CSH Workshop: “Eternity Costs and Wicked Legacies—Unacknowledged Constraints to a Sustainability Transformation?”

Jun 11, 2018 | 9:00Jun 12, 2018 | 17:00

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This workshop is organized by Verena Winiwarter from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna.


Please find the agenda HERE





This exploratory workshop brings together experts from different fields to discuss the complex and wicked issue of long-term legacies that might compromise any sustainability transition. It is clear that knowledge and methods from a wide range of disciplines are needed to address this issue. Participants are invited to identify possibilities to address these issues in joint research, using the potential of big data and of a long-term view on side-effects as employed in environmental history.


What is the issue?


The fossil-fuel based way of living has enabled society to gain unprecedented control over materials and develop multiple technologies. Its side effects are likewise unprecedented. A sustainability transformation envisaged as the way out of this conundrum is operationalized in the SDGs on a global level. Goal 3.9 specifically addresses the toxic legacies, but as a health issue: “By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water and soil pollution and contamination”, Goal 6.3 spells out the water-related perspective: “By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally.” While the introduction to the SDGs claims that the negative impacts of urban activities and of hazardous chemicals should be reduced, the document is devoid of any systematic treatment of the legacies of the industrial mode of living which have developed since the 1850s at the very latest.




Monday, June 11, 2018


09:15 – 09:30 Welcome & Introduction to the Hub

09:30 – 10:30 Introductions by all participants

10:30 – 11:00 Coffee Break and first informal conversations

11:00 – 12:30 Mortgaging the future: eternity costs and wicked legacies (Input), followed by Q&A


12:30 – 13:30 Lunch


13:30 – 15:10 Impulse Statements by Participants

15:10 – 15:30 Coffee Break and a Moment of Relaxation

15:30 – 17:20 Impulse Statements by Participants


TRANSFER to the Austrian Academy of Sciences



“Guardians of Eternity”: Public screening & panel discussion


18:30 – 20:00 Public Screening of the Documentary “Guardians of Eternity”


The film is followed by a panel and general discussion with Elisabeth Oberzaucher and Matthias Karmasin.


Moderation: Verena Winiwarter


Please find the invitation and details for registration HERE.



20:00 – 21:30 Reception hosted by the Commission of Interdisciplinary Ecological Studies, Austrian Academy of Sciences.



Tuesday, June 12, 2018


09:00 – 10:30 Introduction to the Group Work – Seeing connections, seeing differences, collecting insights

10:30 – 10:50 Coffee Break and a Moment of Relaxation

10:50 – 11:30 Group work in 3 groups on “Wicked Non-Nuclear Legacies”, “Nuclear Legacies”, “Disaster Legacies”

11:30 – 12:30 Reports to the plenary, Q&A


12:30 – 13:30 Lunch


13:30 – 15:00 The Way Forward: Towards a “Mortgaging the Future”

15:00 – 15.20 Feedback


15:20 – 15:30 Farewell by CSH




Jun 11, 2018 | 9:00
Jun 12, 2018 | 17:00


Complexity Science Hub Vienna
+43 1 59991 600
View Organizer Website


CSH Vienna
Josefstaedter Straße 39
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+43 1 59991 600
View Venue Website