50 years or more, a walk lasting two hours can unravel many examples of environmental management, cultural change, ecological restoration, recreational demands on the landscape and the consequences of engineering works. A walk around a former gravel pit adjoining the River Mersey in South Manchester demonstrates flood management, sewage treatment; the impact of golf courses, the ecological restoration of landfills, eighteenth century canal building; the valley as a transport corridor for highways, powerlines and gas mains; nature conservations and regulation of the use of lake waters for recreation. Other walks show changes in use of buildings, including canal warehouses, but especially religious buildings that have changed uses, reflecting the cultural history of inner-city suburbs. I urge all engaged in human ecology education to explore the local environment with their students.


Presentation from Adam Douglas Henry: "Mapping University Research & Education Networks to Support Learning for Sustainability"



Universities are an important focal point for scientific innovation around grand challenges of sustainability (“learning”). As such, universities engaged in environmental research have repeatedly considered how to organize their research and education landscape through the creation of a “networked system” including centers, institutes, departments, as well as incentives for collaboration. In practice, these efforts have often faced a fundamental challenge of learning in networks: Learning is supported through networks that promote diversity and integration across disciplines, whereas real-world networks tend towards fragmentation and the creation of disciplinary silos. A persistent challenge for universities is thus to overcome disciplinary fragmentation so that research networks include a broad array of perspectives. It is believed that cross-disciplinary networks will promote the “convergence science” needed to adequately address grand research challenges. This presentation discusses the general problem of learning in networks and presents a network-analytic method for systematically mapping university landscapes. This approach may be used to evaluate university approaches to environmental research and education, and suggest new strategies for organizing universities efforts to promote learning for sustainability.


Transdisciplinarity - Presentation Session Part 2 - Discussion


  Transdisciplinarity - Presentation Session Part 3

  Presentation from Dirk Marx: "The Transdisciplinary Process: The Theoretical TransLAB"t""

  In order to research and try out transdisciplinarity (TD) methodologically, it is necessary to construct border objects (i) thinking and acting, (ii) place, (iii) border, (iv) reinforcement in a processual way. Disciplinary sciences still shape the public space through a discourse conducted there. Research takes place in narrow assignments using the "currency" found there. TD is methodologically more important today than ever before. So far, in the course of transformative research that follows sustainability research, a debate is conducted theoretically but hardly practically and thus not as having a transformative effect. Such a view is insufficient in the light of the challenges of the 21st century. For this reason, a new way of looking at the typification of science must be sought and found. For it is no longer just about rapid and low-risk change that secures investments, but equitable change that clearly leads to transitions. Such suggestions also need communication that has yet to be found. Sustainability has become transformation and transformation has become transition. But as long as people do not clearly address common issues, actively shaped change will remain the exception.The TransLAB can make a significant contribution in two respects to creating, recognising and using conditions that have not existed before. The "walk-in" presentation makes it possible for the first time.


Presentation turned out

Germán Bersalli: "Sustainability transitions and regional integration in South America: challenges for transdisciplinary approaches in higher education"

I address the international institutional dimension of current sustainability transitions in South America, emphasizing the need to develop transnational (regional) institutional and regulatory frameworks. By doing so, I reflect on the role of transdisciplinary approaches -such as Human Ecology- in the scientific and higher education system, integrating ecological, socio-economic, cultural, and political perspectives. First, I review critical challenges concerning the protection and sustainable use of natural ecosystems -like the Amazon Forest, the Guarani Aquifer- under several national and subnational jurisdictions. These shared resources and spaces create tension but also opportunities for collaboration among different actors beyond the national borders. Still, common institutions and regulatory frameworks are missing. Second, I briefly review the socio-economic dynamics of South American countries, emphasizing that increasing economic activity, job creation, and external trade remain critical objectives for governments. Simultaneously, unsustainable practices increase pressure on the natural ecosystems that are also affected by climate change. Again, most of these socio-economic challenges transcend national borders and require the development of regional policy strategies. Finally, taking the example of Argentina, I discuss how these social-ecological-economic dimensions are addressed in the country's higher education system and the role of transdisciplinarity. 



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S Environmental Learning

Visions for Environmental Learning

Chair: Dieter Steiner

Contributions: Mitchell Thomashow,Koachim Schütz

Lenelis Andersen, Helen Kopnina, Ulrich Loening, Peter Merry



Visions for Environmental Learning - Round Table


Presentation from Mitchell Thomashow: "To Know the World: A New Vision foir Environmental Learning"



This presentation will be an overview of my relatively new book, To Know the World: A New Vision for Environmental Learning (published by The MIT Press in 2020). I present a comprehensive approach to revitalizing environmental learning, emphasizing new ways to think about the migration of people and species, ecological and social networks, the relationship between local and global, improvisation as the foundation for adaptation, and the necessity of perceptual reciprocity in our connections to the biosphere. I provide a strong pedagogical orientation, focusing on place-based learning, the necessity of field-based natural history, and the uses of mapping, personal experience, and memory to access theoretical concepts. To Know the World is a sequel to my previous book, Bringing the Biosphere Home: Learning to Perceive Global Environmental Change (The MIT Press, 2001). To Know the World is based on my forty-five year career in the environmental studies field and the urgency that our field (including human ecology) adapts to changing circumstances in higher education as well as global ecology and politics.


