Overline: KLASICA-RIHN-IASS Symposium
Headline: Narrative insights for emerging cultures of sustainability

The profound challenge of ensuring the long-term survival of human society within the social and bio-geo-physical planetary boundaries hinges critically on transforming societal  behaviors. This challenge is at the core of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), each of which has associated national-level targets for policies and action to be met by 2030. Meeting these targets requires transformative change that can best occur in ways that inspire, guide, and gain societal commitment in the diverse contexts and cultures of  the world. This requires constantly updating and deepening our knowledge of the complex societal landscape of cultures and contexts and their dynamics in humanity’s quest for sustainable futures.

Scientists, scholars, policy makers and other members of society often have very different understandings of sustainability and of possible transformative solutions and appropriate pathways to these solutions. If we posit that sustainability is an emergent process forming in the changing conditions on Earth — a process of discovery and innovation, rather than
a fixed end state — how can scientists and scholars contribute most effectively to that emergence? How can they understand the diverse and rapidly changing contexts of human society and co-create with all sectors of society innovative pathways to locally salient and globally coherent sustainable futures? And how can knowledge co-created in mutual learning processes catalyze collective behavior change in emerging cultures of sustainability?

In this symposium we will address these broad questions by framing them in the relationship between narratives and collective behavior change toward sustainable futures, which has long been the focus of KLASICA (the Knowledge, Learning, and Societal Change Alliance). The aim is to develop innovative ways to acquire, analyze, and apply insights from narratives that will advance sustainability science and contribute to policies and actions for sustainability. 

Public event: A panel of five selected symposium participants will each make brief  statements on "Narratives and models for facilitating emergent cultures of sustainability” on 26 October evening followed by an open discussion moderated by Ortwin Renn with academic colleagues and interested public in the Berlin-Brandenburg area. The event will be held in English in the IASS Villa Ballroom from 18:30-20:00. It will be recorded for subsequent access in other time zones.

Watch out for more details here.