In an increasingly complex world, the consequences of human interventions in the environment and society are becoming more and more unpredictable. While technological developments and societal change have brought many benefits, they are also causing unforeseeable changes, posing major challenges for our society. This interdisciplinary research group focuses on systemic risks characterised by a high degree of complexity and interconnectedness. It addresses questions such as: What opportunities and risks are associated with global transformation processes such as increasing digitalisation and the transition to a climate-friendly society? What chain reactions can systemic risks trigger in society, and how do they spread regionally, nationally and globally? What mechanisms of risk perception influence the development of systemic risks? How has the precautionary principle been applied in the European Union, and how can it be improved by involving different stakeholders?
The scientists in this research group analyse the complexity, uncertainty and ambiguity of risks characterised by interdependencies among technology, nature and society. Based on this analysis, they aim to identify common patterns and structural features of systemic risks. Their ultimate goal is to develop political instruments and transdisciplinary governance mechanisms to implement research results transformatively towards sustainable development and to reduce the negative impacts of systemic risks.