Daniel J Lang

Daniel J Lang
Leuphana University Lüneburg ·  Institute of Ethics and Transdisciplinary Sustainability Research

Univ.-Prof. Dr.

About

155
Publications
95,391
Reads
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8,157
Citations
Additional affiliations
April 2012 - March 2016
Leuphana University Lüneburg
Position
  • Head of Faculty
January 2010 - present
Leuphana University Lüneburg
Position
  • Managing Director
September 2001 - October 2009
ETH Zurich
Position
  • Senior Researcher, PhD Student

Publications

Publications (155)
Article
Both within science and society, transdisciplinary approaches are increasingly employed to address today’s sustainability challenges. Often transdisciplinary research processes are structured in three core phases: a) problem identification and formation of a common research object; b) co-production of solution-oriented and transferable knowledge; c...
Article
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The discourse revolving around “new modes of knowledge production”—particularly in sustainability-oriented research—seems to suggest a duality of transdisciplinary versus non-transdisciplinary research. Yet, in reality, a spectrum of transdisciplinary research modes may be expected. This article offers an empirically grounded distinction of five re...
Article
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Since the emergence of transdisciplinary research, context dependencies, innovative formats and methods, societal effects, and scientific effects are key aspects that have been discussed at length. However, what is still missing is an integrative perspective on these four aspects, and the guidance on how to apply such an integrative perspective in...
Article
Purpose This research aims to investigate the role of project-based-learning within graduate sustainability curricula through the lens of key competence development. Project-based learning has become a widely recommended pedagogy for sustainability education. It is hypothesized that through collaboration, student autonomy and real-world application...
Article
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Sustainability transformations research increasingly recognizes the importance of local actors and their networks to foster fundamental societal change. Local actors have different types of relations between each other (e.g., sharing material resources, giving advice) through which they jointly intervene in different system characteristics. We cond...
Article
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Knowledge is a vital resource for both understanding and addressing pressing social–ecological challenges of our time. Sustainability scientists have thus increasingly turned their attention to the role and relevance of knowledge for societal change. However, as identified in this study, the research landscape is very broad and fragmented, with lit...
Article
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The concept of leverage points offers great potential to consider how we can intervene in systems to create transformations for sustainability. In this special issue, we draw together a diverse collection of research that engages with this central idea. The papers cover three broad topics: (1) the use of a ‘leverage points lens’ for systems framing...
Article
2011 trat der Nawis -Verbund mit dem Vorhaben an, transdisziplinäre Nachhaltigkeitswissenschaft institutionell zu etablieren und einen Wandel im Wissenschaftssystem anzu stoßen. Damit verbunden ist die neu gedachte Wissenschaftspraxis der transformativen Forschung, die eine analytische Komponente und einen normativen Auftrag umfasst.
Article
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Creating connections between consumers and producers (relational proximity) seems a promising approach to foster sustainable consumption behaviour in international food supply. In this intervention study, we tested three experiential marketing interventions to connect consumers to producers of an international community-supported agriculture (CSA)...
Article
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The sustainability challenges the world faces today call for concerted and immediate action. Complementing problem-oriented, descriptive-analytical research with solution-oriented research could strengthen sustainability science’s contribution to address these challenges. We introduce different types of solution-oriented sustainability research to...
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The transdisciplinary research mode has gained prominence in the research on and for sustainability transformations. Yet, solution-oriented research addressing complex sustainability problems has become complex itself, with new transdisciplinary research formats being developed and tested for this purpose. Application of new formats offers learning...
Article
Purpose This paper aims to investigate student experiences and the potential impact of experience-based learning (EBL) in the early phase of graduate sustainability programs through the lens of key competencies. The goal is to provide evidence for the improvement of existing and the thorough design of new EBL formats in sustainability programs. De...
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Many detrimental effects on the environment, economy, and society are associated with the structure and practices of food systems around the world. While there is increasing agreement on the need for substantive change in food systems towards sustainability, divergent perspectives exist on what the appropriate points of intervention and strategies...
Article
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Two new academies support future change agents: The Postdoc Academy for Transformational Leadership is designed to develop the next generation of leaders in sustainability and transformation research. And the platform tdAcademy aims to be a continuously evolving knowledge base for transdisciplinary research.
Article
Sustainability science needs more systematic approaches for mobilizing knowledge in support of interventions that may bring about transformative change. In this Perspective, we contend that action-oriented knowledge for sustainability emerges when working in integrated ways with the many kinds of knowledge involved in the shared design, enactment a...
Article
There is urgent need to change the way we make use of non-renewable resources, especially metals, to sustain their availability for vital technologies associated with achieving change towards sustainability, but also to minimize negative impacts and to achieve a fair distribution of the wealth and burdens associated with their production and use. E...
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Formalised knowledge systems, including universities and research institutes, are important for contemporary societies. They are, however, also arguably failing humanity when their impact is measured against the level of progress being made in stimulating the societal changes needed to address challenges like climate change. In this research we use...
Article
Semi-immersive visualization facilities support research, planning, and decision-making at the science-society-policy interface. Decision theaters, visualization studios, and similar installations—here referred to as Decision-Visualization Environments (DVEs)—facilitate human-computer-content interactions to explore climate change impacts, resource...
Article
