SERI
Infomail 06/02

Table of contents

1. SERI-News
General news from SERI and SERI members

  • SERI in Johannesburg
  • Benjamin Görlach has accepted a job at Ecologic
  • Fritz Hinterberger in Rome and Lisbon

2. Project-Overview
News from our projects, our other work and new research fields

  • News from our projects, our other work and new research fields
  • “Governance for Sustainable Development” suggestion for an integrated project”
  • Sustainble Development between Throughput and Symbolism – Nachhaltige Entwicklung zwischen Durchsatz und Symbolik (NEDS)
  • Seminar on sustainability and indicators
  • Adaptive Integration of Research and Policy for Sustainable Development (AIRP-SD)

3. Friends
Seri and ... (News about co-operation and partnerships)

  • WSSD Impressions by Susan Burns and Mathis Wackernagel

  • Cooperation in the state program for health and environment of Northrhine-Westphlia

4. Selected publications
Book reviews and announcements from SERI members and related writers and publishers

  • Spangenberg, J., R. Mesicek, A. Metzner, F.Luks. (2002). "Sustainability Indicators for the knowledge-based society - Measuring the Sustainability of the Information society." Futura 21(2/2002): p.85-95.
  • Spangenberg, J.H. (2002). A systemic approach to institutional sustainability. Towards institutional sustainability performance indicators. Governance for Sustainable Development, Barcelona, IIG Institut Internacional de Governabilitat. pp. 87-106
  • Spangenberg, J.H. (2002). "Sustainability Science: Which Science and Technology for Sustainable Development?" INES Newsletter 39: 8-11.
  • Hinterberger, F., Schnabel, H. (2002) Arbeit-Umwelt-Wachstum (work-environment-growth) ISBN 3-8311-3556-8

5. Links + Other: News about other activities, hints and advice on dates, workshops etc.

  • St.Galler Forum für Nachhaltigkeitsmanagement
  • Offer for a place of employment
  • Conference: The Future of the Global Commons in the Knowledge Society

6. Going on in Vienna

  • Preview: Lange Nacht der Nachhaltigkeit

 

Contents

1. SERI-News
General news from SERI and SERI members

SERI in Johannesburg

Several SERI members participated in the Johannesburg World Summit for Sustainable development, e.g. Wolfgang Sachs, Daniel Mittler and Joachim Spangenberg, to name but a few. A summary of the results by Joachim Spangenberg and an analysis of the summit with conclusions rather different from the public and published opinion can be downloaded from the SERI homepage.

Benjamin Görlach has accepted a job at Ecologic

Ecologic is a Berlin-based institute for European and International Environmental Policy. As a research fellow in the field of environmental economics, he will mainly be working on economic instruments in groundwater protection and management in the next months. Other emphases will be in the fields of energy policy and environmental effects of trade. These fields will receive full attention once Benjamin has completed his final thesis in Economics, which will be at the end of January 2003.

Fritz Hinterberger in Rome and Lisbon

On Sept. 24th, Fritz Hinterberger gave a keynote presentation at a Symposium organized by the Italian Institute for Sustainable development (ISSI - see www.issi.it) to present a report on sustainability inticators for Italy. The report has been edited by Edo Ronchi and published by Editori Riuniti (see http://www.editoririuniti.it/product.asp?catalog_name=Collane&category_name=Futura&product_id=88-359-5262-x), which presents 30 indicators of socio-economic, environmental and resource-related aspects of SD in time-series from 1993-2001.


On October 25th, he attended a seminar at INETI-CENDES (http://www.ineti.pt/cendes) in Lisbon to exchange ideas and project results in order to intensify the collaboration of CENDES and SERI in the fields of regional sustainability, sustainable production and ecological economic policy. On Oct. 30, he finally presented AIRP-SD, an EU-STRATA project coordinated by SERI, at a symposium organized by CEIFA Ambiente (see http://www.ceifa-ambiente.pt/) on the evolution of research policy for Sustainable Development in Portugal.

