Research and teaching project: How does sustainable transition work?

Windrad-Gondel im Hof des Neue Energien Forum Feldheim

Windrad-Gondel im Hof des Neue Energien Forum Feldheim (c) Eva Greiner

The European Union has started to align its cohesion and investment policies with sustainable development goals, and so have the federal German government and the government of the State Brandenburg. But, how are sustainability agendas understood and implemented locally, by actors who have commited to specific projects of sustainable transition, so-called change-makers? What sense do they make of multilevel sustainability governance? Students of European University Viadrina address these questions in a series of classes on sustainable transition in the State Brandenburg designed and directed by Amelie Kutter. They identify challenges of sustainable transition in fields like renewables, forest restructuring, renaturation, organic farming, and sustainability literarcy that are specific of the region. They explore the political-legal frameworks of multilevel governance related to the Agenda 2030, and design their own research projects, in which they explore the views and demands of selected change-makers.

The project and series of classes follows the philosophy of Challenge-Based Learning and is coached by the Centre for Teaching and Learning at Viadrina and supported by the MA European Studies at Viadrina, including by the research assistant Lena Koperek.


October 2024-February 2025: Development of scenarios for borderegional sustainable development together with Kooperationszentrum Frankfurt (Oder) und Słubice, in the frames of the Interreg project ‘Grüne mobile Doppelstadt’

July 2024: Round table on peatland rewetting and alternative uses of peatland in Brandenburg and Schleswig-Holstein

  • Julia Hoffmann, Abteilung Naturschutz, Ministerium für Energiewende, Klimaschutz, Umweltschutz und Natur des Landes Schleswig-Holstein
  • Daniel Kohler (Architekturbüro Kohler) und Heinrich Burhorst (neo-bp Projektmanagement und Bauplanung)
  • Axel Steffen, Abteilung Umwelt, Klimaschutz, Nachhaltigkeit, Ministerium für Landwirtschaft, Umwelt und Klima des Landes Brandenburg
  • Matthias Zachert, Geschäftsführer der Agrargenossenschaft Löpten-Briesen e.G.

May 2024: Study trip to peatland rewetting projects of the agricultural cooperative ‘Agrargenossenschaft Löpten-Briesen e.G.’

November 2023: Exkursion. Waldspaziergang zum Tesla-Gelände mit der Bürgerinitiative Grünheide

November 2023: Study trip, joining the walk in the woods to the Tesla’s ‘Giga-Factory’ in Grünheide organised by Citizens’ Initiative Grünheide

Oktober 2023 bis Januar 2024: Besuch der Veranstaltungsreihe “Mehr. Weniger. Machen! Wie der Weg in eine nachhaltige Welt gelingen kann” des NABU Brandenburg

Juli 2023: Study trip to actors of sustainble transition in the region ‘Oderbruch’, in cooperation with Roland Kant und Dr. habil. Elsa Tulmets

June 2023: Talk by Vivika Lemke, director of the sustainability departement of the government of the State Schleswig-Holstein, revealing inisghts in tools of sustainability governance adopted by Schleswig-Holstein

May 2023: Visit at the 4th plenary meeting of the sustainability platform Brandenburg:  Nachhaltigkeitsplattform Brandenburg

May 2023: Study trip to Minister Axel Vogel at the Brandenburg ministry for agriculture, environment and climate, in cooperation with Dr. Anja Hennig

April 2023: Presentation of project results by students participating in the class in winter term 2022/2023: Views on problems and solutions by actors in the fields of organic food provision, renaturation and water retention, and energy transition.

February 2023: Study trip to ‘energy independent’ village Feldheim, visit of the Neue Energien Forum Feldheim. Participants published a report: Exkursionsbericht [en:]