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Scaling Sustainability in Science-Society Co-operations


Dissertantin: Mag.rer.nat. Mader Marlene
: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Friedrich M. Zimmermann


  • United Nations University – Institute of Advanced Studies
  • Globales RCE-Netzwerk


Global policies as local institutions are paying more attention to the scaling of sustainability. As the overall goal for the Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), which serves as a follow-up of the UN Decade on ESD, UNESCO currently announced ‘to generate and scale-up actions in all levels and areas of education and learning in order to accelerate progress towards sustainable development’ (2013). The proposed dissertation project aims at identifying framework conditions for scaling sustainability knowledge in the science-society interface in order to be able to more efficiently and structurally share our expertise and hence increase the impact of our actions. As a first step the demand, challenges and potentials of scaling regional sustainability knowledge at the science-society interface will be identified. It is hypothesised that sustainability perceptions and demands for scaling differ around the world and that it is important to adapt the development of scaling models to regional contexts. The insights of this analysis shall then provide the basis for further research on framework conditions that can support or hinder the scaling of science-society co-operations, hence expanding the impact towards sustainable development and taking regional and cultural contexts into consideration.

This research will contribute to a more structured and efficient exchange and creation of knowledge towards sustainable development. How we manage to share our knowledge, experiences and capacities in a transdisciplinary approach between Higher Education institutions and societal actors, across regions and institutions, developed and developing countries, UN initiatives like Regional Centres of Expertise on ESD (RCEs), and hence be able to create new knowledge, will strongly influence our development process towards sustainability.

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