It is not enough to continuously develop new technologies to put the paradigm of sustainable development into action – It is necessary to renew consumption styles and economic processes from the ground up. Thus we have to fundamentally reconsider our way of gaining knowledge, making inventions and bringing innovations to marketability. Therefore it is necessary to submit the process and infrastructure of research and the educational concepts themselves to a transformation process, as the WBGU*demanded from the scientific world in the survey “World in Transition - A Social Contract for Sustainability”.
Inter- and transdisciplinary research is required which promotes systematic, long-term and context-based thinking and acting and which features a much closer cooperation among humanities, social, natural and technical sciences. At the same time we need “undisciplined” research – a mode of research in which the civil society purposefully introduces its specific knowledge, its creativity and its inventiveness at eye level.
Fraunhofer UMSICHT rises to this challenge by developing and testing new transdisciplinary and participative formats of research.
* WBGU = German Advisory Council on Global Change