Dear friends and colleagues,

Welcome to the 4th edition of SERI's InfoMail in 2005. InfoMail ist the regularly published electronic news bulletin of the Sustainable Europe Research Institute (SERI). You are receiving this InfoMail, because you indicated an interest in SERI's activities. To unsubscribe see the end of this InfoMail.

The web-edition of our current InfoMail is available at: www.seri.at/infomail. There you will also find the InfoMail Archive.

Table of contents

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

  • New "Happiness"-Webpage has been launched
  • Joachim Spangenberg member of the editorial board of the Int. J. Innovation and Sustainable Development
  • Webpage www.sustdialogue.org has been launched

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

  • New project: Handbook for peer reviews of national sustainable development strategies
  • Methodology for Product Service System Innovation (MEPSS)
  • „The forest of tomorrow“– participative art project at www.nachhaltigkeit.at/morgen-wald
  • ALARM Consultative Forum established
  • Sustainability Strategies workshop in Brussels discusses EUSDS II
  • PASARELAS network launched

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

  • DBSA cooperation back on track

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

  • Assessments of Regional and Global Environmental Risks: Designing Processes for the Effective Use of Science in Decisionmaking
  • "Che ricchezza è se distrugge l’ambiente?"
  • Multi-Level Governance for Sustainability
  • Das Richtige über das Wichtige wissen

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

  • Visions of the Information Society, Nov 3-4 2005, St. Gallen
  • 3rd International Conference "Economic Globalization and Environmental Policy"
  • 12th Annual International Sustainable Development Research Conference: Call for papers
  • Research position at The University of Melbourne (Sustainable Transport)

6. SERI - 5 Years ago

  • "South-north material flows and ecologically unequal exchange" research area established
  • Employment and Environment – The Transfer Process
  • SERI Brownbag Seminar started

7. Going on in Vienna

  • Event: SERI brownbag seminars

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

The "Happiness" Webpage has been launched

The normative concept of sustainable development is already well established at nearly all political levels and scales. However, transitions to sustainable societies lag far behind the concept. At a societal level it is very often just associated with negative notions concerning a degree of personal material lifestyles, decreasing consumption, ect. The discourse of sustainable development is mainly driven by scientific and technical forms of communication. In order to reach broader discussions at the society level, the concept urgently needs to integrate emotional aspects. Socio-political concepts neglecting those aspects fail to be successful at a broad level, since they neglect liberty and dignity of individuals and the society as a whole. SERI aims to start a dialogue on emotional aspects focussed on the concept of happiness. Through the website www.work-life-society-happiness.net we invite all interested people to participate in the dialogue on integration of happiness and satisfaction into the concept of sustainable development. The website is co-ordinated by SERI and Karuna Consult, a Vienna based coaching and consulting company. An english version is in preparation.

Joachim Spangenberg member of the editorial board of the Int. J. Innovation and Sustainable Development

A new journal relevant for the sustainability research community, the International Journal of Innovation and Sustainable Development IJISD has been launched. Published by Inderscience Publ. (details see www.inderscience.com), it is edited by Delyse Springett, New Zealand; Joachim Spangenberg has been appointed member of the editorial board.

Webpage www.sustdialogue.org has been launched

The International Dialogue on Science and Practice in Sustainable Development is organized under the auspices of the Initiative of Science and Technology for Sustainability (ISTS), the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS), and the Sustainable Europe Research Institute (SERI); it will be hosted by the Unit for Social and Environmental Research (USER), Chiang Mai University, Thailand.

This international Dialogue aims to foster effective collaborations between scientists and practitioners to advance the practice of sustainable development, through knowledge sharing and promoting national, regional, and international actions and implementation. It will do so by featuring practical examples of successful collaborations, critical analyses of what has not worked and structured discussion fora to compare and consider experiences from around the world. Some 300 participants from developing and developed countries worldwide are expected to engage in true dialogues on how to best link knowledge with actions to achieve sustainable development, including policy makers, professionals and practitioners from the global communities of science and research, governments, business and industry, NGOs and think tanks, education and training institutions, national and international media, and private and public funding organizations. The expected outcome of the Dialogue is a comprehensive, timetabled, and agreed International Action Plan to strengthen existing sustainable development networks of collaboration between science and practice and create new alliances. The goal is to ensure that science-based knowledge contributes to implementing short-, medium- and long-term policies and measures towards achieving sustainable development.

