Digital Lecture Series 2020/21: “Fight Every Crisis – Global Perspectives of a Post-Corona Economy”

Society is confronted with multiple crises: Poverty, inequalities, biodiversity loss, the global climate crisis and the corona pandemic interact and exacerbate each other. At the same time, there is now a worldwide opportunity to overcome economic crises with new creativity and imagination. The coronavirus crisis has brought to light numerous practices of solidarity in finding new forms of social interaction in different contexts in order to deal with instability. These practices can give rise to new narratives for a capacity for action in the face of global crises.

In our digital lecture series, global phenomena are to be considered from multiple perspectives. Innovative narratives and creative forms of actions are to be discovered and researched which question and fundamentally change the old narratives that underlie conventional economic activity. In particular, speakers from different parts oft he world will have their say.

About half of the lectures are in English, the other half in German. Find their records below.

Narrative economies and imagined futures

What roles do imaginaries and narratives play in creating a sustainable post-Corona economy? How does economics address these issues? How do Iraqi activists use creative artistic means to express their political resistance?

1. Prof. Dr. Silja Graupe: “Imagined Futures. The Role of Imagination and Narratives in Creating a Post-Corona-Economy”

Foto: Foto Bonn

Dr. Silja Graupe is Professor of Economics and Philosophy, Head of the Institute of Economics as well as co-founder and Vice President of the Cusanus Hochschule für Gesellschaftsgestaltung. She is also a founding member and deputy spokesperson of the Gesellschaft für sozioökonomische Bildung und Wissenschaft (Board of the Society for Socio-Economic Education and Science). Recent publications include “Change is Always a Last Resort a Change in Habits of Thought”: For a New Biodiversity of Cognition in the Face of Today’s Crisis (2020), as well as „Imagination und Bildlichkeit der Wirtschaft“ (ed. together with Walter Ötsch, 2020). More about Silja Graupe and her publications on her website, lectures can be found on the university’s YouTube channel.

2. Prof. Dr. Hana Khlaif Ghena: “Shades of Life in Al-Tahrir (Freedom) Square: Arts as a Means of Political Resistance, Cultural Expression and Social Change”

Foto: Hana Ghena

Prof. Hana Khlaif Ghena, a Ph.D holder in modern western drama. She is a teaching staff in the Translation Department, College of Arts, Mustansiriyah University. Her major fields of research interest are modern drama, translation, comparative and postcolonial studies. Besides teaching, she translates a number of books in the fields of literature and anthropology. She has published a number of academic papers and supervised a number of M.A. theses and Ph.D. dissertations.

3. Prof. Dr. Walter Ötsch: „Narration, Imagination und Zukunftsbilder“

Foto: Walter Ötsch

Dr. Walter Ötsch ist Professor für Ökonomie und Kulturgeschichte an der Cusanus Hochschule für Gesellschaftsgestaltung. Als Hochschullehrer der Johannes Kepler Universität Linz (JKU) gründete und leitet er das gesamtuniversitäre Zentrum für soziale und interkulturelle Kompetenz sowie das (Forschungs-)Institut für die Gesamtanalyse der Wirtschaft.

Als Mitbegründer des Forschungsnetzwerks Neurolinguistische Programmierung The International Laboratory for Mental Space Research (ILMSR) wird er als Experte für demagogisch geprägte politische Diskurse von renommierten Medien herangezogen. Walter Ötsch ist ebenfalls Gründungsmitglied der Gesellschaft für sozioökonomische Bildung und Wissenschaft (GSÖBW). Aktuelle Publikationen sind unter anderem Imagination und Bildlichkeit der Wirtschaft. Zur Geschichte und Aktualität imaginativer Fähigkeiten in der Ökonomie (Hrsg. Gemeinsam mit Silja Graupe, 2020) und Mythos Markt. Mythos Neoklassik. Das Elend des Marktfundamentalismus (2019). Mehr zu Walter Ötsch und seinen Publikationen finden Sie auf seiner Webseite, Vorträge finden sie unter anderem auf YouTube und aktuelle Informationen bei Twitter.

Local and global Practices

How do we move from an imperial way of life to one of solidarity? What role do global power relations and the financial sector play? What can we learn from practitioners in India and the USA?

