We consider it our central task to continuously advance the basic knowledge about the relationships between nature and society and their sustainable shaping. To achieve this, we, combine theoretical-conceptual considerations of the Frankfurt Social Ecology research program with empirical research of our Research Units. Our Hubs are responsible for this advancement of basic knowledge.
Each of the three Hubs represents a distinct epistemic perspective on social-ecological transformation processes. From a systemic perspective, we examine the complex and dynamic relationships between social actors and natural resources. This is based on the concept of socio-ecological systems. The second perspective explores how societies can equitably organize the satisfaction of basic human needs such as food, housing, hygiene, or mobility within ecological boundaries. This approach focuses on change agents, their everyday practices, and socio-technical systems. Finally, with our third epistemic perspective, we focus on the interplay of knowledge and transformation processes. Here, we integrate various approaches and insights about knowledge, the generation of new knowledge, the exchange of knowledge, and develop them further. In doing so, we also take a (self-)critical view of our research.
For the scientists at ISOE, the respective epistemic perspectives are more than programmatic reference points for research. The perspectives also stand for organizational units. Consequently, these Hubs are places for basic research as well as for the organizational and social integration of work at ISOE:
- Hub I: Social-Ecological Systems
- Hub II: Practices and Infrastructures
- Hub III: Knowledge Processes and Transformations