For further information see www.sustdialogue.org or contact Jill Jäger at jill.jaeger@seri.at.

 

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

 

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

New project: Handbook for peer reviews of national sustainable development strategies

SERI together with the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) were commissioned by DG Environment to develop a handbook of guidance for conducting peer reviews of national sustainable development strategies (NSDS) in the EU.
The purpose of this project is to design the template, method, and core specifications of the peer review, which should allow a similar approach to be taken in reviews of different NSDS and enable exchanges of good implementation practices.
For more information see www.seri.at/nsds_evaluation.

Methodology for Product Service System Innovation (MEPSS)

SERI was a member of the scientific peer review group in this EU project which has been coordinated by Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) Amsterdam. An online webtool and handbook for the methodology have now been published an can be found at www.mepss.nl.
For further information on the project see www.seri.at/mepss and www.pss-info.com.

„The forest of tomorrow“– participative art project at www.nachhaltigkeit.at/morgen-wald

Within the topic of the month August “art and sustainable development “ at www.nachhaltigkeit.at, SERI designed the participative internet art project “forest of tomorrow” together with the German multimedia artist Herman Josef Hack. The project will be open during the whole month August. Its idea is based on the old ritual act of engraving (love-) messages in barks of trees to entrust them to the future. Trees are the guardians of such secret messages, sometimes for many hundred years. We designed a virtual forest at www.nachhaltigkeit.at/morgen-wald where each visitor can entrust messages to the future. We hope that many statements and messages will emerge which - already today - may (not only) be interesting for their writers.

ALARM Consultative Forum established

As a project dedicated to sustainable development and biodiversity conservation, ALARM cannot but include elements of post-normal science like uncertainty science, extended peer communities, deliberative decision making and transdisciplinary discourses. One important element in this respect is the establishment of the Consultative Forum (CF), consisting of an interdisciplinary scientific and a societal stakeholder board.

During its first session in Brussels on June 30th/July 1st, the members from science and humanities, politics and administration, business and trade unions, consumers and environmental NGOs discussed the sustainability scenarios developed by the ALARM team and gave important advice on how to improve them and their presentation. The CF will have an important role to play in shaping the future work of the socio-economic team. In order to do so, it will reconvene in November in Cologne to further discuss the scenarios, and to give advice on the case studies now starting.

Sustainability Strategies workshop in Brussels discusses EUSDS II

During a three day workshop held by the Sustainability Strategies project in Brussels in July, participants received up to date information regarding the revision of the EU Sustainable Development Strategy (called EUSDS II). The strategy, initially due to be adopted by the end of the year, will most probably be adopted at the EU 2006 Spring summit, but a further postponement cannot be ruled out at the moment. After the final Commission draft is available in September/October this year, several Council formations will discuss it before a final decision is taken. The EUSDS II will enlarge the range of priority issues, including for example sustainable production and consumption.

The most important weakness of the EUSDS II detectable so far is the missing interface to the revised Lisbon Strategy. Although both have been declared to be mutually supportive, there is no interface, no mutual compatibility assessment, no conflict resolution mechanism. And conflicts there will be: Following the Commission leadership (Baroso/Verheugen), economic growth has primacy above all other objectives, as it is a precondition for achieving them. On the other hand, the Council (under first Luxembourgian and now UK presidency) considered a healthy environment and social cohesion not as a result, but as a precondition for “sustained and sustainable growth”.

For more details contact Joachim.Spangenberg@seri.de.

PASARELAS project launched

The PASARELAS network, funded by DG Research’s INCO programme, had its first public meeting in Corti, Corse, in July. During a full week summer school, it focussed on economic development, environment and spatial aspects, with due emphasis given to methodological aspects of uncertainty, stakeholder participation, co-evolution and other elements of post-normal sustainability science. For more details and the papers presented see the homepages of the organising institutions, Universita di Corsica www.univ-corse.fr and C3ED at the Universite de Versailles St.-Quentin-en Yvelines www.c3ed.uvsq.fr.