4. Prof. Dr. Swati Banerjee: “People-Centered Social Innovation – an Emerging Paradigm”

In Cooperation with:
Campus Mumbai of The Right Livelihood College and The Right Livelihood Foundation

Foto: Swati Banerjee

Swati Banerjee, PhD is Professor and Chairperson at the Centre for Livelihoods and Social Innovation, School of Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai, India and Co-ordinator, Right Livelihood College, RLC – TISS, one of the 9 RLC campuses across the globe (RLC – TISS is a global network and a collaboration with Right Livelihood Award Foundation, Stockholm).
She has been a post-doctoral fellow at Lund University, Sweden and visiting faculty at many Universities across the world.
She has been heavily involved in research studies at both national level (including National Rural Livelihood Mission, Urban Rural Livelihood Mission etc.) and international level (including European Commission, ESRC, Erasmus Plus, etc) with a key thrust on gender and intersectionalities, diversities and marginalities, and feminist and post development theoretical frames.
The key thematic focus of her research includes People Centered Development and Social Innovation, Human Centered and Inclusive Design Thinking for addressing key societal challenges of marginalities, Collective Social Entrepreneurship and Grassroots Entrepreneurship Development and Empowerment of Women and Marginalized Communities.
She has several publications to her credit and is the editor of the recently published books, ‘People Centred Social Innovation: An emerging paradigm with global potential’ and ‘Theory of Social Enterprise and Pluralism: Social Movements, Solidarity Economy, and Global South’. You can find more publications here.

5. Randy Hayes: “Corona, Climate, Election: From Crises to a Green New Deal?”

Foto: Randy Hayes

Randy Hayes is Executive Director at Foundation Earth, a non-profit organization rethinking a human order that works within the planet’s life support systems. As a former filmmaker and Rainforest Action Network founder, he is a veteran of many high-visibility corporate accountability campaigns and has advocated for the rights of Indigenous peoples. He served seven years as President of The City of San Francisco Commission on the Environment, and as Director of Sustainability in the office of Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown (four-term governor). As a wilderness lover, Hayes has explored the High Sierras, the Canadian Rockies and the rainforests of the Amazon, Central America, Congo, Southeast Asia, Borneo, and Australia. He is a special advisor to the World Future Council. He has been described in the Wall Street Journal as “an environmental pit bull.” More about Randy Hayes you can find here and here.

6. Prof. Dr. Stephan Panther: “Center and periphery in crisis – the global distribution of power and local action”

Foto: Stephan Panther

Dr. Stephan Panther is Professor of Economics and Interdisciplinary Institutional Research at the Cusanus Hochschule für Gesellschaftsgestaltung.
He is also a founding member of the Society for Socio-economic Education and Science (GSÖBW). His research interests include political economy of long-term economic development, cultural and social embeddedness of the economy, institutional economics and business ethics. Current publications of Dr. Stephan Panther can be found here. His lecture at the lecture series in summer term 2020 “Politics, Economics and Nature in Times of Corona” (in German) can be found here.

7. Prof. Dr. Lars Hochmann: „Von der Natur her wirtschaften“

Foto: Lars Hochmann

Dr. Lars Hochmann ist Vertretungsprofessor für Plurale Ökonomie an Cusanus Hochschule für Gesellschaftsgestaltung. Zuvor war er unter anderem Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter an der Fakultät für Kulturwissenschaft der Leuphana Universität Lüneburg und Koordinator der BMBF-gefördertenForschungswerkstatt Nachhaltigkeit. Er ist Initiator des Wissenschaftspodcasts freidenker*innen und ist Autor und Herausgeber zahlreicher Schriften etwa zu den Themen nachhaltige Unternehmung, politische Ökonomie und Möglichkeitswissenschaft. Mehr zu Lars Hochmann (LinkedIn, Twitter).

8. Prof. Dr. Markus Wissen: „Imperiale vs. solidarische Lebensweise. Perspektiven in der Corona Krise“

Foto: Markus Wissen

Dr. Markus Wissen ist Professor für Gesellschaftswissenschaften mit dem Schwerpunkt sozial-ökologische Transformationsprozesse an der Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Recht in Berlin. Zu seinen Arbeitsschwerpunkten gehören die gesellschaftlichen Naturverhältnisse, die Umweltpolitik, die Transformation von (Auto-)Mobilität sowie die räumlichen Dimensionen der Transformation von Staatlichkeit. Markus Wissen ist Mitglied der PROKLA-Redaktion. Mehr zu Markus Wissen sowie eine Liste seiner Publikationen finden Sie hier und hier.

