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Changing Mindsets – Changing Behaviour

What role do behavioural changes play in socio-economic transformations, and how can we ensure that they are socio-ecologically just and inclusive?

Changing Mindsets – Changing Behaviour

What role do behavioural changes play in socio-economic transformations, and how can we ensure that they are socio-ecologically just and inclusive?

About

Public discourses on ecological and socio-economic transformations often emphasise the need for simultaneous deep-seated changes at the micro- and macro-levels to tackle the systemic crises of the status quo, such as climate change, biodiversity loss, public health emergencies, and increasing polarisation along societal faultlines. In this context, disrupting cognitive patterns or institutional path-dependencies that justify the continuation of unsustainable behaviour based on previously taken decisions or preferences has proven particularly problematic; not least because attempting to radically criticise and reconfigure the status quo also raises questions of why certain socio-ecologically exploitative habits persist and how things ought to be instead.

We aim to forge novel interdisciplinary and trans-sectoral alliances that explore the potentials and challenges of future-oriented behavioural changes as key components of just ecological and socio-economic transformations. In order to understand the pitfalls and opportunities of breaking with unsustainable habitual patterns that obstruct the creation of future-oriented imaginaries, the Changing Mindsets – Changing Behaviour programme draws together research from neuroscience, psychology, cognitive sciences, data science, sociology, philosophy, anthropology, political science and economics, among others. The comprehensive conceptualization of the human experience within the research process – or in other words, the positionality of the human as both subject and object of enquiry – forms a central objective of the programme. Recognising the deep interconnectedness between private and public, perception and morality, biology and phenomenology, human and nature, the programme aims to provide a platform for the exploration of the conditions of creative and adaptable behavioural change that can accommodate the different understandings of future-proof sustainability and various transformative processes that are needed to ultimately reach the respective objectives.  

QUESTIONS

  • The Role of Individual Habits and Behaviour in Socio-Ecological Transformations

    • How do habits work?
    • How and where are individual habits created and transformed?
    • What role do societal structures play in breaking habits and forming new behavioural patterns?
    • What implications does a focus on individual behaviour have for the promotion of broader systemic change?
  • The Individual as a Collective Being

    • What role do different cultural and social institutions or organisations play in conceptualising behavioural change?
    • Which sub-systems need to be tackled at what level in order to support individual and institutional behavioural change?
    • How can we make behavioural transformations towards future-proof sustainability more socio-ecologically inclusive and diverse?
  • Creating Collective and Actionable Behavioural Change

    • What role does communication (e.g. through the media) play in developing collective understandings of transformative behavioural change?
    • How are such future imaginaries of behavioural socio-economic transformations constructed, diffused, and promoted?
Art
Art

Jota Mombaça, A Gente Combinamos De Não Morrer / Us Agreed Not To Die, Performance, Object, 2018-ongoing, © Jota Mombaça

As they describe themselves, Jota Mombaça is a non-binary “bicha” (pejorative Brazilian slang used for gay people), and a “mutant” whose personality is in constant flux. In their work, the interdisciplinary artist researches and performs the relationships between monstrosity and humanity, queer studies, anti-coloniality and the redistribution of violence. Sound and the visualization of words play an integral role in their work, which takes place in an open performative process. A Gente Combinamos De Não Morrer / Us Agreed Not To Die is a performance that deals with the ongoing struggles of Black and trans people – their resistance expressed in a will to survive and in the fight for their rights. During the performance, Mombaça manufactures knives made out of materials such as glass, wood and red shoelaces and simultaneously reads out texts from various sources, reclaiming the voices and memories of writers who have been silenced.

Curatorial Note
Status

We are currently looking for fellows to join us in the academic year of 2022/23. If you are interested, please refer to our section How to join for further information.

GET INVOLVED
  • The Foundations of Value and Values

    What is a sustainable value system for the 21st century?

    The programme “The Foundations of Value and Values” is motivated by a recognition that there are differing versions of how society and the economy function – and encourages a thorough thinking through of these various approaches to their logical conclusions.

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  • The Future of Democracy

    Which governance structures and forms of decision making enable systemic change for a sustainable future?

    The programme “The Future of Democracy” explores how to make democratic decision-making processes and the respective institutions fit for the future – more responsive to contexts, more equitable, and more sustainable.

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  • Socio-Economic Transformation

    What is an economy that serves social well-being within planetary boundaries?

    The programme “Socio-Economic Transformation” aims to find alternative ways to measure progress and develop rules of digital governance directed towards public interest and the common good.

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  • The New Hanse

    How can cities use data to become more democratic and sustainable?

    The programme “The New Hanse” investigates the relationship between urban digital infrastructures, data justice, and sustainability, supporting the city of Hamburg’s transformation towards climate neutrality with tangible data-driven pilot projects.

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  • Voices from the Past – Lessons for the Future

    How do social movements lead to systemic change, when and why? What can we learn from past protest movements to help us build a better future from the present?

    The programme “Voices from the Past – Lessons for the Future” is analyzing key-moments in Europe and beyond, treating change as a generational practice as well as an exercise in memory.

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