Events at IDR

Through our events we spark public debates on how we can achieve a sustainability transition.

02 Dec 2019 Future Food: Food Security in Nigeria's Changing Climate

Climate change, population growth, inadequate infrastructure and needs for capacity building: Nigerians are not turning a blind eye on the challenges for achieving food security for their country. They have many ideas and are developing solutions to address these issues.

  • Sara Baroud (Care International)
  • Sarah Karinge (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)
  • Elisabeth Leiner (Caritas Austria)
  • Amara Nwankpa (Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Foundation, Nigeria)
  • Brigitte Reisenberger (FIAN)

Moderation: Hermann Bürstmayr, Divison of Crop Sciences & CDR partner

Event Summary


03 Jun 2019 Generational Crises in Smallholder Farming

Smallholders feed the world, but will they continue to do so in the future? Farming populations are ageing, and most rural youth aspire to careers outside of farming. Are young people unwilling to start or are their parents unwilling to stop?

  • Ben White (International Institute of Social Studies, Netherlands)
  • Tatjana Fischer (Institute of Spatial Planning, Environmental Planning and Land Rearrangement, BOKU Vienna)
  • Margit Fischer (Perspektive Landwirtschaft, Platform for Extra-Familial Farm Transfer)

Moderation: Friedbert Ottacher (Horizont 3000 and Ottacher Consulting)

Event Summary

Ben White's Presentation

Tatjana Fischer's Presentation

Margit Fischer's Presentation


26 Mar 2019 Cooperate or Perish? - The University of the Future

Combating climate change, living within our planet's boundaries despite becoming more and more inhabitants, are only some of the "wicked problems" of our time. University and science want to contribute, but are we on the right way? Some argue for interdisciplinarity, others for excellence… and how do we measure the “quality” of these approaches? Where are the pitfalls?

  • Arjen Wals, Wageningen UR
  • Verena Winiwarter, Institute of Social Ecology
  • Charlotte Voigt, chairwoman of ÖH BOKU

Moderation: Georg Gratzer, Institute of Forest Ecology & CDR partner

Event Summary


10 Oct 2018 SDG 14 and How We Treat Life below Water

Fish is an important source of protein and a basis for the livelihoods of many people all over the world; but most natural habitats are under pressure from human influence and climate change. How can we continue to use fish for our nutrition, keep water bodies healthy and sustain the resources for future generations to come?

  • Rebecca Metzner (FAO, Fisheries & Aquaculture Department, Head of Policy, Economics & Institutions Branch)
  • Marc Mößmer (ARGE Biofisch)
  • Herwig Waidbacher (Institute of Hydrology and Aquatic Ecosystem Management)
  • Almut Knaller (Tourism board Weissensee)
  • Laura Hundscheid (Master student SUSFISH+ project of CDR head Andreas Melcher)

Moderation: Maiada Hadaia (Coordinator "Welt im Ohr", Education and Research for Development, OEAD)

Event co-organised with Michaela Hickersberger (Ökosoziales Forum) and Florian Leregger (IUFE, Institute for Environment, Peace and Development).

Event Summary


15 May 2018 appear in practice: Organic Agriculture in Higher Education

How can organic agriculture be reflected in curricula in higher education? What challenges and opportunities are there? Spotlight on Armenia and Uganda.

  • Astghik Sahakyan (International Center for Agribusiness Research and Education Foundation, Armenia)
  • Charles Ssekyewa (Mountains of the Moon University, Uganda)
  • Bernhard Freyer (Division of Organic Farming)

Moderation: Rosana Kral (CDR)

Event co-organised with Philipp Dietrich and Milena Klimek (both: Division of Organic Farming) for OEAD's series “appear in practice”.


16-18 Apr 2018 GCUA: SDGs and Challenges for Life Sciences Universities

The Global Challenges Universities Alliance (GCUA) started in Sweden as an initiative of several universities with a focus on agricultural research and education to address global challenges. Co-organized workshops and summer schools for students provide for exchange.

In April 2018, BOKU Vienna hosted a GCUA Workshop on the SDGs and challenges for life sciences universities. The Centre for Development Research participated in co-organisation at BOKU Vienna.



11 Dec 2017 Water, Food, Energy - One Planet for All?

Everybody needs water, food and energy; but we just have one planet and limited resources. How can we best use them?

  • Dominik Ruffeis (Inst. of Hydraulics and Rural Water Management)
  • Johannes Schmidt (Inst. for Sustainable Economic Development)
  • Maria Wurzinger (CDR and Division of Livestock Sciences)

Event Summary


13 Jun 2017 Global Water Sharing Challenges

While states withdraw from the Paris Agreement, our climate continues to change. Rising temperatures and growing populations can lead to conflict around water.

We invited Ashok Swain (Uppsala University, Sweden) to share his views with us. He is a leading scholar in the field of natural resources and conflict and currently teaches as a guest professor at BOKU Vienna.

Moderation: Andreas Melcher, CDR

Event Summary


29 May 2017 Organic, Sustainable, Happy?

Environmentally sound, socially acceptable, economically feasible - organic agriculture promises much, but can it guarantee food supply? Mitigate climate change? And does it add to a nation’s happiness?

