Headline: News

#FactoryWisskomm Fellowship

Recommendations for Political Networking Events

Networking events such as parliamentary receptions are the order of the day in Berlin and state capitals across Germany. What impact do these informal dialogues between politicians and stakeholders have on political decisions? Communications researcher Meike Lohkamp will explore this issue during a six-month research residency at the Research Institute for Sustainability. Her fellowship is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) within the framework of the #FactoryWisskom platform initiated by the ministry.

read more

Tackling the Climate and Housing Crises: Promoting Compact Living in Europe

Future European Union housing policy must address the twin challenges of providing adequate housing for all while drastically reducing current levels of resource use. Voluntary reductions in living space could make a significant contribution to achieving these goals. To facilitate this, the EU should promote the construction of smaller apartments set in attractive neighbourhoods and enable the more flexible use of existing housing stock, according to a new study co-authored by scientists from the Research Institute for Sustainability - Helmholtz Centre Potsdam (RIFS).

read more
Mobility transition

Civil Society Engagement as a Driver of Urban Transformation

Cities will need to change if we are to secure a sustainable future. Many people in Berlin have recognized this and cititzen-led initiatives have played a crucial role in driving transformations in recent years. This engagement strengthens resilience and ensures that communities are better equipped to tackle future challenges. But more can be done to involve different communities and improve cooperation with the city’s political institutions and policymakers.

read more

New Solutions for Marine Sustainability

The oceans are of crucial importance for the climate, ecosystems, food security, and trade. Despite this, the unsustainable use of marine resources is undermining the health and resilience of marine ecosystems and species around the world. What can be done to change this? Florian Lennert joined the RIFS as a Klaus Töpfer Sustainability Fellow in April 2024. In this interview, he explains his plans for a platform to develop sustainable marine technologies.

read more
Ruhr Region

Cities in Transition: Towards a Sustainable Future

While the cities of Duisburg and Essen in Germany’s Ruhr Region have a similar history, their plans for a post-coal future diverge: Duisburg is building on its industrial heritage and hopes to establish itself as an international hub for logistics and hotspot for green hydrogen. Essen, on the other hand, has developed a green vision for the future that centres on sustainable enterprises and cultural events. Both pathways present their own opportunities and challenges.

read more
Household Survey

Jordanians Keen to Harness Community Benefits of Energy Transition

Jordan has outstanding potential for renewable energy generation. Government backing for the country’s energy transition was strong through to 2019, but has dropped off since then. A household survey conducted by the Research Institute for Sustainability - Helmholtz Centre Potsdam (RIFS) shows that citizens want to see this change: 91 percent of respondents expressed their support for an expansion of renewable energies in Jordan.

read more

RIFS Mourns the Loss of Klaus Töpfer

The founding director of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), Klaus Töpfer, has died at the age of 85. Following its establishment in 2009, the pioneering institute rose to prominence within the international sustainability research community under his leadership.

read more

Raving and the Planet: New Podcast Dives Deep Into Sustainable Club Culture

Can dance parties contribute to the transition towards sustainability? What are clubs doing to reduce their emissions? How can a new awareness of our relationship with planet Earth emerge on the dance floor? A new podcast produced by social scientist Kerstin Meißner during a year-long fellowship at the Research Institute for Sustainability (RIFS) explores these questions. Three episodes and an interview with Kerstin Meißner are available on most podcast catchers from today.

read more

Seddin Declaration for Sustainability and Democracy

Representatives of Brandenburg’s Sustainability Platform presented the Seddin Declaration for Sustainability and Democracy to Minister of the Environment Axel Vogel and Parliamentary President Ulrike Liedtke at parliament today. Signed by 20 organisations and over 380 citizens, the Seddin Declaration highlights the connection between democracy and sustainable development and calls on politicians to establish an enabling environment for pathways towards greater sustainability in Brandenburg. The Seddin Declaration calls on policymakers to put sustainable development at the top of their agenda in the next legislative period.

read more