For the current news on SERI check also http://www.seri.at.

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2. Project-Overview
News from our projects, our other work and new research fields

“Governance for Sustainable Development (GoSD)” - Launch of an integrated project

GoSDwants to explore the development of a resource-optimised knowledge-based service society in relation to all dimensions of sustainability by way of applying a backcasting methodology to identify (1) gaps between desired futures and current trends, and (2) policy requirements.

As coordinators of the proposed project, the Factor 10 Institute and SERI made a first step and created a website (see http://www.gosd.net/) from which the full text of the EoI can be downloaded http://www.gosd.net/pdf/GoSD_final.pdf .

On 10th of November, there will be held a GoSD (Opening) Workshop, which in Brussles as a pre-event of the European Research 2002 Conference, taking place from November 11-13.. If you are intereted in participating, please let us know, writing an email to doris.schnepf@seri.at Participating in the GoSD Workshop is an excellent opportunity to personally meet other members of the consortium and exchange ideas and suggestions for further developing and concretizing GoSD objectives and tasks.

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Sustainable Development between Throughput and Symbolism – Nachhaltige Entwicklung zwischen Durchsatz und Symbolik (NEDS)

Our participation in the NEDS project startet with a first workshop in Vienna. The project is entitled “Nachhaltige Entwicklung zwischen Durchsatz und Symbolik. Leitbilder der ökonomischen Konstruktion ökologischer Wirklichkeit europäischer Regionen“ and is funded by the program “socio-ecological research” of the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research which supports transdisciplinary social-scientific research with the explicit vision of contributing to changes toward sustainability in society and economy.

Since the direction of the program is partly explicitly following a social constructivist and discourse analytic direction, the projects under this program could contribute to a better understanding of the symbolic aspects of ecological-economic change. Bringing together post-normal aspects of ecological economics (high stakes, uncertain scientific inputs, role peer communities, problem orientation), environmental accounting (such as MFA) and discourse analysis and constructivist approaches offers a chance to explicitly take into account the complex relationship between science and policy. NEDS is trying to achieve exactly this on the regional level by analysing “natural”, economic, discursive, and spatial aspects of sustainable development as discourse.

Project partners in the project are: Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Politik (HWP, Hamburg, Germany; co-ordinator), University Hamburg, Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment, Energy.

The official webpage www.neds-projekt.de will be available within a short time

Seminar on sustainability and indicators.

The Green Group in the EU parliament prepares for the next EU Spring Summit , when the sustainability strategy and the structural indicators will be reported about again. To focus efforts, and to make policy integration more tangible, a seminar will be held in Brussels on December 3rd, where qualified speakers define the new challenge of policy integration. In the afternoon, the Green Group will work on sharpening their profile in this respect. SERI has been entrusted with providing a draft seminar program, finding the suitable speakers and providing the scientific and the policy relevant information needed to make the effort a full success. If interesed to participate, contact Joachim.Spangenberg@seri.de

Adaptive Integration of Research and Policy for Sustainable Development (AIRP-SD)

The project is now at it’s midpoint.
During the first phase, sustainablility science was defined, a methodological framework was developed and candidate programmes for evaluations were identified. We are now half way through the second phase during which we are testing the evaluation methodology on a number of research programs. Two milestone reports and the executive summaries for the first three workproducts are available on our AIRP website (www.airp-sd.net)

For detailed information about SERI’s projects please surf to:
http://www.seri.at/projects

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3. Friends
Seri and ... (News about co-operation and partnerships)

WSSD Impressions

by Susan Burns and Mathis Wackernagel

September 15, 2002

Reflecting on their experience attending the World Summit on Sustainable Development, Susan Burns and Mathis Wackernagel provided their impressions onthe state of the world, the ability of government to move us forward and necessary on the internet. See http://www.naturalstrategies.com/wssd-impressions.htm.

