The conference is a follow-up event of the International Year of Global Understanding (IYGU) and is looking in the same spirit to explore new ways to integrate the cultural, social and regional dimensions in sustainable development policies.
The natural sciences have driven the world’s attention to the ecologically harmful consequences of modern lifestyles. These insights were and remain highly important. But what has become more and more obvious over the last decades is that they are not sufficient for motivating and implementing a sustained and self-responsible change of the ways of living.
For this we need a broad humanistic approach. For the benefit of all, the inclusion of the insights of the humanities and the social sciences is required. In the long run, deep and peaceful societal transformations without the social sciences’ and the humanities’ insights are hardly feasible.
Getting people engaged and involved on a broad front for deep societal transformations is asking first of all a respectful appreciation of cultural and social diversity and particularities across different regions of the world. Consequently, we need to find regionally and culturally differentiated paths to reach that goal. This is the background for the thematic alignment of the conference.