There is a long tradition of research into sustainability at Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt. The university’s many contributions to the field are connected to its flagship ‘Sustainability’ research cluster.
Global climate change and energy and natural resource shortages are two of the “Grand Challenges” facing the European Union. Research into sustainability at AAU approaches these challenges from the same standpoint as the German government’s Scientific Advisory Board on Global Climate Change that a ‘great transformation’ in production, consumption and lifestyle is needed to meet them. Such a transformation can only be achieved by using technological and also social innovations to change society.
Sustainable development, understood as a regulative concept of environmentally compatible, socially just, economically viable development, is an area of research that is picking up pace worldwide. An interdisciplinary approach is necessary to deal with the demands of sustainability research and to provide science-based policy advice.
All faculties at Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt, and the Faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies in particular, demonstrate their disciplinary, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary expertise in the field of sustainability research through a large volume of projects and publications. Of particular significance to AAU are its flagship contributions to sustainability research from the humanities, social sciences and cultural studies, as well as notable contributions from the areas of technical science and law.
Specialist subjects worked on by researchers at AAU include: energy, sustainable land use, sustainable social metabolism and sustainable resource policy, interdisciplinary environmental reporting, social and cultural aspects of a sustainable society and sustainability education. AAU has a large number of highly competitive, third-party-funded projects that focus on these topics. These include an ERC-funded project, publications in high-ranking journals and a variety of public science initiatives geared towards promoting innovation and learning at a regional and international level.
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