Cooperation in the state program for health and environment of Northrhine-Westphlia

Following a coalition contract agreement of three years ago, the state government of Northrhine-Westphalia decided to develop a state program for health and environment. As the environmental dimension obviously cannot be restricted to local causes of local effects, SERI has been contracted to provide an overview of relevant themes in international environmental trends. The result will form part of the final study to be published in 2003 (contact: Joachim.Spangenberg@seri.de).

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4. Selected publications
Book reviews and announcements from SERI members and related writers and publishers

Sustainability Indicators for the knowledge-based society - Measuring the Sustainability of the Information society
by Spangenberg, J., R. Mesicek, A. Metzner, F.Luks. (2002)

The Finish Society for Future Studies (http://www.futurasociety.fi/) has pulished a journal on the topic "Indicators for Sustainable Development" edited by Olli Hietanen of the Finland Futures Research Center (FFRC, http://www.tukkk.fi/tutu/). This includes an article by Joachim Spangenberg, Roman Mesicek, Andreas Metzner and Fred Luks dealing with the question, on how to measure the sustainability of the information society.

Abstract

Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have been widely discussed from the technological supply side. Societal demand, or more specifically, the current shift to a network knowledge society, will not be possible without ICT. However, that will in turn influence the kind of ICT used, the way it is produced, used and disposed of. The resulting changes in the communication structure and infrastructure will have repercussions for the movement towards a sustainable society: it will be able to positively or negatively influence the worldwide increase of resource use and environmental charges, economic performance and social cohesion. These effects are partly recognised and discussed, but there are no generally accepted means to measure the progress towards a sustainable knowledge society or its lack of development, and in particular the influence of ICT with respect to sustainable development.

This paper outlines some essentials of a knowledge society with respect to sustainable development, and suggests a preliminary set of indicators to monitor this process.


A systemic approach to institutional sustainability. Towards institutional sustainability performance indicators
by Spangenberg, J.H. (2002).

Governance for Sustainable Development, Barcelona, IIG Institut Internacional de Governabilitat. pp. 87-106

Abstract

In the course of evaluating the progress in implementing Agenda 21 (United Nations 1992) the “Commission on Sustainable Development” began developing a set of indicators of sustainable development. The first version was finalised in 1996 with the suggestion of 134 indicators (UNDPCSD 1996) and put to a field test, resulting in a final version published in 2001 (UNDESA 2001). In both versions, the indicators are divided up into for issue thematic areas correponding to four dimensions of sustainable development: economic, environmental, social, and institutional. The further conceptual separation into driving force, state, and response indicators was given up in the final version. Generally, (inter-) governmental organisations are explicitly referred to as institutions, which in the course of decision-making have to take aspects of sustainable development into consideration.

Objectives of sustainable development are mainly defined for the economic, social and environmental dimension, but for effective compliance as well as for sustainability characteristics like justice or participation they must be complemented by core institutional objectives. The CSD’s set of sustainability indicators was the first one to explicitly take into account the institutional dimension of sustainability, and other organisations like the World Bank and the OECD have followed. As it is the case with most land breaking pioneer projects, the indicators suggested offer significant room for improvement.


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Spangenberg, J.H. (2002)
Sustainability Science: Which Science and Technology for Sustainable Development?
INES Newsletter 39: 8-11.

To find this publication please have a look at www.inesglobal.org

Abstract

The promotion of science for sustainable development requires procedures for evaluating science and technology contributions against criteria for sustainability. Neither the advance of science and technology itself nor the current widening of competitive markets can be expected to promote, as if ‘naturally’, a path of sustainable development. On the contrary, the short-term orientation and the mixtures of commercial, military and other preoccupations that motivate much of the science-based technology development are most often controversial to a sustainability perspective based on peace, justice and environmentally sound development (Funtowicz et al. 1999). There is an undeniable risk of undersupplying public goods essential to sustainable development when too much of the R&D talent is in private hands, and focused on delivering private value.