 

For more information on our projects check also www.seri.at/projects.

 

3. SERI and Friends: News about co-operation and partnerships

DBSA cooperation back on track

After half a year of delay due to internal reasons, the plan to establish a formal cooperation of SERI and the Development Bank of Southern Africa DBSA are now back on track. We try to identify how SERI can help the DBSA to strengthen the sustainability component in its development plans, investment projects and lending policies all across the South of Africa.

 

For more news please check also www.seri.at.

 

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

Assessments of Regional and Global Environmental Risks: Designing Processes for the Effective Use of Science in Decisionmaking
Alexander E. Farrell and Jill Jäger, editors
Resources for the Future; forthcoming August 2005; 288 pages.

As environmental challenges grow larger in scale and implications, it is increasingly important to apply the best scientific knowledge in the decisionmaking process. Editors Farrell and Jäger present environmental assessments as the bridge between the expert knowledge of scientists and engineers on the one hand and decisionmakers on the other. When done well, assessments have a positive impact on public policy, the strategic decisions of private firms, and, ultimately, the quality of life for many people.

This book is the result of an international, interdisciplinary research project to analyze past environmental assessments and understand how their design influenced their effectiveness in bringing scientific evidence and insight into the decisionmaking process. The case studies in the book feature a wide range of regional and global risks, including ozone depletion, transboundary air pollution, and climate change.

Assessments of Regional and Global Environmental Risks offers several important contributions. It provides a clear account of the choices faced in the design of environmental assessments and a clear description of the lessons learned from past assessments. It illustrates why assessments are social processes, not simply reports. And, while they identify no universal, one-size-fits-all design, the authors find that, to be effective, environmental assessments must be viewed by those who produce and use them as being salient; credible in their scientific support; and legitimate, or fair in design and execution.
Ordering Information: www.rff.org/rff/RFF_Press/Ordering_Information.cfm.

"Che ricchezza è se distrugge l’ambiente?"
Article by Friedrich Hinterberger in the Italian journal "Reset"

Unemployment and environmental disruption seem to have the same causes and have to be dealt with in a joint effort. The concepts of happiness and "work-live-society-balance" could serve as a guiding principle for new (sustainability) policies in Europe - integrating economic, environmental, social and other policies towards a joint overall objective. The article is part of an 18 pages section on the economics of happiness and its role for policy, including an interview with Sir R. Layard. (www.caffeeuropa.it/reset/numero90/primopiano.html). Reset, No 90, July/August 2005, pp. 41-43 (www.reset.it).

Multi-Level Governance for Sustainability
W. Blaas, editor (Technical University Vienna),
78 pages, 5.80 €

Published as volume 1-2/2005 of the Research Memoranda series of the Department for Fiscal Science and Infrastructure Policy of the Vienna Technical University, this bilingual volume contains eight papers on sustainability governance. It is essentially the result of a workshop held in Vienna in March 2004 as part of the Sustainability Strategy project coordinated by FU Berlin and SERI. The authors, friends and members of SERI, include Paul M. Weaver, Meike Spitzner, Frieder Otto Wolf and Joachim H. Spangenberg.
Ordering information: www.ifip.tuwien.ac.at

Das Richtige über das Wichtige wissen

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Albert Einsteins death, the German journal W&F (Science and Peace) has published a special issue 3/2005. Joachim Spangenberg contributed a paper on sustainability science as a challenge to the system of science.

 

For other interesting publications please visit www.seri.at/publications.


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

Visions of the Information Society, Nov 3-4 2005, St. Gallen

Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) bring about new opportunities as well as new risks for the goal of sustainable development. Even after the first UN World Summit on the Information Society in Geneva 2003, the relationship between issues of the global information society and of sustainable development is not being discussed adequately. It seems that the interdisciplinary and international research in this field is just beginning.

The VIS conference www.empa.ch/vis2005 aims to develop and discuss visions of the information society that take into account the idea of sustainable development: What constitutes an information society that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs? Empa's four-year research program Sustainability in the Information Society (SIS), co-funded by the ETH Board, was devoted to this question and has initiated and coordinated a series of projects at Empa's Technology and Society Lab www.empa.ch/tsl.

