From July 14-15, 2022, PLUS did launch its Kick-Off conference at the University of Giessen, Germany. Colleagues from all nine partner universities came together to constitute a network for international collaboration in social sciences concerns in sustainability.
For two days we did discuss aspects of future cooperation in sustainability teaching and research. Stimulating ideas for how the issue of sustainability could be accessed from a southern African and Latin American perspective have been shared by Prof. Eugene Chigbu (NUST, Namibia) and Prof. Carlos Larrea (UASB, Colombia). Their presentations initiated an intense debate about the understanding of sustainability, especially from the Global South and within a diverse world.
In her Keynote lecture, Prof. Sarita Henrikson (UP Mozambique) reflected on possible formats for academic practices that were didactically and practice-wise directed towards building sustainable societies.
In their discussions, the participating partners did especially reflect on questions of transdisciplinary research that was to emerge in direct collaboration with the everyday-life practices of the civil society in which our universities are embedded. In this context, the concept of the living lab has been discussed intensely. Here, the conference did receive expertise and inspiration from Julia Backhaus (RWTH Aachen).