For all domains of science and engineering, sustainability science requires re-engineering of the fabric of science, its standard methodologies and institutions. However, if successfully implemented, this would significantly increase the value of science for society, enhance its credibility and provide a vast range of new and fascinating research questions. The challenge of sustainability is an opportunity not to be missed


Hinterberger, F. Schnabel, H. (2002)
Arbeit-Umwelt-Wachstum (work-environment-growth)
ISBN 3-8311-3556-8).

Abstract

The book which has been printed by Book-On-Demand presents two main aspects of sustainable development:

- empirical analysis of developments into the direction or away from sustainability

- analysis of the interrelation of economy and environment disaggregated by economic branches.

The book includes methodological and empirical constributions to questions of economy-environment-interrelations by considering economic variables and such of employment and environmental impact. Resource use as an indicator for the impact of societies to the environment is out into ralation to sozial and mikro-and makroeconomic indicators.

Contact: mark@seri.at

For more information about these and other publications please visit:
http://www.seri.at/publications.

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5. Links + Other
News about other activities, hints and advice on dates, workshops etc.

St.Galler Forum für Nachhaltigkeitsmanagement

The annual conference „St. Galler Forum für Nachhaltigkeitsmanagement“ will be taking place on 13th of november 2002

The conference will be held in german language and will deal mainly with the following questions • What means the social dimension of sustainability for business companies • How do business companies realize their social responsability • Which experiences already exists

 

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Offer for a place of employment

Researcher: Sustainable Services and Systems

The Centre for Sustainable Design (www.cfsd.org.uk) at the Surrey Institute of Art&Design, University College are looking to recruit a full part-time researcher to investigate the impact of sustainability on the electronics sector and specifically on product-services related to information and communicaiton technologies (ICT). The positon relates to the Centre`s involvement in two EC funded thematic networks: SusProNet and Ecolife 2. The researcher will be expected to undertake research, complete reports and articles, be involved in the organisation of events and travel to overseas meetings throughout the EC. In addition , there will be opportunities to contribute more widely to the Centre´s activities (see www.csf.org.uk). The position would suit someone with a postgraduate qualification in management, marketing or design with an understanding of business aspects of sustainability. In the first instance, please send your CV to mcharter@surrart.ac.uk

Conference announcement:

"The Future of the Global Commons in the Knowledge Society" Berlin, November 08

The problems caused by rigid copyright laws and patents have been discussed in the US and in Europe for years. Yet those debates have to be carried beyond the present confines if they are to lead to a more comprehensive notion of the future of the Global Commons in a globalised world. Issues such as intellectual property rights policy and development policy have to figure in the debate. Securing and extending the Global Commons offers a great opportunity to bridge the digital divide. Should it succeed, the vision of an equally shared basis for the overall development of intellectual creativity, technological innovation, effective technology use, and successful participation in the knowledge society might become reality.

The conference will be the starting point of the Heinrich Böll Foundation’s campaign on the road to the World Summit on Information Society taking place in Geneva in 2003 and Tunis in 2005.

For other interesting links click below:

http://www.seri.de/elinks/

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6. Going on in Vienna

Lange Nacht der Nachhaltigkeit

On 27th of January SERI will organize, simultaneously with the taking place of the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, an event called “Lange Nacht der Nachhaltigkeit” (The continous night of sustainability) with the aim to encourage , within an relaxed atmosphere, the global discussion of sustainability.

It is planned to begin in the afternoon with a workshop and to continoue with a “show-part” where different stakeholders will discuss about their points of view about sustainability subjects.

Later In the evening will start the party of sustainability

There also will be different kind of cultural activities, food and drinks of different nations etc.

For more information on SERI related events in Vienna pleas surf to:

http://www.seri.at/events.

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SERI-Infomail 06/2002
Distributed by Jürgen Schäfer
Managing Editor, SERI-InfoMail
All Rights Reserved.
© SERI 2002 (Vienna / Essen)


 

Have a nice day - Your SERI-Team.

last update 29-Aug-2002