| Max-Weber-Kolleg, SPF Religion. Gesellschaft. Weltbeziehung., Forschung

New research project on resilient communities starts at the Max-Weber-Kolleg

Together with a European consortium led by the Natural Resources Institute Finland, a new research project entitled "COEVOLVERS: Coevolutionary approach to unlock the transformative potential of nature-based solutions for more inclusive and resilient communities" will start in November at the Max-Weber-Kolleg of the University of Erfurt. It is funded by the HORIZON EUROPE programme of the European Commission with a total of 5,254,627 Euros.

Over the next four years, the project will address the question of what contribution so-called "nature-based solutions" (i.e. solutions to problems based on natural processes or examples) can make to socio-ecological transformation. It focuses on precarious and disadvantaged communities, such as border regions.

"Nature-based solutions" are a new Commission policy concept that activates nature's potential to address climate change and its social consequences: one example is ecologically adapted urban kitchen gardens. The project includes seven "Living Labs" in Finland, Spain, Italy, Slovakia, Scotland, Hungary and Estonia, where new approaches to implement such concepts are developed and tested, following the principles of 'co-creation' and 'co-evolution': Co-creation here means that all affected groups are involved in the development and implementation, and Co-Evolution means that institutions and Technology (for secondary schools) of humans are considered in interaction with the ecosystem and its living beings, with the aim of involving them equally in the process of co-creation and finding solutions in the result that benefit all living beings. In the case of urban kitchen gardens, for example, the question is how they not only provide vegetables for people, but also promote local biodiversity. To this end, new forms of mutual understanding between human and non-human living environments must be found, including artistic media as well as 'virtual reality' technologies.

The Erfurt subproject, led by Professor Carsten Herrmann-Pillath, Fellow at the Max-Weber-Kolleg, is funded with 607,500 euros. It focuses on theoretical questions, in particular on the new concept of 'Co-Evolutionary Technology' and accompanies the "Living Labs" in various functions, such as a moderator of theoretical reflection on the experiences gained. The aim is to present the commission at the end with a handbook for the development of co-evolutionary nature based solutions.

Hartmut Rosa, director of the Max-Weber-Kolleg: "We are very proud to be able to contribute in this way in international interaction to finding solutions in the urgently needed transformation process of our modern society, which focus specifically on the interaction of natural and social communities."

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