Overline: Workshop
Headline: Planetary Health: Scoping the German Research Landscape

The research approach of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies is transformative, transdisciplinary, and co-creative, with a focus on developing a common understanding of sustainability challenges and options for their resolution in cooperation with actors from science, the political and administrative spheres, business, and civil society. IASS researchers support decision-making processes at the local, national and international levels by identifying sustainable development pathways and actively contributing to transformation processes.

Given the research approach outlined above, it is fitting that the Institute is hosting a meeting to further explore the interlinkages between the health of the environment and human health – known as ‘planetary health’.  This concept of planetary health refers to the idea that the health of the planet and the humans that inhabit it are inexplicably intertwined. Planetary health is a topic that naturally cuts across boundaries of traditional sectors and academic disciplines. It is directly relevant for climate-resilient development issues such as air quality, nutrition and food security, water safety and security, and changes in vector-borne diseases. The concept of planetary health has attracted widespread interest recently, with examples including the Lancet Countdown: ‘Tracking Progress on Health and Climate Change’, as well as the recently-released sixth Global Environment Outlook report ‘Healthy Planet, Healthy People’.  

The IASS is planning a one-day interactive forum to bring together key players from across the German and international research landscape who conduct research and policy activities that relate to planetary health. The goal of the workshop is to identify research gaps as well as synergies, and to canvass opportunities to embed the concept of planetary health more deeply in the work of IASS and collaborating organisations.

Key topics for discussion include:

•    Planetary health: science  background and international context
•    Current research landscape
•    Current and emerging funding opportunities
•    Embedding the concept of planetary health more widely – what are promising approaches?

The agenda of the workshop can be found here.

Participants and Structure:

The IASS planetary health workshop invites selected research pioneers and policy makers with a broad range of expertise: on health, climate change, air quality, nutrition and food security, governance, education, and more. The majority of participants are associated with German research or policy institutes; this focus is complemented by perspectives from key international participants.

The workshop is designed to run for one day, with each participant providing an input statement based on their area of research or expertise. Discussion formats will be designed to maximize mutual learning and exchange. The goal of the workshop is begin mapping the German research landscape on planetary health, identify gaps and needs, and scope potential cooperations for moving forward.


Wissenschaftsetage im Bildungsforum Potsdam, 4th floor
Am Kanal 47, 14467 Potsdam

Workshop Summary:

Mar, K. A., Bowen, K., Maglakelidze, M., de Paula, N. (2019): Planetary Health: Scoping the German Research Landscape, (IASS Workshop Summary ; August 2019), Planetary Health: Scoping the German Research Landscape (Potsdam 2019), Potsdam : Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, 14 p.
DOI: http://doi.org/10.2312/iass.2020.005