Socio-Ecological Transformation

Summer Semester 2021 Courses

Sustainable Consumption (ALBA-P6)

Content: Why do we consume? What options do we have to save or share resources? What can we do as individuals to practice sustainable consumption? What framework conditions and incentives are required for different forms of sustainable consumption to flourish and establish themselves in society? The Sustainable Consumption (Nachhaltiger Konsum ) seminar combines the fundamentals of consumer research and consumer behavior with the goals and concerns of sustainable development. It addresses the relevance and the concept of sustainable consumption, identifies actors and basic strategies (efficiency, consistency, sufficiency) and presents the opportunities and limits of sustainable consumption in key areas of demand. Using the LOLA method (Looking for Likely Alternatives) as well as methodologies of research-based learning, students independently examine selected innovative model projects of sustainable consumption, which they then present to the entire group.

Please note: The seminar is offered as an asynchronous online course and will take place parallel to Professor Ulf Schrader’s seminar of the same title. Some sessions (guest lectures, field trips) will take place jointly for both courses.

Advanced Economics Module (ALMA-WP03)

Climate Crisis, Coronavirus Crisis, Social Crisis? The Alternatives between the Green New Deal and Post-Growth Economics

When: Mondays, 14 - 17:00

Where: online via zoom

Content: For more than a decade, the Green New Deal has been under discussion as a program for a social-ecological restructuring of the economy It recalls the New Deal of 1930s America and was conceived as a reaction to the economic and financial crisis of 2007 and beyond. It dominates current political debate in the USA and the EU and offers a threefold response, firstly to the rapidly increasing awareness of the climate crisis, secondly to the increasing polarization of wealth and economic marginalization of sections of the population, and thirdly and very topically to the economic downturn following the “coronavirus crisis.” We will start off by tracing the history of terms and concepts from the New Deal of the 1930s through to current Green New Deal programs. We will then discuss fundamentals of the Green New Deal, including whether there is a capitalist constraint on growth, the extent to which decoupling economic growth and environmental damage is possible, and whether strategies for “post-growth” and “degrowth” offer an alternative. We will conclude by comparing different current programs for a Green New Deal in Europe and the USA. By the end of the seminar, participants will be qualified to evaluate programs for the social, economic and ecological restructuring of society and adopt a nuanced view of the the alternative proposals for a Green New Deal on both sides of the Atlantic.