810001 Global change and sustainability and their security relevance

Semester hours
Lecturer (assistant)
Körner, Daniel , Kromp-Kolb, Helga , Waidbacher, Herwig
Offered in
Sommersemester 2023
Languages of instruction


"Global change and sustaibility and their security relevance"
Topic Summer Semester 2022:
Changing climate consciousness – Learnings for the transformation towards sustainability
Seminar in cooperation between BOKU and "Landesverteidigungsakademie" (LVAK), organised by the Center for Global Change and Sustainability and the Department of Water-Atmosphere-Environment.
The seminar is headed by Univ. Prof. Dr. Helga Kromp-Kolb and Dr. Gerald Hainzl.

Climate change is one of the core challenges for all of humanity in this century. But the notion of climate and the fact that humans can influence it on a global scale is historically quite young. At the same time, abrupt climate changes in the past were connected to ecological disruptions or even collapse and took part in the rise and fall of civilisations. In the seminar we want to discuss which climate-induces ecological and societal shifts are known throughout history and analyse the drivers and barriers for a controlled transition between cultures and societies (as opposed to collapse).
The fact that humans have caused a climate crisis has only gained public awareness a few decades ago, while the scientific basis is known for 130 years. Nonetheless the theory of anthropogenic climate change was not taken seriously by the most part of the scientific community for a long time. We want to regard the changing climate consciousness in science and ask why the path to public engagement or even interest was so drawn-out (and still is today).
In Europe, climate consciousness is built around numbers, maps, and graphics. A glance at other cultures shows that there are other ways of viewing the relation of humans and their environments that might have been missed here.
The central topic of the seminar are the learnings for the social-ecological transformation towards sustainability in the 21st century that can be gained from examining the historical and cultural contexts of climate consciousness.

The overarching goal of this lecture jointly organised by LVAk and BOKU is to promote a transdisciplinary approach in answering these questions. Experts from BOKU and LVAk will present their view and will support the students in delving into a selected topic in seminar groups. The thematic field of climate and societal change will be analysed and discussed under ecological, economic, societal, security and historical aspects. A focus of the discussion will be the security implications for Austria.

The topics of the seminar groups and the detailed workflow of the seminar will be presented at the first meeting of the seminar. The seminar will most likely be held in physical presence; all participants will be informed in time should things change in that matter.

Previous knowledge expected

Interest in current problems on the regional and global scale, willingness to delve deeper into the causes, impacts and possible solutions for an existing or a potential trouble spot.

Objective (expected results of study and acquired competences)

The objective of this interdisciplinary course is to introduce participants to new viewpoints and to sharpen the ability to observe and evaluate current ecological and societal challenges in the context of a comprehensive understanding of security. The interactions of the rather natural-science-oriented approach of BOKU and the more security-oriented approach of LVAk will hopefully create additional value for all participants.
You can find more details like the schedule or information about exams on the course-page in BOKUonline.