From June 15-16, 2023, the IRI THESys celebrated its 10th anniversary at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. A good occasion for big questions: How did we actually become who we are? Where do we stand today? And what should be the future of transformative and of transformation research at HU Berlin? The results of these reflections were presented to the president of the university Prof. Dr. Julia von Blumenthal at the end of the anniversary conference.

An institute of tomorrow today

About 120 researchers and students came together to discuss what their common research for enabling sustainability transformations should be like in the future and what a suitable institutional home for these joint endeavours might look like at HU Berlin. This future home, the Humboldt Centre for the Anthropocene, is to become a cross-faculty hub for sustainability that will bring together everyone at HU, from young scientists to senior scientists, who is engaged in sustainability and transformation research.

The working sessions at the two-day conference included discussions on the further development of the institute’s research foci, the Graduate Program, and the profile of a potential Master’s program. Representatives of extramural partner institutions contributed their ideas for continued collaboration, and a large group of postdocs presented their visions for promoting transformative and transformation research at the postdoctoral level to funding organizations.

During the final plenary, HU President Julia von Blumenthal praised the open and creative atmosphere of IRI THESys, emphasized the great relevance of sustainability and transformation research, and assured her support for establishing the Humboldt Centre for the Anthropocene.

The very last event of the conference was a great party with live music and DJs.

About IRI THESys

The IRI THESys was founded in 2013 as an integrative research institute across faculties at HU Berlin within the framework of the German Excellence Initiative. It was successfully evaluated by external reviewers in 2017 and 2021.

Photo credits: IRI THESys, Krystin Unverzagt, Letícia Santos de Lima, Sustainability Office, Mariana Bulaty