Register now at www.empa.ch/vis2005 for this conference. The number of participants is limited in order to enable intensive discussions and efficient networking.

3rd International Conference "Economic Globalization and Environmental Policy"

The conference is organised by Warsaw School of Economics, Institute of International Economics and The Ellison Center, Jackson School of International Studies University of Washington, Seattle, WA with contribution of European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists - Polish Division Warsaw School of Economics. It takes place in Warsaw, at 25 - 26 May, 2006.

Deadlines:
December 10th, 2005 - papers submission
January 31st, 2006 - acceptance notification
March 17th, 2006 - registration

Conference fee is EURO 100. It covers participation cost, meals and Conference proceedings. Accommodation and travel costs should be covered by participants. A list of recommended hotels will be available at the Conference website. The Organizing Committee will be pleased to assist with hotel reservation.
Download the conference announcement.
For further information please visit the conference website at: www.globalization.waw.pl.

12th Annual International Sustainable Development Research Conference: Call for papers

In 2006, the Annual International Sustainable Development Research Conference will take place in Hongkong, providing an interesting opportunity to get in touch with the fastest growing science community (according to the latest EU Commission report: trendchart.cordis.lu/scoreboards/scoreboard2005/index.cfm). Now the call for papers is out; for more information about the conference see www.hku.hk/sdconf06. The Conference pamphlet can be downloaded from: www.hku.hk/sdconf06/SDconf_pamphlet.pdf

Research position at The University of Melbourne (Sustainable Transport)

This research position, funded by The Volvo Research and Education Foundations, is part of a wider international program to discover ecologically sustainable and socially just means of future urban transport. The position is for a political scientist, urban planner or environmentalist to work with Assoc. Prof. Nicholas Low to conduct a systematic review (from published literature including academic and policy documents, and Internet sources) of successful examples of institutional change in the transport policy field worldwide and in Australia, identifying suitable case studies for further investigation. An allowance for travel and per diem costs within Australia is available.

Faculty of Architecture, Building & Planning, University of Melbourne
Position No: B0001236
Classification: Research Fellow 1, Level A (0102)
Salary: $43,011 – $58,368 per annum
Superannuation: Employer superannuation contributions of 9 percent.
Employment Type: This is a 0.8 full time (fixed-term) position available for 1 year. The position may be extended for a further year.
Other Benefits: Salary packaging and staff training and development opportunities.
Advice to applicants:
Send applications to: Vice-Principal (Human Resources), The University of Melbourne Victoria 3010 email hr-applications@unimelb.edu.au or fax +61 3 8344 6080. Applicants must address the selection criteria and provide a detailed curriculum vitae by the closing date. Please quote the position number and include the names, phone, facsimile numbers and email addresses of three referees in your application.
For enquiries contact: Assoc Prof Nicholas Low, A/Head Urban Planning program, tel +61 3 8344 6551 or email npl@unimelb.edu.au.

Closing Date: 8 August 2005

Selection Criteria

Essential
· The candidate should have a PhD or equivalent research experience.
· Demonstrated experience in public policy analysis.
· Proven ability to undertake political-institutional research.
· Willingness to undertake travel as required.
· Excellent communication skills including skills in preparing written and oral presentations and publications.
· Demonstrated ability to work independently and in a team environment.
· Capacity rapidly to digest new theoretical concepts.

Desirable
· Demonstrated understanding of the concept of ecological sustainability.
· Experience with transport policy.
· Possession of a driver’s licence.
· Understanding of the concept of ‘path dependence’ in political science.

Ecologic welcomes applications from environmental economists

* with at least five years experience [reference number 2005-07] and
* with less than five years experience [reference number 2005-08].

Responsibilities include carrying out and handling research and consulting
projects for Ecologic's clients and sponsors concerning environmental
economics as well as economic aspects in a range of environmental policy
issues, mainly at the international and European levels. Particularly
relevant topics include economic valuation, cost-benefit analysis, water,
climate (esp. trading schemes), and transport.

Successful applicants will have an advanced degree in economics. A
demonstrated interest in environmental policy is required.

The positions demand excellent analytical, writing and communications
skills. Experience/interest in multi-disciplinary work and economic
expertise in supporting policy development and implementation are required.
Fluent English and German are essential; additional languages would be an
advantage. The positions are based in Berlin and require frequent travel.

