|About the conference|
The four themes of this conference outline the depth and scope of the political and cultural change currently taking place in the global community, which can justly be termed a new "Great Transformation": at its heart are the major issues of new market organizations, new forms of global governance, a profound shift in attitudes and a new culture of participation.
The themes will be explored in panels and four sessions will provide opportunity for an in depth debate:
1) THE ECONOMICS OF CLIMATE CHANGE:
Global markets face the challenge of having to include the costs of environmental damage and climate protection into their pricing and of having to shift preferences. An over-confidence in markets and a fixation with the paradigm of industrial growth, however, may impede alternative routes of development. How much do measures for prevention and adaptation cost and what would be the price of inaction? When do investments in climate protective measures pay off and how are the expenses and gains distributed between the rich and the poor, the North and the South?
2) GLOBAL GOVERNANCE:
Global climate change requires trans-national politics but a global government neither exists nor is it desirable. How can governments be persuaded to co-operate for the greater good? Which constellation of intergovernmental and supranational co-operation is most suited for the achievement of climate goals and how does sector-based Climate Governance fit into the overarching structures of sustainable development?
3) COGNITIVE DISSONANCE:
Why does our knowledge not translate into action? Cognitive awareness and insights never translate directly into new configurations of preferences and behavioural strategies. What are the most beneficial conditions under which a change in mindsets and the development of alternative behaviour patterns may be achieved?
4) POLITICAL PARTICIPATION:
Technological innovation and political regulation can only be effective if "the people" participate in their various roles as polluters, producers and consumers of goods, citizens and voters. Democratic regimes are not well prepared for the level of participation that is required: Can free democratic societies cope with the effects of grave changes in the global climate, or might authoritarian regimes possibly be better placed to enforce the necessary measures?