Zuletzt erschien von Ulrich Brand und Markus Wissen (2018): The Limits to Capitalist Nature: Theorizing and Overcoming the Imperial Mode of Living.

9. Jörg Haas: „Carbon Bubble: Die Finanzwirtschaft am Kipppunkt?“

In Kooperation mit der Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung

Foto: Jörg Haas

Jörg Haas ist Referent für internationale Politik der Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung mit Schwerpunkten in transformativer Wirtschaftspolitik und internationaler Infrastrukturpolitik. Von 1990-92 war er Mitarbeiter der GTZ in einem Regenwaldprojekt in Ecuador. Ab 1993 arbeitete er als Lateinamerikareferent der Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung und wechselte 1997 ins Ökologiereferat. Dort war er bis 2008 mit Schwerpunkten in den Themen Klima- und Energiepolitik und der ökologischen Gestaltung der Globalisierung tätig. Des Weiteren war er Programmdirektor der Global Climate Policies der European Climate Foundation und ab 2014 Pressesprecher und Campaigner bei Campact. Mehr zu Jörg Haas hier.

Global thinking and acting

What are the experiences of climate activists in Zambia and Germany? What about a European Green New Deal? What does international sustainability policy need to do now? What role do commons and common goods play in a sustainable economy?

10. Natasha Wang Mwansa and Luisa Neubauer: “A new global narrative? Global (climate) activism of a young generation”

Foto: Natasha Mwansa

Natasha Wang Mwansa was born and raised in Zambia. She received her diploma at Lusaka Secondary School and is taking a gap year before embarking on new studies. As a Junior Reporter, Child Journalist, Child and Women’s Rights Advocate and Activist at the Media Network on Child Rights and Development, she is responsible for gathering and disseminating information and tracking stakeholder progress. Through her work, she was selected to be part of the African Union Commission’s Youth Advisory Board. Additionally, she also is the Social Accountability Monitor at Southern Africa HIV and AIDS Dissemination Service. As an advocate, Natasha is proud of being in the process of starting an initiative that will foster young people to take radical action and foster positive change. Natasha advocates for girls and women because she believes girls have untapped power and will stop at nothing until it is unleashed.
Natasha Wang Mwansa became internationally known primarily through her appearance at the World Economic Forum in Davos 2020. She is the youngest recipient of the World Health Organization’s “Global Health Leader Award” and now has her own foundation. Most recently she was awarded as the “most outstanding woman advocate” in the SADC region (Southern African Development Community).

Foto: Freitag

Luisa Neubauer, born in Hamburg in 1996, is one of the co-organisers of Fridays for Future and the most prominent representative of the German movement in the media. She works with various NGOs for climate protection, generational justice and against poverty. In 2018 she met the Swedish student Greta Thunberg at the UN Climate Change Conference and was one of four German delegates to the G7 youth summit in Canada. At the end of 2019, together with Greta Thunberg and other activists, she took part in the climate conference in Madrid – in early 2020 at the World Economic Forum in Davos. In January 2020, Luisa Neubauer and Fridays for Future protested against Siemens’ participation in the planned Australian coal mine Carmichael.
Luisa Neubauer completed a bachelor’s degree in geography in 2019. She is currently studying resource analysis and management for her master’s degree at the Georg-August University of Göttingen. Together with Alexander Repenning, she published the book “Vom Ende der Klimakrise – Eine Geschichte unserer Zukunft” in 2019. Luisa Neubauer lives in Göttingen and Berlin.

11. Raúl Montenegro: “Coronavirus, environmental crisis and wars: the three pandemies”

In Cooperation with:
Environment Defense Foundation (FUNAM), Campus Cordoba of the Right Livelihood College and Right Livelihood Foundation

Foto: Raúl Montenegro

Raúl Montenegro has been Professor of Evolutionary Biology at the National University of Cordoba (since 1985). In 1982 he was the principal founder of FUNAM (Environment Defence Foundation), and has been its President since 1995. Montenegro has been a member of the Executive Committee of the Environment Liaison Center International in Nairobi (ELCI, 1988-91), a Vice-President of Greenpeace (1987-89). He is now Director of the international Biomass Users Network and FUNAM’s main representative of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Since 1980 Montenegro has been involved, normally in an initiating role, in an astonishing range and number of environmental activities, which you can find here. In all his activities Montenegro combines an expert use of science with community-based campaigning, and an ability to generate enormous media coverage.

