Talanoa as Expectation Management – or Raising the Bar while Jumping

Fijian Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khayium during a Talanoa at COP23. © BMUB/ Christian Büchter

Both sustainability ambitions and obstacles are growing exponentially. This begs for the kind of expectation management arguably performed by the IASS Potsdam and other organizations, for instance the Future Earth network. In addressing the advisory role of science in sustainability, Future Earth is building advisory capacities and raising expectations at the same time. These expectations...
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The Role of Germany in the Future of Renewable Energies

Germany is widely regarded as an international frontrunner in the global energy transition. Efforts to promote renewable energy have played a key role in lowering the cost of wind and solar power and contributed significantly to the growth of these technologies around the world. Germany’s energy transition policy is held up as a model abroad...
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On the culture of untapped potential

Der UNESCO-Pavillion

Last week I attended the UN Climate Change Conference COP23 in Bonn. After having hosted an interactive side-event at the intersessional negotiation in May 2017, this was my first visit to an annual UNFCCC COP. I attended the conference without any concrete expectations and was mainly interested in observing the communication and working culture at...
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The Myth of “Stranded Assets” in Climate Protection

Ever since Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, spoke in 2015 before Lloyd’s of London about climate change, the future of the energy industries, and financial stability, finance ministers and central bank governors around the world have underscored climate protection’s systemic threat to the world’s financial system. They worry aloud about the...
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Is it Still OK to Fly?

Traveller silhouette at airport

Despite the fact that every single plane journey compounds climate change, many people still decide to fly. False incentives are to blame, says Katharina Beyerl. I was recently asked to answer the question “Is it still OK to fly?” for a TV programme – in just ten sentences. It is, of course, impossible to cover...
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Environmental Sustainability: A Bhutanese Expression

Haa Valley, Bhutan: A farmer walks down a rural pathway carrying a load of rice stalks. He wears a gho, the traditional men's garment. © istock/leezsnow

As a child, I lived near the forests and walked everywhere on foot because we did not have motorable roads, nor could my parents afford to buy a family car. If I were to narrate this story to sociologists or media reporters, then I would feel that I was exposing my limited wealth compared with...
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Poking holes in our mindsets: impressions from the Potsdam Summer School 2017

As an unprecedented weather event unfolded last week across the Atlantic Ocean, affecting Gulf Coast states and major cities in the United States as well as island communities throughout the Caribbean, over 40 young professionals and graduate students from over 30 countries gathered at the IASS to discuss “Human Environments in a Changing World” –...
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Visual scribing meets science

Teilnehmende bei einer “Research-and Draw”-Sitzung am IASS. Quelle: Sabine Soeder

What happens when visual scribing meets science? What happens when the world of images meets the world of words? IASS researchers are currently grappling with these questions. Sabine Soeder, a graphic facilitator and the founder of CoCreativeFlow, has been invited to join the institute as a fellow in the research project “Co-Creation and Contemporary Policy...
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What does it take to forge a partnership with Africa?

Initiating a new partnership with Africa was a key priority of the German G20 Presidency and one of the topics on the agenda at the G20 Summit in Hamburg last weekend. In their Leaders’ Declaration, the heads of the 19 major industrialized and emerging market economies and the EU underscored their commitment to “foster sustainable...
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Talk, Trust, and Time: Bridging the Gap between Science and Policy

Just two months ago I strolled up to the bank building of the IASS itching to start gaining practical research experience, but with no idea of what to expect. Coming from a background of environmental science and being enrolled in a Master’s program aimed at bridging the gap between science and policy, I was prepared...
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