Please include the following in your application:

* a cover letter including the reference number and your expected salary,
* a CV,
* a list of projects and publications,
* a writing sample (e.g. article, seminar paper) in each language you feel comfortable working in, and
* name and contact information of two references.
* A photo is not required.

Closing date: 22 August 2005

Please do not apply by e-mail. Thank you for your consideration. Please forward your application to:
Ecologic
Pfalzburger Str. 43/44
D-10717 Berlin

www.ecologic.de


For other interesting activities and links click www.seri.at.

 

6. SERI - 5 years ago

"South-north material flows and ecologically unequal exchange" research area established

SERI established a new research area entitled „Material Flows in South-North Trade Relations and Ecologically Unequal Exchange“.
Within the framework of this new research area, SERI focuses on the analysis of material flows in south-north trade relations. In co-operation with partner institutions in southern countries, SERI aims to demonstrate the impacts of the specialisation on the export of resource intensive primary commodities and the long-term consequences for future economic development potentials in the southern countries. Furthermore, material flow analyses are especially suitable to show the unequal exchange of natural resources in the world trade system.
For a presentation of the research area visit: www.seri.at/globalisation.

Employment and Environment – The Transfer Process

From January 1998 to spring 2000, more than 100 researchers were involved in the „Employment and Environment“ project, exploring ways to reconcile job creation, economic competitiveness and environmental protection. The Science Centre for the Social Sciences Berlin WZB, the German Institute for Economic Research DIW and the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment, Energy collaborated in a project commissioned by the German trade unions’ Hans-Boeckler-Foundation (see www.a-und-oe.de).
SERI (together with WZB and DIW) coordinated the transfer process, making the results available for trade unions and the civil society at large. This includes presentations to the boards and staff members of all major trade unions, public presentations and publications. The board of the German Trade union Federation already welcomed the results and declared its intention to use them for debate and campaigning.

SERI Brownbag Seminar started

In August 2000, SERI started a new series: The SERI brownbag seminar. In a loose series of lectures, we want to discuss our own work and that of our colleagues.
The brownbag series was starting with a lecture by: Niki Rosinski (Uni Lueneburg) on Sustainable Finance. Date and time: 30th August 2000 at 12 noon.

 

7. Going on in Vienna

SERI brownbag seminars continue in autumn

The SERI brownbag seminar series will be continued in autumn. If you are interested in contributing a seminar, please contact Lisa Bohunovsky at lisa@seri.at.

 

For more information on SERI related events in Vienna please surf to www.seri.at/events.


These were our messages and news for this month. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for detailed information on our projects and for possibilities in co-operation and partnership. It’s a challenge to start an interactive dialogue of exchanging experiences. You are all invited to participate in this process.

SERI is the first "virtual" research institute on sustainable development with associated researchers all over Europe. If you want to get more detailed information on the Institute and its members please visit our website: www.seri.at.

The Sustainable Europe Research Institute, together with a supporting legal association, exists since September 1999 according to Austrian Law. The headquarters have been established in Vienna. We would like to invite you to participate in this undertaking.

The Sustainable Europe Research Institute (SERI) is a Pan-European think tank aiming to explore sustainable development options for European societies. The Institute aims to develop the concept of environmental space and shows ways to substantially reduce the resource throughput of modern industrial societies. The research carried out by members of SERI supports the dialogue within European civil society. It specifically aims to further develop the exchange of ideas between environmental citizens organisations, governments, trade unions and industry. The scientific dialogue SERI aims to engender is supported by its web page and this newsletter, conferences, meetings as well as publications.

All InfoMail editions since the year 2000 are downloadable as pdf-Files at www.seri.at/infomail. On this website you’ll also find all other editions as well as the current InfoMail, offering the advantage of easy and fast navigation through the InfoMail’s topics. You’ll have easy access to all downloadable files, links and other resources of the SERI Internet-presentation.

Have a nice day – your SERI-Team.


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SERI-Infomail 04/05 distributed by Andrea Stocker (Managing Editor). All Rights Reserved. © SERI 2000 – 2005 (Vienna / August 2005).