  • Sonam Tashi (Royal University of Bhutan), PhD in organic agriculture and specialist of medicinal and aromatic plants
  • Richard Onwonga (University of Nairobi), soil scientist and specialist in conservation agriculture

Moderation: Hamid El Bilali, CDR

Event Summary


5 Apr 2017 Citizen Science

Citizen science has recently become a buzzword loaded with hopes and meaning. It is supposed to foster participation and inclusion, empower less privileged, raise ecological conscience and many more. But what actually is citizen science?

  • Anna Lawrence, biologist and forester with a keen interest in the social dimensions of science
  • Daniel Dörler & Florian Heigl, ecologists who established BOKU's citizen science group

Moderation: Rosana Kral, CDR

Event Summary


09 Nov 2016 Transform or Perish? The Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) just celebrated their first birthday. Adopted, yes, but have they arrived in Austria? How shall BOKU’s research and higher education contribute to the global partnership for sustainable development?

  • Karolina Begusch-Pfefferkorn (Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy)
  • Hubert Dürrstein (FT, representing the rectorate)
  • Norbert Feldhofer (Federal Chancellery)
  • Andreas Melcher (IHG)
  • Helga Pülzl (InFER)

Moderation: Georg Gratzer (IFE & CDR partner)

Event summary

Helga Pülzl's presentation on the effectiveness of international agreements

Video SDG implementation in Austria by students of the course "sustainable land use in developing countries", CDR partners and CDR scientists

Article in BOKUmagazin by Rosana Kral, CDR (in German)


19 Sep 2016 From Fragility to Resilience: Enabling Vulnerable People to Cope with Shocks

In this workshop, we addressed how farmers can strengthen their adaptive capacities and increase their resilience to different shocks. We explored which inherent mechanisms of food systems lead to fragility and how farmers can manage the transition from vulnerability to resilience.

Invited speakers:

  • Waltraud Rabitsch (Austrian Development Agency (ADA), Austria)
  • Eklabya Sharma (International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Nepal)
  • Gerald Hainzl (National Defence Academy, Institute of Peace Building and Conflict Management, Austria)

Ressource persons:

  • Katharina Felgenhauer (International Water Management Institute (IWMI), Ghana)
  • Sabine Homann-Kee Tui (ICRISAT, Zimbabwe)
  • Dereje Kebede (Austrian Development Agency, Ethiopia)
  • Elisabeth Leiner (Caritas Austria)
  • Martina Luger (HORIZONT3000, Austria & Nicaragua)
  • Alexander Öze (Austrian Red Cross)
  • Romana Roschinsky (BOKU Vienna, CDR)

Moderation: Michael Hauser (CDR) & Erwin Künzi (Austrian Development Agency)

The workshop was held at Tropentag 2016 Conference in Vienna.

Event Summary

Waltraud Rabitsch's presentation

Eklabya Sharma's presentation


17 Jun 2016 World Day to Combat Desertification and Land Degradation

How can we halt the conversion of arable land into desert that is lost for agriculture? Can we reverse desertification processes in spite of climate change? How can we use and manage drylands more sustainably?

Event Summary


Article in BOKUmagazin by Rosana Kral (CDR) & Jasmin Schomakers (IBF) (in German)

Moderation: Willibald Loiskandl (Institute of Hydraulics and Rural Water Management) & Lorenz Probst (CDR)

Co-organizers: Rosana Kral (CDR), Axel Mentler (IBF) & Jasmin Schomakers (IBF)

02 Jun 2016 BOKU Nachhaltigkeitstag: Soy - Solution or Problem?

At BOKU's Nachhaltigkeitstag (Sustainability Day), CDR hosted a workshop on soy - one of CDR's rare events in German.

  • Ursula Bittner (Donausoja)
  • Robert Hafner (University of Innsbruck, Institute of Geography)
  • Karl Schedle (Institute of Animal Nutrition, Livestock Products and Nutrition Physiology)
  • Simone Ungersböck (Austrian Development Agency, Economy and Development)
  • Johann Vollmann (Institute of Plant Breeding)

Moderation: Michael Hauser (CDR) & students of the class "Participatory Methods in Development Research and Practice"


10 Mar 2016 Future Forests

What can we do to render forest use more sustainable, ecologically sound and fair? Which rules hinder the sustainable use and management of forests? Which tools can we employ to change them? What type of training and higher education supports a transition to more sustainable ways of forest use and management?

  • Georg Gratzer (Institute of Forest Ecology & CDR partner)
  • Anne Larson (Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR))
  • Esther Mwangi (Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR))

Moderation: Michael Hauser, CDR

Event Summary


01 Dec 2015 Shaping the Future: The ChangeLab

Towards a new agenda for participatory methods in development research and practice. By invitation only.

Summary document


19 Nov 2015 Soils Don't Cry

This evening's topic was land degradation.

  • Franz Breitwieser (Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
  • Waltraud Rabitsch (Austrian Development Agency - ADA)
  • Mark Schauer (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit - GIZ)

Moderation: Michael Hauser, CDR

Event summary


29 Sep 2015 Can Grassroots Innovation Bring Global Solutions?

What is the potential of grassroots innovations?

  • Ann Waters-Bayer (Prolinnova/KIT, Netherlands)
  • Lemlem Sissay Fetene (international consultant, Vienna)

Moderation: Birgit Habermann, CDR

Event summary