Montenegro received University of Buenos Aires’ Prize to Scientific Research when he was a student (1971) and the national ‘Argentina has examples’ prize in 1996. FUNAM received a Global 500 Award from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in 1987, and Montenegro received the same Award personally in 1989. In 1998 Montenegro was in Salzburg as one of four recipients to be accorded the Nuclear-Free Future Award.

Raúl Montenegro is laureate of the Right Livelihood Avard 2004, which is also known as the „Alternative Nobel price“.

12. Silke Helfrich: „Commons statt Markt-Staat: Eine post-corona Sonate“

Foto: CC 4.0 by AK

Silke Helfrich hat romanische Sprachen und Sozialwissenschaften mit Schwerpunkt Ökonomie studiert. Sie ist freie Autorin, Aktivistin, Forscherin, Bloggerin und vielgebuchte Rednerin. Die Mitbegründerin des Commons-Institut e.V. und der Commons Strategies Group lebt und arbeitet im Jagsttal. 2018 und 2019 war sie Fellow des Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam. Mehr zu Silke Helfrich finden Sie hier. Zuletzt ist das gemeinsam mit David Bollier verfasste Buch (2019): Fair, frei und lebendig. Die Macht der Commons erschienen, das hier als PDF heruntergeladen werden kann.

13. Sven Giegold: „Europäische Demokratie und sozial-ökologische Transformation“

Foto: Dominik Butzmann

Sven Giegold, Europaabgeordneter aus NRW, ist Sprecher der deutschen Grünen im Europaparlament, Obmann der grünen Fraktion im Ausschuss für Wirtschafts- und Finanzpolitik und stellvertretendes Mitglied im Ausschuss für Umweltfragen, öffentliche Gesundheit und Lebensmittelsicherheit. Er engagiert sich für die Regulierung der Finanzmärkte im Interesse der Realwirtschaft und Bürger*innen und für die ökologische Transformation der europäischen Wirtschaft. Seit über 20 Jahren ist der Wirtschaftswissenschaftler in sozialen und ökologischen Bewegungen aktiv. Er ist Mitglied des Präsidiums des Deutschen Evangelischen Kirchentags.

14. Prof. Dr. Reinhard Loske und Christoph Bals: „Globale Fairness in planetaren Grenzen: Reformvorschläge für die internationale Klima- und Nachhaltigkeitspolitik“

Foto: Reinhard Loske

Dr. Reinhard Loske ist seit April 2019 Präsident der Cusanus Hochschule für Gesellschaftsgestaltung und Professor für Nachhaltigkeit und Gesellschaftsgestaltung. Zuvor war er neben vielen anderen Tätigkeiten Professor für Politik, Nachhaltigkeit und Transformationsdynamik an der Universität Witten/Herdecke und Senior Associate Fellow der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Auswärtige Politik, Berlin. Zwischen 1998 und 2007 war Reinhard Loske Mitglied des Deutschen Bundestages sowie 2007-2011 Senator der Freien Hansestadt Bremen. Ehrenamtlich war und ist er zudem in zahlreichen akademischen und Nichtregierungs-Organisationen engagiert, darunter als Vorstandsmitglied von Germanwatch e.V. und als Mitglied im Begleitkreises für nachhaltiges Wirtschaften des Bundesministeriums für Bildung und Forschung. Mehr zu Reinhard Loske hier.

Foto: Christoph Bals

Christoph Bals ist Politischer Geschäftsführer von Germanwatch und Kuratoriumsvorsitzender der „Stiftung Zukunftsfähigkeit“ und stellvertretender Vorsitzender der Munich Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII). Er ist auch Gründungsmitglied der Renewables Grid Initiative und war dort bis 2018 im Vorstand. Er ist Mitglied des Sustainable Finance-Beirat der Bundesregierung, der politischen Koordinationsgruppe von CAN international und im Sprecherrat der Klima-Allianz Deutschland. Bals hat zahlreiche Initiativen im Bereich Klima und Entwicklung sowie Klima und Wirtschaft – wie e5, e-mission 55 und atmosfair – mit angestoßen.

Three lectures took place in cooperation with the Right Livelihood Foundation, which annually awards the “Alternative Nobel Prize” to honor personalities who are committed to solving global challenges. On one date, there was a cooperation with the Heinrich Böll Foundation: The foundation stands for green ideas and projects, is a reform-political future workshop and an international network.

Project management: Prof. Dr. Silja Graupe
Coordination: Valentin Sagvosdkin (


With dedicated support from: