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Swiss research projects

Projects by or with researchers from the Academies network that deal with sustainability transformations are listed here. The list is mainly based on a survey sent out within the Academies network in 2022. It is not exhaustive. Suggestions for other projects are welcome (please email to ).

Projects that not only address sustainability transformations, but also explicitly use the terms transformation, transition, and/or transformation – thus shaping the discourse on these concepts – are highlighted with titles in bold.

The keywords are meant to ease searches in the list.

Biodiversity policy beyond economic growth
Keywords: biodiversity conservation, transformative scenarios, paradigm shifts
Vielfalt erzählen. Biodiversität als Paradigma der Transformation in Wissenschaft und Literatur
Keywords: Biodiversität als Paradigma, Biodiversitätsdiskurs, Erzählungen, Natur-Kultur-Beziehungen, wissenschaftshistorische und literaturwissenschaftliche Analysen, Erweiterung von Denk- und Sprachstilen
Pathways to an efficient future energy system through flexibility and sector coupling
Keywords: renewable energy, tools, demonstration projects, innovation strategies, policies
Inclusive dialogues towards an operational concept of energy citizenship
Keywords: energy citizenship, healthy households, women, 8 countries, Switzerland, co-creation, open innovation, Citizen Action Lab£
Wellbeing, Energy Futures and Everyday Life
Keywords: energy, wellbeing, futures, narratives, efficiency, effectiveness, personas, citizen-focus, graphical illustration, Geneva
European Network for Research, Good Practice and Innovation for Sustainable Energy
Keywords: renewable energy, energy cultures, energy consumption, governance, gender, Europe, Living Labs, energy sustainability assessment
LANTERN: Living Labs iNterfaces for The Energy tRansitioN
Keywords: energy in the workplace, affordable&efficient housing, energy communities, low carbon recreational cities, sustainabe mobility, smart energy users, Living Labs, Genf, Sion, Lugano, Zürich, Winterthur, Luzern
Energy Citizen for Inclusive Decarbonization ENCLUDE
Keywords: energy citizenship, decarbonization, agent-based models, integrated assessment models, case studies
Quartierbezogene erneuerbare Energien
Keywords: kooperative Energieproduktion, und -speicherung, Quartier (Wesemlin-Dreilinden, Luzern), soziokulturelle Vorgehensweise, Pilotprojekt
Why carbon pricing is not sufficient to mitigate climate change
Keywords: energy, carbon pricing, policy shift, paradigm shift
The Sustainabilization of the State – Forms, Functions and Formation of Sustanability Governance in Swiss Cantons
Keywords: sustainability, governance, public administration, Switzerland(cantons)
Politicizing the Precautionary Principle
Keywords: GMO, sustainable bioeconomy
Is striving for excellence in HEIs incompatible with partnership practices?
Keywords: higher education institutes, leadership principles, excellence, transformative learning, global, Leadership at Universities
Transdisciplinary transformative change: an analysis of some best practices and barriers, and the potential of critical social science in getting us there
Keywords: Biodiversity, transformative change initiatives, problem-framing, drivers and barriers of collaboration for transformative change, Switzerland, critical social sciences, mixed-method approach, case study
Leading inter- and transdisciplinary research: Lessons from applying theories of change to a strategic research program
Keywords: program leadership, theories of change, urban water management, Leadership at Universities
Transformative Cross Cutting people skills for the SDGs
Keywords: transformative learning, adult education, people skills, inner development goals, education for sustainable development, Europe
Online Transformative Learning
Keywords: transformative learning, online, global, guidelines
Keywords: education, network solutions, susstainable culture, values, local innovation ecosystems, training sessions on sustainable living, teamwork, facilitation, storytelling, co-creation, introspection
Game changers for change agents: Sustainable Development Goals in dialogue
Keywords: younger generation, digitally supported simulation game for students (Schweizer Sekundar und Berufsschulen), dialogue with political decision-makers and scientists, Switzerland
Ecovillages as Incubators for Sustainability Transitions (EVIST)
Keywords: sustainable innovations, diffusion of innovation, local dissemination by grassroot initiatives, boundary work, social arrangements, different world regions (27 countries), collaboration, mixed-methods
