04/05/2022 | A profound change towards sustainability is needed worldwide in order to overcome global challenges such as the climate crisis. With the innovative concept of mission-oriented research, science is breaking new ground, together with a wide range of different actors. But what are the challenges and limitations of this new type of collaborative research? How can the approach be further developed in a promising way? This question will be addressed at the international conference “Missions for Sustainability: New approaches for science and society”. The virtual conference will be held on 5th and 6th May 2022 by the Leibniz Research Network “Knowledge for Sustainable Development”.

ZMT is also involved in the conference organisation. Prof. Dr. Achim Schlüter (ZMT) and Stefan Fritz (KDM) have put togther the session "The Old Man* and the Sea -  Ocean missions between conquest and saving the ocean" with the following panelists.

Claire Jolly, Head of Unit - STI Ocean Economy Group, Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Björn Stockhausen, Fisheries and Ocean Advisor, The Greens/EFA Parliamentary Group, European Parliament

Prof. Kimberley Peters, Professor of Marine Governance, Helmholtz Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity at the University of Oldenburg

Prof. Raimund Bleischwitz, Scientific Director of the Leibniz Institute for Tropical Marine Research

Missions in the marine realm are likely as old humanity’s seafaring expeditions. These required visions of purpose and planning, but also an impressive understanding of the ocean and technological innovations. Humanity’s improvements in knowledge and technology have meant that resources could be mobilized not only to explore, but also to exploit and conquer discovered spaces; a process that has defined the Anthropocene in the ocean. Now, the concept of an “ocean mission” is being re-appropriated again, but now to mobilize resources for the complex mission to save the ocean from human exploitation and conquest. Are missions working for a sustainable ocean or is this wishful thinking and we are still mainly aiming to conquer “a good deal” in the seas?

Registration here: https://www.leibniz-sustain.de/en/mainnavigation/events/network-conferences/registration

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In order to cope with pressing global sustainability challenges such as the climate crisis systemic innovations are needed urgently. The mission-oriented research and innovation approach promises to address this need: It strives to direct a broad portfolio of inter- and transdisciplinary scientific activities towards achieving bold and inspirational societal goals within a specific time- and resource frame.

Nevertheless, the design and implementation of mission-oriented research and innovation also raises new questions e. g. in terms of governance and responsibility, normativity and social learning, as well as trade-offs and the navigation of complexity. How should the approach evolve as it becomes adopted across a widening range of sustainability challenges and policy fields?

This question will be the focus of the two-day international conference “Missions for Sustainability: New approaches for science and society” on 5th and 6th May. It will bring together diverse actors from science, policy, business and civil society to critically discuss opportunities as well as challenges and limitations of mission-oriented research and innovation. In various virtual sessions and workshops, participants can exchange ideas on the topics of sustainability, trade-offs, freedom of science, governance, social learning or complexity. Keynotes and panel discussions with renowned experts will be streamed online for the participants.

Keynote speeches will be given by Prof. Dr. Lea Fünfschilling, Centre for Innovation Research (CIRCLE) at Lund University, Sweden, and Dr. Philippe Larrue, Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation (DSTI) at Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

More information and registration:

About the Leibniz Research Network “Knowledge for Sustainable Development”

Five institutions of the Leibniz Association have joined forces to form the „Knowledge for Sustainable Development” network, thus pooling their expertise to give sustainability science more influence and effectiveness. The network partners include: ARL - Academy for Spatial Development in the Leibniz Association, Hanover; Leibniz Institute for History and Culture of Eastern Europe (GWZO), Leipzig; Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER), Dresden; Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), Müncheberg (Mark); Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research GmbH (ZMT), Bremen.

More information on the network: https://www.leibniz-sustain.de/en   

Contact to the network

Prof. Dr. Rainer Danielzyk, ARL (co-speaker), e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Prof. Dr. Marc Wolfram, IOER (co-speaker), e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.