Prof Tilman Santarius, Project Lead
In my past jobs at the Wuppertal Institute and the Heinrich Böll Foundation, I mainly worked on two megatrends: globalization and climate change. Key questions for me are, how can trade rules, energy and climate policies be designed in a way that they contribute to greater transnational justice? This is also what drives my voluntary engagement on the boards of civil society organizations such as Germanwatch and Greenpeace. In my PhD thesis, I dealt with the phenomenon of the Rebound Effect and how to design pathways towards a degrowth society. I would now like to feed all of these concerns and experiences into my research on the issue of digitalization. Through a social science lens, I analyse how digitalization affects social change, what this means for resource and energy consumption levels, and how we can gear digitalization towards greater justice and environmental sustainability. Yet, I believe digital detox is part of the solution: Herding my sheep on the weekends remains a fully analogue task for me…
My research offers a psychological perspective on digitalization. I examine psychological drivers of environmentally relevant consumption behaviour, as well as digitalization’s influence on these drivers. From the perspective of a social psychologist, this means focusing on motivation, needs, values and social norms. In my free time I am involved in community-supported agriculture, the Food Waste Restaurant “Restlos Glücklich”, and I am on the advisory board of the Initiative for Psychology in Environmental Protection of Switzerland (IPU).
My research lies at the interface of sustainability marketing and sustainable consumption. My interest in sustainability-related topics motivated me to complete a part-time Master Program in Sustainability Management following my degree in media studies. Since then, I have been working at the IÖW where I have carried out several research projects on sustainable consumption, environmental awareness, social innovations and sharing in the last six years. The digitalization made many things easier and more comfortable in my everyday life. However, I still prefer to go on vacation with an old VW bus, which dates back to the pre-internet age. In the research group, I investigate and develop marketing strategies of companies to promote sufficient consumption in the digital service industry.
With my background in sociology and sustainability economics I deal with forms of collaborative economies. One of my special interest lies in the potentials these forms of economies offer for a sustainable development and the role digitalization plays in this context. I realized my master thesis already at the Institute for Ecological Economy Research where I analysed collaborative production forms within the Maker movement which is strongly influenced by digitalization. Although I see big potentials of digitalization within societies, I still prefer to read the newspaper analogously, to meet people in real life and to find ways without online maps.
Within the research group I work as a research assistance and support the group as a whole and the researchers in detail contentwise and organizationally with their research work.
Dr Steffen Lange
I investigate and develop concepts for economies that are sustainable in environmental, social and democratic terms. In my research, I use approaches from post-growth, pluralist and growth economics. Besides my scientific work, I cooperate with several civil-society actors, who are working on implementing alternative forms of economy, namely the Konzeptwerk Neue Ökonomie and Common Future. In the research group, I am working on macroeconomic perspectives on digitalization.
My research deals with the ecological impacts of energy systems. I am an engineer in waste management / contaminated sites. I studied at the Technical University in Dresden and at the Dokuz Eylül Üniversitisi in Izmir, Turkey. During my studies, I worked for the ‘Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit’ on basic energy supply in the Global South. I realized my master thesis at the ‘Deutsches Biomasseforschungszentrum’ where I analyzed the ecological effects of heat supply in Germany. In the last years, I travelled all over Europe by train from Dresden and back to Berlin. Within the research group, I examine the shifts of energy flows and their ecological impacts through an increasing digitalization of services.
As a sociologist with a background in STS (Science and Technology Studies), I am particularly interested in the interrelation between technological developments and social change processes. As a consultant and researcher, I have developed sustainability strategies for infrastructure companies for some years and started to study issues such as smart cities or energy efficient neighborhoods as well as the transformation and digitalization of the energy system. Of particular interest to me are negotiation processes between different actor groups and questions of power and institutional change. In my current research I´m analyzing collective imaginings established in the course of the digitalization of services and how these are shaping socio-technical arrangements with respect to the practices of technology use. In order to avoid the constant seduction of the smartphone, I still prefer reading a book on my everyday trip from Berlin's greenest district to the city centre.
I support the researchers of the research group with my sociological perspective on technology development and digitalization as a student assistant. Next to my work, I study sociology at the TU Berlin. The focus is on science and technology studies, organizational sociology and sociology of work. Before that, I worked and debated at the TU Berlin as a tutor with engineering students in the seminar "Sociology of Engineering" on social and ecological responsibility. In voluntary capacity, I am still active in political youth education and support the Sustainability Council of the TU Berlin. In my spare time, I get my vegetables without digital help from a community supported agriculture.