Sustainability has a solid record as a paradigm of resilience and growth

Ursula Mathar
30.04.2020

The coronavirus crisis has had a global impact on economic and social life. Supply chains have been disrupted, travel has been cancelled, life has slowed down. It is clear, however, that solutions are being developed in the economy at speed. econsense believes that this crisis doesn’t have to be a breaking point, but an opportunity for sustainability - as long as we take the following three points into account:

Firstly, sustainability has long since ceased to be a fair-weather project, it is the key to the future viability and resilience of business models. Many businesses had already recognised this and actively implemented it before the coronavirus.

Secondly, the current “crisis …

Ursula Mathar

econsense - Forum for Sustainable Development of German Business e.V.
Ursula Mathar is the BMW Group Vice President Sustainability. She is responsible for the companies’ sustainability strategy and steering of...

COVID-19 stimulus packages represent a critical juncture for climate policy

Nicolas Schmid
29.04.2020

Governments around the world have implemented strong, science-based measures against the spread of COVID-19, ranging from border closures to the lockdown of approximately one-third of the world population. As a result, economic activity of most sectors and countries abruptly and strongly decreased. To prevent a global economic and social crisis, governments around the world have proposed massive stimulus programs. For instance, the US Congress has enacted a program worth $2 trillion. The German government approved an unlimited supply of business loans and a crisis fund of €600 billion. In Switzerland, the government introduced an aid package of CHF 42 billion. While these stimulus programs …

Nicolas Schmid

ETH Zürich
Nicolas Schmid is currently finalizing his PhD thesis in the Energy Politics Group at ETH Zurich. His research focuses on how technological change...

How COVID-19 Can Drive Transformational Change in Cities

Aniruddha Dasgupta
27.04.2020

How COVID-19 Can Drive Transformational Change in Cities

Across the world, from Wuhan to New York City, cities are on the frontline of the unfolding COVID-19 crisis. Starting with overwhelmed heath care systems, cities are experiencing unprecedented strain across social, economic and environmental systems as economies grind to a standstill. Public transit systems are in a financial tailspin. Already a challenge at the best of times, the struggle to provide even basic access to water and sewerage is now especially acute in many growing cities across the global south. Daily wage earners and the urban poor of all stripes are suffering the most from the dual blows of lost income and a …

Aniruddha Dasgupta

WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities
Aniruddha (Ani) Dasgupta is the Global Director of WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, WRI’s program that galvanizes action to help cities grow...

The virus has made it clear: the future is now

Dr. Sabin Bieri
Prof. Dr. Thomas Breu
Dr. Andreas Heinimann
Prof. Dr. Peter Messerli
24.04.2020

Accelerated by a virus, we have suddenly found ourselves in a possible future. The existen-tial threat appears as if through a magnifying glass, allowing us to perceive the state of the world with increased clarity. With astonishment, we have seen political taboos and unques-tioned assumptions falling by the wayside, allowing our institutions to take action. All of a sudden, the tried and tested arguments of interest-driven politics – economic constraints, technological barriers, unchanging behavioural patterns, individual responsibility – no long-er seem to be guiding the decision-making. Behind this is a growing awareness that the cur-rent socio-political range of actions will be …

Dr. Sabin Bieri

Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) at the University of Bern
Sabin Bieri is Associate Director and Member of the Executive Board of the Centre for Sustainable Development and Environment (CDE) at the University...

Prof. Dr. Thomas Breu

Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) at the University of Bern
Thomas Breu is Professor and Director of the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) at the University of Bern and Managing Director of the...

Dr. Andreas Heinimann

Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) at the University of Bern
Andreas Heinimann is Associate Director for Regional Collaboration at the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) of the University of Bern. As...

Prof. Dr. Peter Messerli

Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) at the University of Bern
Peter Messerli is professor for sustainable development at the University of Bern, Switzerland, and the director of the Centre for Development and...

Opportunities for transformative learning in the coronavirus crisis

Prof. Dr. Heike Walk
23.04.2020

The coronavirus pandemic brings about drastic changes for a great many people. When social life returns to normal once the coronavirus crisis is over, a window of opportunity will open for launching innovative concepts and ideas for sustainable development. This is an area in which universities will be required to take responsibility. The example of Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development (HNE) shows what this could look like:

  • Innovation goal of sustainability transformation: together with a variety of very different stakeholders from practice, HNE Eberswalde has developed sustainability innovations and models for solutions. With stakeholders from society, guiding principles …

Prof. Dr. Heike Walk

Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development
Vice-President for Academic Affairs at the Eberswalde University for Sustainability and Professor for Transformation Governance at the Faculty of...