Institutes & Centers

Center for Advanced Studies - Transformation and Sustainability

Transformation and Sustainability

The research field "Transformation and Sustainability" is to contribute to a better understanding of ongoing transformation processes by analysing, evaluating, and explaining past and present processes of societal change.

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The current climate and environmental problems pose existential challenges to modern and late-modern societies. Rising temperatures, extreme weather events, loss of biodiversity, as well as pollution of air and water are just a few indicators of an intensifying crisis of planetary proportions. These issues cannot be viewed in isolation; they are closely linked to social and economic structures built on unrestrained resource consumption and the unequal distribution of life chances.

Addressing the complex problems of climate change and ecological catastrophe will require much more than just a technological fix. A social-ecological transformation is increasingly recognised as imperative, aiming not only to implement ecologically sustainable technologies but also to reassess traditional economic models, socio-cultural lifestyles, and societal relationships with nature.

Within the research field on "Transformation and Sustainability," the following research lines are being pursued:

Sustainable Tourism and Destination Design

The research line on Sustainable Tourism and Destination Design aims to tackle the pressing challenges facing the tourism industry with forward-thinking solutions. Adopting a transformative research approach, it seeks to facilitate the active engagement of stakeholders across different levels of governance through co-creative and participatory methods. The overarching objective is to evaluate the multifaceted impacts of tourism on the environment, society, and economy, pinpoint key developmental trends, and foster the design and implementation of sustainable practices.

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Greta Erschbamer

Greta Erschbamer

Researcher

Valentin Wallnöfer

Valentin Wallnöfer

Junior Researcher

Social-Ecological Conflicts and Inequalities

The research line on Social-Ecological Conflicts and Inequalities explores the dynamics of contemporary processes of social-ecological transformation, examining the societal conflicts and (new) social inequalities they give rise to, and the extent to which existing relations of power and domination are called into question and reshaped in the process. It is grounded in the understanding that societal transformations under the guiding principle of ecological sustainability are to be understood as inherently political rather than purely technical or managerial challenges and are therefore always also contested.

Contact

Felix Windegger

Felix Windegger

Researcher

Christoph Kircher

Christoph Kircher

Post-Doc-Researcher

Beyond Modernity: Critique and Alternatives

The research line Beyond Modernity: Critique and Alternatives focuses on the fabrication of nature in late modern societies. Technological domination of nature and economic logic of incessant escalation are thematized as essential features of contemporary societies. In the face of planetary boundaries and climatic changes, we investigate how nature is made available and controllable in sociotechnical dispositives. As an example, artificial snowmaking in ski resorts could be mentioned. With climate change impacts already irreversible, the focus is on how societies cope with experiences of ecological loss.

Contact

Christoph Kircher

Christoph Kircher

Post-Doc-Researcher

Team (alphabetical)
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News & Events

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Soziale Aufstiegschancen in Südtirol: 14 konkrete Maßnahmen für die Landespolitik

Soziale Aufstiegschancen in Südtirol: 14 konkrete Maßnahmen für die Landespolitik

Abschlusstagung „Soziale Mobilität: Was braucht Südtirol?“

Projects

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Project

Sustainability and climate change

Survey conducted by Eurac Research and the Provincial Institute of Statistics ASTAT

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