Presentation by Joachim Schütz: "The Return of the Ouroboros" - and Discussion


  The paper argues for a radical switch in perspective in managing co-evolutionary, complex systems, i.e. ecosystems, society. Even though there are billions of potential entry points to start influencing co-evolving systems, the great majority of our western societies, especially academia still bases their approaches to manage our world upon a value-free, empirical natural science bottom-up point of view, which is by assumption independent of its specific context and historical development.
The paper argues that first, such an approach lacks a necessary integrative narrative, which is by contrast necessarily value-based, and second, since there is no way to predict the development of complex, coevolving systems it is absolutely necessary to start with an integrative narrative, representing the perceived identity of a system, before handling any specific problem.
This approach puts its primary focus upon relationships, responsibility, reciprocity and redistribution. Thereafter any classical academic insights are more than welcome and very helpful in handling any problems. It may be seen as a “marriage” of natural science and traditional knowledge of native cultures from all around the world.




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S System Theory

System Theory

Chair: Karl-Heinz Simon

Contributions: Tobias Knoch, Gabriele Harrer-Puchner, Felix Tretter, Karl-Heinz Simon

Methodology of Human Ecology, understood as the study of social-ecological systems, requires the skill of thinking in connections: any single component of a system can only be understood appropriately by considering its boundaries, context, diversity and dynamics, as well as its internal and external conditions. Otherwise solutions might be incomplete and not adequate. This was worked out, for example, by the “Integration and Implementation Science” (G. Bammer). In analysis and management of social-ecological systems, transdisciplinarity by trying to integrate all important stakeholders at all stages of the process is a key feature. An integrative language is need, e.g. including tools for visualization (boxes and arrows; Systems Dynamics Methodology or Biocybernetic System Analysis ). The system under investigation must be characterized by related conditions and effects, and also by its feedbacks and feedforwards, and also by its contextual connections. Furthermore, transformation of the model structure into a formal language enable to build computer models which can be used for exploratory simulations of possible future scenarios.



System Theory - Organized Section Part 1


Presentation from Tobias Knoch: "A Systems-Evolutionary Human Ecology Educational Canon"


  Recently, we were able to develop a novel general unified theory of evolution, from which a consistent systems-evolutionary human ecology theory follows directly, while spanning the entire (!) evolutionary existence, i.e. from physics to culture and thus far beyond schemes of e.g. Elias or Luhmann. It is so powerful that the thermodynamic concepts of life by Gladyshev and Prigogine, as well as the Darwinian and Lamarckian concepts, are unified. Beyond, system irreversibility, time directionality, and thus the emergence of existence are clarified. The micro-/macro-levels of the human ecology rectangle and the entire autopoietic social system theory combined with a multi-scale bubble/sphere/foam architecture is unified in a fundamental structural and information combining organization. This allows for the first time the justification and development of new human ecology and thereof applied concepts and an educational canon - on a solid scientific basis. In practical terms to ultimately approach an educational human ecology canon, i.e.: i) R&D must work inter-/trans-disciplinarily in an open innovative network, ii) broad humanistic education (the baroquian Bildung ideal) must be achieved of all sciences, and iii) society as a whole must epitomize an overall integrative thinking and operation, i.e. living a human ecology autopoietic systems perspective. Consequently, all this leads to deep understanding of human ecology as well as the raison d'etre. 


Presentation from Karl-Heinz Simon: "Education in Systems Thinking in Human Ecology - Challenges and Responses"



Human Ecology in theory and practice is mainly based on interactions: interactions between anthropologic, social, and societal phenomena on the one side, and environmental or natural phenomena on the other. Often those interactions can only be understood in their consequences when their feedback structures and their dynamics are taken into account, as well as different types of actors involved. Systems approaches provide tools helping to get a better understanding confronted with that complexities. For example, simulation tools help to omit falling into the trap of “counterintuitive behaviour”, where well-meant interventions bring forth additional problems, hierarchical structuring helps to reduce complexity, and soft systems approaches or a critical systems theory allows for a adequate involvement of stakeholders and persons concerned with different interests. In higher education these tools should be, in our opinion, part of the curriculum.


Presentation from Gabriele Harrer-Puchner: "How can universities teach systems thinking in the context of human ecology?"



The current multi-crises as the war in Ukraine, energy supply, climate change, famines, pandemics, and more, are consequences of decisions made in single areas. In addition, these crises are interconnected and their  interdependencies amplify the effects to unintended consequences and major systemic problems. The high complexity and dynamics can not be solved with traditional, linear thinking and (university) education in separate disciplines. To develop solutions to these global, systemic challenges, systemic, transdisciplinary and holistic new concepts are essential. The authors demonstrate experiences from their training and scientific work in the implementation of systemic thinking in the context of university education. An interactive exercise will complete the session.


Presentation from Felix Tretter: Systems Thinking for Higher Education in Human Ecology


  Human Ecology without Systems Science is blind:! If a system consisting of three components is analyzed, already complex dynamics can take place that can only be understood by computer simulations. For this reason a training in steps of systems modeling and systems practice is required in education in human ecology. Systems thinking as a method is not only a trivial tool but must be related to the context of interdisciplinary systems science: transdisciplinary  problem definition, awareness of diversity, context and dynamics, collecting qualitative and quantitative data, transposing semantically isomorphic verbal, graphical, formal and numerical modeling, simulating scenario.

  System Theory - Organized Section Part 2- Discussion