Sustainability research at the University of Bonn

Research profile of the TRA Sustainable Futures

The University of Bonn contributes to the emerging field of sustainability science through its Transdisciplinary Research Area “Innovation and Technology for Sustainable Futures”. TRA Sustainable Futures stands for research into institutional, science, and technology-based innovations. We prioritize the strategic challenges related to demographic change, poverty, nutrition and health, environmental and climate change, and unsustainable resources use (e.g., soil, water, biodiversity). Our strength is the combination of sound basic, applied, and interdisciplinary research capacities across faculties that are important for making progress towards the corresponding Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)1. A unique feature of the University of Bonn is the cooperation with UN agencies in Bonn and their global linkages. The University engages in global networks, for instance through its Center for Development Research (ZEF)2, faculties and others, including the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN)3, the Green Growth Knowledge Platform (GGKP)4, and many more.

The principles of this TRA include a focus on:

  • emerging fields of science and technology with expected transformative potentials for sustainable futures, while paying attention to responsibility in technology development and gender as well as other diversity dimensions;

  • coherence with sound theories of development and sustainability, while allowing for multiple epistemological perspectives;

  • the adoption of innovative approaches and models to obtain, access, use or generate new data and information to support the design and governance of innovations for a sustainable future.

Focus topics of the TRA Sustainable Futures

These principles are reflected in the five closely related core research areas and sub-themes of TRA Sustainable Futures:

 Modeling, Foresight and Risk Assessment Capacity

Technology and Digital World Innovation

Institutional Innovation, Behavior and System Transformations

Nutrition and Health

Development and Change

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