Current and future challenges of a sustainable society (e.g., increasing resource use, climate change and social inequality) require radical societal change. Social-ecological transformations go beyond incremental change and isolated technical innovation that are increasingly insufficient in dealing with the urgent and multiple challenges. These challenges require the analysis of social-ecological transformations at the intersection of economic, political, social and cultural processes and the power relations that support them. Transformation processes often radically challenge these power relations and therefore provoke conflicts, crises and resistance.

Based on critical social theory, research on societal metabolism, land use change and colonization as well as analysis of long-term changes in societal nature relations (Socio-Metabolic Transitions, environmental history), this research area analyses the manifold challenges of social-ecological transformations. How do societies interact with nature and how can they change and organise these modes of production and living in a more sustainable way? The research area focuses on the analysis of political processes in a broader sense (including civil society and social-ecological conflicts on various scales) and their actual and potential implications for transformation processes.

Research coordinator: Melanie Pichler

Current Projects

CON-LABOUR - Social-Ecological Transformation: Industrial Conversion and the Role of Labour (CON-LABOUR)

Project Leader: Melanie Pichler
Duration: 01.06.2018 - 31.05.2020
Funded by: Klima- und Energiefonds


MAT_STOCKS - Understanding the Role of Material Stock Patterns for the Transformation to a Sustainable Society

Project Leader: Helmut Haberl
Duration: 01.03.2018-28.02.2023
BOKU Research Units: Institut für Soziale Ökologie (SEC) ;
Funded by: European Commission, Rue de la Loi, Brussels
matstocks.boku.ac.at

Finished Projects

ARENA - Labour & Energy Au - Labour & Energy, Perspectives for Austria

Keywords: labour, energy consumption
Project Leader: Mag. Dr. Ulli Weisz
Duration: 01.07.2012 - 31.12.2013
Funded by: Bundesministerium für Land- und Forstwirtschaft, Umwelt und Wasserwirtschaft (BMLFUW)


CARE & HEAT - How do citizens and health professionals cope with heat waves in caring situations?

Keywords: care, caring networks, heat waves, public health, participatory research, written narratives
Project Leader (SEC): Mag. Dr. Ulli Weisz
Duration: 01.09.2016 - 30.09.2017
Funded by: BMWFW, Top Citizen Science


ClimBHealth - Climate and health co-benefits from changes in urban mobility and diet: an integrated assessment for Austria
Keywords: Gesundheit, Klimawandel, Transformation, Klima-Gesundheits-Co-Benefits
Project Leader: Dr. Willi Haas
Duration: 01.04.2014 - 30.09.2016
Funded by: ACRP


COIN - Cost of Inaction: Assessing Costs of Climate Change for Austria

Keywords: health, Austria, scenarios, climate change
Project Leader: Dipl.-Ing. Willi Haas
Duration: 01.01.2013 - 30.06.2014
Funded by: Klima- und Energiefonds der Österreichischen Bundesregierung

COSIMA - Governing community-based social innovation for climate change mitigation and adaptation

Keywords: Deutschland, Klimaanpassung, Österreich, soziale Innovation
Project Leader: Dr. Daniel Hausknost
Duration: 01.01.2015 - 31.12.2017
Funded by: Klima- und Energiefonds der Österreichischen Bundesregierung


DESIRE - Development of a System of Indicatiors for a Resource efficient Europe

Keywords: Exiobase, Env. Exteded Input-output Model
Project Leader: Ass.Prof. Mag.Dr. Nina Eisenmenger
Duration: 01.12.2012 - 01.07.2016
Funded by: Europäische Union


EJOLT - Environmental Justice Organisations Liabilities and Trade

Keywords: research methods, waste disposal, resource use, headline indicators, local systems
Project Leader: Dr. Simron Jit Singh
Duration: 01.03.2011 - 28.02.2015
Funded by: Europäische Union


LCDS - Grundlagen zur Entwicklung einer Low Carbon Development Strategie in Österreich

Keywords: Transformation, Low-Carbon
Project Leader: Dr. Daniel Hausknost
Duration: 01.05.2011 - 31.12.2015
Funded by: Klien


MOKA - Sustainability-Monitoring for Hospital Units

Keywords: meso level, hospital, sustainability monitoring, sustainable development
Project Leader: Mag. Dr. Ulli Weisz
Duration: 01.10.2011 - 31.12.2014
Funded by: FFG - Basis-Programm , SMZ Baumgartner Höhe - Otto Wagner Spital


NEUJOBS - Employment 2025: How will multiple transitions affect the European labour market

Keywords: labour, socioecological transition, global megatrends, European policy scenario
Project Leader: Dipl.-Ing. Willi Haas
Duration: 01.02.2011 - 31.01.2015
Funded by: Europäische Union


RefGov - Reflexive Governance in a Changing Climate: How to Address Uncertainties in Transformation Strategies?

Keywords: Transformation, Low-Carbon, Uncertainty, Governance
Project Leader: Prof. Dr. Christoph Görg
Duration: 01.05.2011 - 31.12.2015
Funded by: ACRP


ROBIN - The Role of biodiversity and ecosystems for the mitigation of climate change

Keywords: climate change, ecosystem services
Project Leader: Dr. Simron Jit Singh
Duration: 01.11.2011 - 31.10.2015
Funded by: Europäische Kommission


SR Health: APCC Special Report: Health, demography and climate change
Keywords: Gesundheit, Demographie, Klimawandel, Transformation, Klima-Gesundheits-Co-Benefits
Project Leader: Dr. Willi Haas
Duration: 01.01.2017 - 31.08.2018
Funded by: ACRP

SUSAKI - Socioecological transitions, sustainability and collapse of island communities: the case of Samothraki

Keywords: collapse, island, Samothraki
Project Leader: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Marina Fischer-Kowalski
Duration: 01.07.2015 - 30.06.2018
Funded by: Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung (FWF)


SUSTAINABLE CARE

Keywords: sustainable care, health, illness, resources
Project Leader: Mag. Dr. Ulli Weisz
Duration: 01.10.2014 - 30.09.2016
Funded by: BMWFW, Programm Sparkling Science


Timelag - Time lags in transformative processes: Temporal dynamics between policy design, implementation and market diffusion of low carbon technologies

Keywords: Klimaschutz, Transformation, Low Carbon Technologies
Project Leader: Dr. Willi Haas
Duration: 01.04.2014 - 30.09.2016
Funded by: ACRP


Transformation Research Review

Keywords: Sustainability, Humities, Transition, Social Sciences, Transformation
Project Leader: Mag.Dr. Daniel Hausknost
Duration: 01.10.2012 - 30.06.2013
Funded by: Bundesministerium für Wissenschaft und Forschung (BMWF)


UNEP 2013/2014 - Beteiligung am International Resource Panel

Keywords: Material Flows, Ressourcenproduktivität, Assessment, Ressourcen
Project Leader: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Marina Fischer-Kowalski
Duration: 01.04.2013 - 31.05.2013
Funded by: Bundesministerium für Land- und Forstwirtschaft, Umwelt und Wasserwirtschaft (BMLFUW)


UTE - Urban Time and Energy: A socioecological model for assessing time-use and energy metabolism

Keywords: time use, energy flow analysis
Project Leader: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Marina Fischer-Kowalski
Duration: 01.09.2011 - 31.08.2014
Funded by: Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung (FWF)


WWWforEurope - Towards a New Growth Path: Welfare, Wealth and Work for Europe

Keywords: socio-ecological transition
Project Leader: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Marina Fischer-Kowalski
Duration: 01.04.2012 - 31.03.2016
Funded by: Europäische Union