From niche to society: social innovations for sustainable consumption
Keywords: social innovations, professionalisation, sufficient behaviour, public support, mainstreaming, mostly Switzerland
Toward healthy and sustainable diets in Switzerland
Keywords: diet, eating habits, tipping points, health impacts, drivers and barriers, consumer, life-cycle approach
Scenarios for a sustainable food system in Switzerland
Keywords: sustainable food system, political strategies, Switzerland, scenarios, co-developed with consumers
Food Democracy
Keywords: food, agri-food value chains, foodprints, deliberation
Keywords: agroecology, farming, Bolivia, new paradigm, fairness, governance, indigenous people
Just transition in food systems
Keywords: climate-smart food system, fairness, case study, impact narratives, policy recommendations
Transformation scenarios for boosting organic farming and organic aquaculture towards the Farm-to-Fork targets
Keywords: orgainic farming, organic aquaculture, lock-ins, impacts, value chanins, Europe, multi-actor approach, scenarios
ENcouraging FArmers towards sustainable farming SYstems through policy and business Strategies
Keywords: sustainablie farming systems, lock-ins, levers, Europe
Overcoming institutional barriers to non-grid urban water systems
Keywords: urban water systems, institutional barriers and drivers, non-grid-based solutions, lighthouse' cities (San Francisco, Paris, Gothenburg, Beijing, Bangalore), case studies, scenarios, interventions
Assessing transitions through socio-technical configuration analysis – a methodological framework and a case study in the water sector
Keywords: water sector, mapping socio-technical configruations, case studies
Global Regimes in the Water Sector
Keywords: urban water management, sewage, global cities, locally adapted solutions, dominant socio-technical regimes, USA, Beijing
Nachhaltigkeit? Wen interessiert’s?
Keywords: Stadt- und Regionalentwicklung, Partizipationsprozesse, Politische Emotionen, Kommunikationsstrategien, Bodenseeregion, Inhaltsanalyse, Vergleich CH-DE
Sozial nachhaltiges Wohnhochhaus?
Keywords: sozialen Dimension von Nachhaltigkeit, Wohnhochhaus, gesellschaftlicher Mehrwert, Umfeld, Gebäude, Zusammenleben, Organisation, Wirtschaftlichkeit
Nature park stations in Bernese parks
Keywords: nature parks, park stations, tourism, Switzerland, Berne, onsite feasibility tests, stakeholder involvement, innovation
A Barometer for Sustainable Travel and Tourism to track responsible consumer behaviour
Keywords: tourism, sustainability criteria in bookings, global, Switzerland
Green Public Spaces and Sustainable Cities in South and Southeast Asia
Keywords: green public spaces, wellbeing, cities, complex governance, public health, urban planning, China, India, Philippines, Singapore
Keywords: earth beings, liminal spaces, Switzerland, unsettle categories, envision ecopolitical initiatives
Managing telecoupled landscapes for the sustainable provision of ecosystem services and poverty alleviation
Keywords: telecoupling, land use transition, SES, Laos, Madagascar, Myanmar, joint model development, future scenarios, knowledge sharing, participatory mapping, case study sites
Circular Societies
Keywords: Circular Society vs. Circular Economy, just transformation, innovation design global co-creation, global, Co-creation
Decentralized Economic Complexity in Switzerland and Its Contribution to Inclusive and Sustainable Change
Keywords: economy, action-oriented collaborative culture, decentralized economic systems, case studies
Sustainability Marketing Canvas
Keywords: marketing, sustainability marketing canvas, case studies, VAUDE, HILTI
Global Business in Local Culture
Keywords: local economic development, multinational entreprises, embeddedness, low income countries
The Sustainable Provision of Environmental Services
Keywords: economy, provision/payment of environmental services, positive impact of companies, Innovation, Kenya

Case studies

On the basis of case studies, we illustrate how research on specific sustainability transformations is designed:

Additional Sources

More (Swiss-based) projects may be found in research institutions that refer to sustainability transformations in their mission, such as the CDE and the Wyss Academy for Nature; as well a the Transformation Accelerating Grants initiatives or TRANSFORM programme (see overview here). Please also consider consulting the following communities within the Swiss Academies that address sustainability transformations: