Thomas Bruhn | 26.01.2018

A Mindset for the Anthropocene

How the challenges of sustainability urge us to engage in a conscious transformation of our mental models and inner qualities

 Public talk | 26.01.2018 | 18:00 - 20:00 | Uni Freiburg | Hermann-Herder-Str. 5, 79106 Freiburg, Germany | Hermann-Herder R 011


About: Dr. Thomas Bruhn is a physicist and sustainability researcher. At the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) Potsdam he is leading the project AMA (A Mindset for the Anthropocene) and is conducting and investigating co-creative processes in the context of political decision making. Before joining the IASS in 2012 he did research on semiconductor nanostructures in Berlin, Rome and Marseille. He is also a trained facilitator and member of the thinktank 30 of the Club of Rome.


Talk: The discussions about how to achieve the transformation to sustainable lifestyles and society often seems to focus on the development of governance mechanisms and “green” technology. Complementary to these approaches it is increasingly discussed how an “inner” transformation of the human mind can or even must be a part of this path to sustainability. With increasing urgency we are challenged to reflect what it means to be human in the Anthropocene and what implications the current transformation has for the way we think and feel and what kind of relations we cultivate to each other, our environment and ourselves. In this seminar we would like to discuss recent findings about the potentials that lie in the cultivation of inner human qualities like mindfulness and compassion and their relevance for sustainability. The talk will invite into a reflection about the changing human-Earth relationship in the Anthropocene, the age in which humanity as a collective the dominant quasi-geological force in the Earth System. Also it will provide an overview on currently discussed approaches to “inner” transformation as discussed in a broad spectrum of disciplines and contexts from Earth System science to positive psychology, from neuroscience to sociology and spirituality. As an outlook, the presentation will introduce the platform AMA (A Mindset for the Anthropocene) of the IASS Potsdam that facilitates a transdisciplinary dialogue about the connection between sustainability and changing mindsets.