After a successful premiere of EPICUR´s first EPICamp in October 2021, the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna (BOKU), recently offered the stage for the second EPICamp on the topic of Sustainability. The online event that was held during two days at the beginning of December (2./3. Dec, 2021), took on the current topics of our time – sustainability, material use and climate justice – focusing on: “a global sustainability transition from a socio-metabolic perspective integrating land-use, material use, energy transition, climate justice, and ecosystem impact.”
Organised by the EPICUR-University of BOKU Vienna, more than 100 researchers from all across Europe (and beyond) registered to participate and network in this virtual conference. Aiming primarily at Early Career Researchers (ECRs), the 2nd EPICamp was designed to initiate exchange and explore ways to tackle the climate crisis and to enable a sustainability transformation while considering intra- and intergenerational justice.
Starting off with welcome speeches by the rector of the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna – Prof. DI Dr. Hasenauer – and the vice rector for research from the University of Freiburg – Prof. Dr. Kleinschmit – the EPICamp featured different sessions including early-career presentations and discussion; expert inputs; panel discussions; and other open format sessions.
After the following interactive “getting to know each other session”, in which the participants had a chance to briefly present themselves to one another, Julia K. Steinberger from the University of Lausanne gave a stimulating input on the topic “Living well within planetary limits: Is it possible? What would it take?” which provoked critical reflections particularly around justice perspectives in the sustainability research agenda and kicked-off the intellectual exchange and networking opportunities between the participants.
Which sustainability problem(s) is/are most present or pressing in your region?
With thematic contributions from different EPICUR Universities, Foci were set on sessions dealing with topics such as “metabolism”, “resource use”, “climate change”, “renewable energies” and “land use”, bringing together researchers working on sustainability from different disciplines, research fields, and research experience.
Participants of the 2nd EPICamp pointed out that they were very happy with the wide range and variety of perspectives on the overall topic and particularly very pleased with three sessions that were reserved for Early Career Researchers to present and then discuss their research interests and ideas among themselves with regard to possible future collaboration projects. These sessions, that were organised as open format sessions gave space for deep and fruitful discussions and lively exchange about what had been presented in the previous sessions and to explore potential common research interests.
Using interactive formats and tools like Spatial chat, the opportunity to come together and exchange amongst each other and with senior scientists, was very well received. Providing a panel discussion on research methods in inter- and transdisciplinary sustainability science, the last session of the EPICamp aimed at providing insights on how to conduct sustainability-oriented research which are of relevance to any early-career researcher independent of individual background.
With more than around 50 active participants from all over Europe, this event shows that EPICamps are an important platform for Early Career Researchers to connect, exchange and further expand and strengthen their future cooperation across disciplines. EPICUR Research is very happy to take part in this journey and excited to already announce the upcoming EPICamps for 2022:
3rd EPICamp “European identities and/or collective identities”, January 21 and 22, 2022 (online), hosted by the University of Haute-Alsace.
4th EPICamp “Hydrosphere: Challenges of preserving and using WATER (Eco-) Systems in the Anthropocene”, Save-the-Date 23.-24.03.2022. More Information, including the CfP, will follow soon.
5th EPICamp “Sustainable cities and regional transitions: Illuminating city–hinterland co-evolutionary relationships”, Save-the-Date 31.03.2022-01.04 (tbc)