03 Feb 2022 by LBG OIS Center

Shaping a sustainable society together: the Action for Sustainable Future hub presents key projects

The Open Innovation in Science Center of the Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft and the University of Applied Arts Vienna (Angewandte) are driving the sustainable transformation of society and exploring new ways of societal engagement.

The Open Innovation in Science Center of the Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft and the University of Applied Arts Vienna (Angewandte) are driving the sustainable transformation of society and exploring new ways of societal engagement.

The innovation lab “Action for Sustainable Future (ASF) hub” was created in spring 2021 by the Open Innovation in Science (OIS) Center of the Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft (LBG) together with the University of Applied Arts Vienna. The ASF hub aims to advance the sustainable transformation of society by facilitating partnership projects at the intersection of art, science, and society. The projects address sustainable development in the sense of the UN Agenda 2030 from a broad and diverse perspective and develop concrete solutions with high social relevance. All projects are participatory and largely initiated by civil society actors. The ASF hub accompanies this experimental process with a multifaceted support program.

“Particularly in the area of major societal challenges such as climate change, it is important to foster productive cooperation between research and society, in order to include different perspectives and forms of knowledge in research and to develop solutions jointly,” explains Dorothea Born, coordinator of the ASF hub.

Promoting social awareness through key projects

The six selected key projects deal with different aspects of sustainability and also intertwine in terms of content. For example, the Refiction Radio project wants to use the medium of radio as a “social place of encounter” to give a voice to those who live in and around refugee camps, along borders or escape routes, and whose stories are rarely heard in the public sphere.

The Human Rights Space project aims to create a place where children and young people can engage with human rights. This barrier-free space is designed participatively with young people, supported by human rights educators and artists.

The Mach’s Auf project also aims to break down social barriers by making hacking and repair spaces more accessible to deaf and hard of hearing. This should also create a broader social acceptance for repairing and upcycling in the sense of ecological sustainability.

The Wormhotel deals with another form of recycling. Composting systems are set up outdoors at various locations in Vienna, where compost worms transform organic waste into valuable humus. This can then be used in the holes in the concrete that will be open in participatory artistic processes during the Vienna Succession project. The aim of the latter project is to explore the possibilities of unsealing the concrete and to make it accepted.

The project Zukunftsrat Verkehr (Future council on traffic) also deals with land sealing through road construction. The project aims to develop a sustainable transport concept for the entire eastern region through a participatory social reflection process in the form of a citizens’ council.

Strengthening social involvement and cooperation

The projects, supported by the ASF hub both in terms of content and funding, will raise social awareness of sustainable development and create opportunities for action for various social actors. New ways of social inclusion and transdisciplinary cooperation are also tested: The ASF hub is co-designed by a diverse working committee consisting of experts from the applied sciences, the UniNEtZ (Universitäten und Nachhaltige Entwicklungsziele), and representatives of civil society. This “Sustainability Board” was also significantly involved in the development of the selection process for the key projects.

In order to encourage the participation of civil society actors, a two-stage selection procedure was developed to be as low-threshold as possible. As a first step, applicants could submit ideas-sketches for projects. All applicants were then invited to a kick-off event where they could meet potential cooperation partners and establish networks. Applicants were offered support in writing their project proposals, for instance by providing workshops on social inclusion and impact, a writing workshop, and individual counseling. The final selection by the Sustainability Board was based on four jointly developed criteria: Focus on Sustainability, Citizen Participation, Diversity and Inclusion, and Social Impact.

New ways of participation

The ASF Hub facilitates networking, evaluates the social impact of the projects through an accompanying impact analysis, and provides artistic or scientific expertise as needed to ensure the quality of the research-led practice. In this way, new paths of participation are also taken by reversing the process of involvement: it is not researchers who involve society, but citizens who involve researchers or artists in the implementation of their project ideas.

More insight into the work of the key projects will be offered at the public event on 18.05.22 in the cash hall of the former Otto Wagner Postsparkasse, stay tuned on our Events page. More information on this, the ASF hub and the selected key projects as well as the portfolio of projects can be found at www.asf.uni-ak.ac.at.

All projects (EN)


Dr.in Dorothea Born

Lab Coordinator, Open Innovation in Science Impact Lab ACTION FOR SUSTAINABLE FUTURE @ University of Applied Arts Vienna

+43 6603832945 qbebgurn.obea@yot.np.ng