The natural sciences have drawn attention to the ecologically harmful consequences of modern lifestyles. These findings were and remain of great importance. In recent decades, however, it has become increasingly clear that they are not sufficient to motivate and implement a sustainable and responsible change in lifestyles. This requires a broad humanistic approach. For the benefit of all, it is necessary to incorporate the findings of the humanities and social sciences. Without them, a fundamental and peaceful social transformation is hardly possible.
In order to win people on a broad front for such a social transformation, it is first and foremost necessary to show a respectful appreciation of the cultural and social diversity and particularities in the various regions of the world. Consequently, regionally and culturally differentiated ways must be found to achieve this goal. This is the background to the thematic orientation of the conference.
In addition to the Max-Weber-Kolleg, the event's partners include the Canadian Commission for UNESCO as patron, the German Commission for UNESCO, the World Academy of Art & Science, the Academia Europaea, the Club of Rome, the International Council for Philosophy and Humanities, and the International Geographical Union.