Effective actions to mitigate climate change are urgently needed, especially in the context of cities, which are major sources of global CO2 emissions. Establishing and managing knowledge systems that integrate local knowledge can contribute to establishing more effective responses to climate change as well as transformative change towards sustaina...
Technical Report
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As fulcrums for knowledge generation, higher education institutions take a key role in sustainable transformation. Part of their responsibility is the education of future change agents. These leaders will need competencies associated with effective complex problem solving, but evidence-based insights on how to develop and implement powerful compete...
Article
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Abstract Amplifying the impact of sustainability initiatives to foster transformations in urban and rural contexts, has received increasing attention in resilience, social innovation, and sustainability transitions research. We review the literature on amplification frameworks and propose an integrative typology of eight processes, which aim to inc...
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Scholars, politicians, practitioners, and civil society increasingly call for sustainability transformations to cope with urgent social and environmental challenges. In sustainability transformations research, understandings of transformations are often dominated by Western scientific knowledge. Through a systematic literature review, we investigat...
Article
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Although sustainability science and social-ecological systems research pursue very similar goals, i.e., generate problem- and solution-oriented knowledge to foster sustainability transformation, they partly apply different research approaches and use different key concepts. Our aim is to identify archetypes of sustainability transformation research...
Article
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Transformational research frameworks provide understanding and guidance for fostering change towards sustainability. They comprise stages of system understanding, visioning and co-designing intervention strategies to foster change. Guidance and empirical examples for how to facilitate the process of co-designing intervention strategies in real-worl...
Article
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Ways towards sustainable development will require mutual learning processes and processes of change across disciplines and stakeholders and between the Global South and North. The new Institute for Sustainable Development and Learning aims to meet these requirements ‐ through transdisciplinary learning as evidence-generating and evidence-supported...
Article
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International food supply is often associated with negative externalities including injustices across the economic value chain favoring trade over production and processing, significant transport‐related greenhouse gas emissions, and poor working conditions in the regions where food is being produced or processed. Relevant proxies for this situatio...
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Despite the normative nature of sustainability, values and their role in sustainability transformations are often discussed in vague terms, and when concrete conceptualizations exist, they widely differ across fields of application. To provide guidance for navigating the complexity arising from the various conceptualizations and operationalization...
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Sustainability-oriented research has increasingly adopted "new" modes of research promoted under labels such as 'post-normal science', 'mode 2 knowledge production' or 'transdisciplinarity', aiming to address societally relevant problems and to produce 'socially robust' knowledge by involving relevant scientific disciplines and non-academic actors...
Preprint
This paper investigates the role of experience-based learning in the early phase of graduate sustainability programs through the lens of key competencies. Three sustainability graduate programs were selected, and the first semester of one cohort of each program was followed to learn about the teaching and learning environment, curriculum, activitie...
Article
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Inter- and transdisciplinarity are increasingly relevant concepts and research practices within academia. Although there is a consensus about the need to apply these practices, there is no agreement over definitions. Building on the outcomes of the first year of the COST Action TD1408 “Interdisciplinarity in research programming and funding cycles”...
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Municipalities play an important role in fostering sustainable development at the local level. Yet, they still face significant challenges in comprehensively integrating sustainability aspects into administrative action. In order to overcome real or perceived barriers to implementing sustainability into administrative practices comprehensively, thi...
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We argue that the increasing use of experimental approaches in transition and transformational research on potential sustainability solutions could substantially profit from application of the principles of stratification and stratified experimental design. We illustrate our proposition with three worked examples of hypothetical transition experime...
Article
Cities worldwide are rising to the challenge of sustainable development, calling for large-scale and fast-paced transformations towards sustainability. Urban sustainability challenges are now being reframed as a lack of capacity of individuals and organizations to carry out such socio-technical transformations. This article expands on transformativ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Various institutions and organizations offer semi-immersive decision-visualization environments to support research, planning, and decision-making at the science-society-policy interface. Decision theaters, visualization studios, and similar facilities-in this study summarized as Decision-Visualization Environments (DVEs)-facilitate human-computer-...
Article
Within the next two decades, large areas will be converted into urban environments, a process that will include enormous transformations in economic activity, environmental health, and social justice. To address these complex problems, scholars use the metaphor of the “urban metabolism,” describing an understanding of the interdependencies and dyna...
Article
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As places where future citizens are educated, knowledge is (co-)produced and societal developments are critically reflected, higher education institutions (HEIs) can play a key role in addressing sustainability challenges. In order to accelerate mutual learning, shared problem understanding, and joint development of sustainable solutions, interinst...
Article
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The urgency of climate change and other sustainability challenges makes transferring and scaling solutions between cities a necessity. However, solutions are deeply contextual. To accelerate solution efforts, there is a need to understand how context shapes the development of solutions. Universities are well positioned to work with cities on transf...
