Sustainable strategies and social dynamics
On several levels the interaction between humans and nature determine changes in the Earth system and on how they are encountered. Those changes are stimulated by social processes, structures and dynamics, they determine where and how people are being affected. Furthermore, social dynamics shape an evaluative societal discourse on alternative choices and determine future scopes of action.
This research area pursues a dual approach. Analogous to the methods found in natural sciences it intially describes the underlying processes. Aditionally and aided by scenarios, society is being presented with consistent and long term, 'sustainable' options. Both approaches are in constant dialogue: on one hand the findings of fundamental research have an impact on the development of scenarios. On the other hand, the societal need for further analysis of certain processes is being mirrored. CEN creates a synergy between fundamental research and the transdisciplinary requirements of society.
This research area consisting of four research themes joins natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. The themes focus on specific issues arising from global climate change and environmental change as well as from human action.