05. December 2023

Interdisciplinary Workshop on Sustainability Research for Doctoral Students Interdisciplinary Workshop on Sustainability Research for Doctoral Students

From AI to feminist African ethics, taking in alternatives to Li-ion batteries on the way

On November 15 and 16, the Universitätsclub Bonn hosted talks, debates and networking all about people’s wants and needs in the context of finite resources.

Participants of the doctoral students’ workshop
Participants of the doctoral students’ workshop - Participants of the doctoral students’ workshop © Leonie Kornel/Universität Bonn
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Interdisciplinarity was the order of the day at the doctoral students’ workshop held in English at the Universitätsclub Bonn on November 15 and 16. Eleven participants from seven disciplines gave talks and engaged in debate on a wide range of sustainability aspects, from ethical issues and geopolitical challenges through to ideas for technical and social solutions. All those taking part shared an interest in the question of what a sustainably designed future might look like and what we as people need in order to achieve it.

Lead planners and organizers of the event were Professor Annette Scheersoi (Vice Rector for Sustainability), Privatdozent/Adjunct Professor Hedwig Pompe (Arbeitsstelle Internationales Kolleg, International Program) and Assistant Professor Julia Mink (Argelander Professor for Environmental Economics, Sustainability and Inequality). Between them, they had structured the workshop in such a way as to allow the group of early-career researchers to talk to one another as much as possible. For instance, the team made the conscious decision not to have a live audience, instead allowing those who were interested to follow selected talks via livestream. Participants were also invited to network with one another on a personal and professional level with the help of creative “pen portraits” and during the conveniently scheduled breaks.

The two keynote speakers, Professor Zita Sebesvari and Dr. Simone Sandholz (both researchers at the United Nations University), each of whom kicked off one day of the workshop, were also a particularly important source of inspiration in terms of the content and problems being discussed.

By the end of the two days, it was clear that sustainability issues and interdisciplinary dialogue are a match made in heaven! Overarching problems that made such interdisciplinary exchanges especially stimulating were identified in many different areas. Everyone involved expressed great interest in continuing to grapple with sustainability in theory and practice and to create (analog and digital) spaces for further dialogue, an idea that the team of organizers will gladly take away with them and incorporate when planning future events. So we’re looking forward to hearing more ideas and input from anyone who might be interested.

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