Headline: Justice and Sustainability Fellow Elias König

Elias König recently joined the IASS as a Justice and Sustainability Fellow and will be working on a research project that examines the youth-led climate strike movement. In this blog post, he outlines his professional background and his plans for the fellowship.

Job title/s: Justice and Sustainability Fellow

Languages I speak: German, English, Chinese (still learning!)

As one of many students both terrified by the experience of an escalating climate crisis and inspired by the social movements that have emerged in response, I have spent much of the last few years writing and talking about climate justice. Last year, I published my first book on the topic – Klimagerechtigkeit – with Unrast. It provides an accessible and critical introduction to the different dimensions of climate justice for a broader audience. I have also taken an active role in various groups within the climate justice movement, most recently as part of the @ShellMustFall coalition. As a Justice and Sustainability Fellow, I will be exploring questions of climate justice and social movement strategy and look forward to learning from the community here at the institute.

3 things that make me unique: 

  1. I thoroughly enjoy travelling overland! My longest trip so far has been a journey by train and bus from Singapore to Spain, and I hope to be able to explore more routes in the future.
  2. I just finished a Master’s dissertation on classical Chinese philosophy, a fascination which, as I am told by my friends, may occasionally spill over into daily conversation.
  3. I am also quite a fan of reggae – both as a music genre and its social and political history.

Three things I’m learning:

It’s the year of the tiger! To reflect this, I made a New Year’s resolution to spend more time outdoors and to connect more intimately with my surroundings – even if it takes longer for a city-dweller like me to get there. I am also trying to go swimming more regularly, so I am really looking forward to when the weather gets warm enough to simply jump into one of Potsdam’s wonderful lakes after work.
What I’m currently working on at the IASS:

I am currently working on an interactive research project that seeks to examine and theorize the successes and failures of the youth-led climate strike movement in the past years. I will be summarizing some of my preliminary findings in my upcoming Tuesday Talk on 24 May.

We will also be hosting a small symposium on Striking for Climate Justice on 21-22 October, which, of course, you are all welcome to attend!

Elias König
photo provided by Elias König