2021 Transatlantic Conversations Series

Science, Technology and Innovation for a Sustainable Future

Sustainability is a shared transatlantic priority to address today's global challenges. By bringing together Austrian and North American experts in dialogue, this series explores creative approaches to sustainability across different fields. How does urban design support livable, equitable communities? What does environmental history teach us about a sustainable future? How can digital technology create greener transportation and smarter cities? How do the arts and humanities help envision a more sustainable world? These questions and more guide our conversations on the ecological, scientific, and cultural dimensions of sustainability, with a focus on knowledge-sharing and international exchange.

Presented in partnership with the Office of Science and Technology Austria (OSTA), Washington DC, and the Austria Centers of North America

Past Events

Sustainable Water Systems

Green systems aim to protect public health and safety and restore natural and human landscapes. How can we restore natural systems? What steps can we take to create sustainable water systems fit for human consumption? How does Austria, a landlocked, Alpine country, benefit from systems that are put into place in California, and vice versa? This discussion takes an interdisciplinary approach to how human behaviour influences the water cycle, how we can build infrastructure to sustainably satisfy the population, and what the future holds for natural systems and water consumption. Panelists Sarah Yarnell (Research Hydrologist, Center for Watershed Sciences University of California, Davis) and Paolo D'Odorico (Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, UC Berkeley) discuss the impact of climate change on water systems, the intimate relation between water and food supply, and the importance of green infrastructure among other topics. Moderated by Runzi Wang (School for Env. and Sustain. University of Michigan).

Sustainable Water Systems: Transatlantic Conversation Series

Contemporary Developments in the Environmental Humanities

Shaped by fields as diverse as philosophy, anthropology, geography, cultural studies, and more, the "environmental humanities" encourage us to examine the relationship between humans and their social and natural environments. How have literature, film, and the arts engaged with the idea of sustainability?  How important is storytelling in imagining and working towards a more sustainable future? This conversation will consider current perspectives on ecocriticism and the environmental humanities through an interdisciplinary and comparative lens. Panelists Daniel J. Philippon (Associate Professor of English, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities) and Alexa Weik von Mossner (Associate Professor of American Studies, University of Klagenfurt) will discuss how humanistic approaches help cultivate a new understanding of climate change and other ecological challenges. Moderated by David Clay Large (IES Senior Fellow and Associate Director of the UC Berkeley Austrian Studies Program; Professor, Fromm Institute, University of San Francisco).
Co-sponsored by the Center for Austrian Studies, University of Minnesota

Contemporary Developments in the Environmental Humanities: 2021 Transatlantic Conversations Series

Innovations in Urban Studies, Lived Space, and Everyday Life

As cities grow and change, urban studies researchers must answer a difficult question: How can we make urban spaces more liveable? In this program, Mag. Xenia Kopf (PhD Candidate, University of Salzburg and Mozarteum Salzburg, Austria) leads a discussion with Prof. Dr. Sabine Knierbein (TU Wien) and Dr. Jim Morrow (University of Alberta, Canada) about the role of everyday life in urban design and planning. They will also explore how ideas developed in Austria are transforming urban environments; examine the relationship between local issues and global urbanization; explain what resources and tools are available to build more equitable cities; encourage intersectional perspectives in urban research; envision solutions for future challenges.

Innovations in Urban Studies, Lived Space, and Everyday Life

Sustainability and Renewable Energy: Learning from the Alps

Spanning eight countries, the Alps are widely recognized as one of the world's most iconic, idyllic destinations. Less known is their important role as a source of clean power for Europethroughout the twentieth century. In this session, Professor Marc Landry (University of New Orleans) joins Prof. Patrick Kupper (University of Innsbruck) and Anna-Katharina von Krauland (PhD Candidate, Stanford University) to discuss the Alps as a historical case study for renewable energy production, and the lessons these mountains hold for a sustainablefuture.

Co-sponsored by the Center for Law, Energy & the Environment, Berkeley Law

Sustainability and Renewable Energy: Learning from the Alps

Sustainable Transportation and Smart Cities

This session considers the role of digital technology in creating sustainable and low-emission mobility. Focusing on the energy and environmental aspects of urban transportation, panelists will discuss trends and dynamics of shared mobility and automation that are predicted to impact the future of transportation systems in California and Europe. With Susan Shaheen (Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering, co-director of the Transportation Sustainability Research Center and Innovative Mobility Research Lab, UC Berkeley); Guenter Emberger (Head of the Institute of Transportation / Research Center for Transport Planning and Traffic Engineering at TU Wien); and Alexander Keimer (Postdoctoral Researcher, UC Berkeley Institute of Transportation Studies).

Moderated by Johanna Pirker, Assistant Professor, Software Engineer, and Researcher at the Institute of Interactive Systems and Data Science at Graz University of Technology (TUG).

Co-sponsored by the Center for Law, Energy & the Environment, Berkeley Law, and the UC Berkeley Institute of Transportation Studies

Sustainable Transportation and Smart Cities: 2021 Transatlantic Conversations Series

2021 Sustainability Series sponsors