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The idea of sustainability is intrinsically normative. Thus, understanding the role of normativity in sustainability discourses is crucial for further developing sustainability science. In this article, we analyze three important documents that aim to advance sustainability and explore how they organize norms in relation to sustainability. The thre...
Chapter
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There is a shared agreement that digital technologies, from eLearning to Web 2.0 technologies, should play an important role in transnational collaborations. However, it is still unclear how to think about and design environments for teaching and learning that make use of such technologies in transnational collaborations between universities. In th...
Data
This includes an comprehensive review of publications on real-world labs and an overview on which publication is mentioning which RwL characteristic. In addition, key readings on Sustainability Living Labs, Urban Transition Labs and Transformation Labs are provided.
Cover Page
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At the science-society interface, new forms of experimental and transdisciplinary research approaches, labelled as labs in the real world, have been established to accelerate transformations towards more sustain able societies and to transfer existing knowledge into action. In this special issue funded by the Ministry of Science, Research and Arts...
Data
This includes detailed versions of the semantic maps depicted in the main text as well as a temporally differentiated semantic map. In addition, lists of most cited publications on Labs in the Real World in general (LRW) as well as sustainability related labs in particular (Sust LRW) are presented. In addition, two lists of all Real-world Laborator...
Article
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There is a strong trend towards research in society-based laboratories, especially in relation to sustainability. Semantic analysis reveals related discourses and emerging lines of inquiry, namely transformative potential, transdisciplinarity and learning. Real-world laboratories are a dynamic example of this research. Contributions of how to deepe...
Article
Full-text available
There is a strong trend towards research in society-based laboratories, especially in relation to sustainability. Semantic analysis reveals related discourses and emerging lines of inquiry, namely transformative potential, transdisciplinarity and learning. Real-world laboratories are a dynamic example of this research. Contributions of how to dee...
Article
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Real-world laboratories (RwLs, German Reallabore) belong to a family of increasingly popular experimental and transdisciplinary research approaches at the science-society interface. As these approaches in general, and RwLs in particular, often lack clear definitions of key characteristics and their operationalization, we make two contributions in t...
Article
Der NaWis -Verbund will Impulse für eine transdisziplinäre und transformative Wissenschaft geben. Dafür wollen die Partnerinstitutionen Forschungsmethoden entwickeln und diese in gesellschaftlich relevanten Problemfeldern anwenden. Zudem sollen Kriterien zur Qualitätssicherung und Wirkungskontrolle erstellt werden.
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Urban areas provide space and place for experimentation with sustain ability transitions in real-world laboratories. Members of the existing urban laboratories in Baden-Württemberg and experts have discussed the challenges of these innovative research settings, as well as possible solutions.
Article
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In 2015, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) announced that the Science Year 2015 would focus on the “City of the Future”. It called for innovative projects from cities and communities in Germany dedicated to exploring future options and scenarios for sustainable development. Among the successful respondents was the city of...
Article
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Transdisciplinary research between diverse academic and societal actors is a core practice in sustainability science. However, it often seems to fail in delivering new scientific insights while also significantly contributing to sustainability transformations. It is also often experienced as a burden instead of adding value, which leads to fatigue...
Article
Urban heat waves are an increasing phenomenon around the world. Over the last decade the combination of climate change and the urban heat island effect have resulted in rising temperatures in cities. The related heat stress has severe impact on urban populations and infrastructure. However, it is unclear to what extent solutions to urban heat waves...
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The regional level is essential for the use of renewable energies since on this level national political goals are harmonized with implementation activities. Hence, regional strategies can, we argue, be useful. Yet, these strategies must be tailored to meet a variety of contextual conditions. Within this study, we identified natural and socio-econo...
Article
We continue to understand little about how to best design and operate transnational collaborations between universities to advance research and education for sustainability. This article explores general practices in transnational research and teaching that can provide information and inspiration for the sustainability field. The article follows a...
Article
Understanding what drives the regional implementation of renewable energy is a prerequisite for energy transitions toward a post-fossil-based energy economy. This paper presents an empirical analysis of driving factors for the regional implementation and use of renewable energy. We tested literature-derived driving factors in a comparative analysis...
Article
The language of the global sustainability discourse in science and society is laden with time rhetoric, and time has been identified as one major contextual condition for sustainability transformations. Still, time and temporal dynamics are often not explicitly considered or conceptualized in research and strategy-building towards sustainability tr...
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Sustainability transitions aim to comprehensively address key challenges of today's societies through harmonizing ecological integrity and social viability. During the last decades, increasing attention has focused on the conceptual development and identification of trajectories that navigate societies toward sustainability. While a broad agreement...
Article
Fostering sustainability implies the use of better technologies, chemicals, materials, and industrial processes. This makes chemicals and resources such as metals inevitable components of and contributors to the envisioned societal sustainability transformation. At the same time, they are the source of various adverse effects that ought to be addre...
Article
Energy use plays a vital role for human well-being. However, human well-being can also be affected by socioeconomic and environmental impacts associated with the use of different primary energy sources. Nuclear energy production is perceived as one means of satisfying national energy demand while contributing to a potentially sustainable energy tra...
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A GAIA special issue will focus on reflections and empirical insights regarding real-world laboratories. In order to bring the growing research community together and to combine empirical evidence, the guest editors hereby invite colleagues to submit papers.