Prof. Dr. Katrin Böhning-Gaese: Planetary thinking and nature conservation

July 1, 2021 | online | co-hosts: Prof. Dr. Roland Borgards, Dr. Camelia-Eliza Telteu

She is recognized for her work on the relationships between humans and ecosystems, in particular the influence of global climate and land use change on biodiversity and ecosystems and the relationships between biodiversity and human well-being.
Planetary thinking and nature conservation Katrin Böhning-Gaese Together with the climate and water crisis, the loss of biodiversity is the third existential environmental crisis of the planet. One out of 8 million species is threated by extinction; we are currently at the beginning of the 6th global mass extinction event in earth history. The presentation of Katrin Böhning-Gaese will show how planetary thinking changed nature conservation, in particular the protection of species and sites. By the combination of knowledge on the global spatial distribution of species and sites, by a network of global, regional and local institutions, and by conventions, laws and action at the global, regional and local scale, it was possible to identify the species and sites most threatened and important from a planetary perspective and to protect at least some of them successfully. Nevertheless, further measures to protect and advance biodiversity need a much deeper change in human-nature relationships and fundamental transformations of social-ecological systems towards sustainability.


Prof. Dr. Claus Leggewie, Dr. Frederic Hanusch: Planetary Thinking - an introduction

June 10, 2021 | online | co-hosts: Prof. Dr. Thomas Hickler, Dr. Camelia-Eliza Telteu


They are recognized for their work in political science and on global change. They initiated the “Panel Planetary Thinking” at Giessen University.

Planetary Thinking describes a widened worldview that is increasingly being adopted in science and beyond: a new, transgressive way of thinking which we discuss as a "Denkkollektiv" (thought collective) in its characteristics and potential consequences. As we currently seem to be approaching the end of the world as we know it, this might be the perfect time to rid ourselves of the anthropocentric concept of globalization and begin to ‘think the planet.’ In our talk, we start by compiling a genealogy of planetary thinking, draft a systematization, take a step into planetary constellations and provide planetary perspectives.

Prof. Dr. Petra Döll: Planetary thinking in support of a sustainable water management

May 20, 2021 | online | co-hosts: Dr. Philipp Schink, Dr. Camelia-Eliza Telteu

She is recognized for her work on global freshwater modeling and on transdisciplinary and participatory research methods.

Water scarcity, water pollution, sea level rise … Planetary thinking is necessary to achieve a sustainable management of our freshwater resources. Planetary thinking means to think about planet Earth as a social-ecological system or rather as consisting of very many social-ecological systems where humans, non-human biota and the other parts of the Earth system interact. And it means to think about the whole globe as one spatial entity with manifold connections among spatial locations and sub-systems. In her presentation, Petra Döll will show global-scale analyses of water flows and storages on the continents and how they are affected by human activities. These quantitative estimates of human interference with the Earth system help to identify how human activities should be changed to enable a sustainable development of (not only) the global freshwater system.

Prof. Dr. Thomas Lemke: Planetary thinking and New Materialism

April 22, 2021 | online | co-hosts: Prof. Dr. Petra Döll, Dr. Camelia-Eliza Telteu

He is recognized for his contributions to science and technology studies and his work on governmentality and biopolitics.


The talk undertakes a kind of preliminary mapping of planetary thought. I will start with the question: what is planetary thought, explaining what I mean by thought and how I understand the planetary. The next part introduces the new materialisms and hopefully clarifies how they fit into the picture of the planetary. I will present central themes and features, point to some promising aspects and expose one serious shortcoming of this strand of thought, namely how new materialisms perform the critique of anthropocentrism. The last part proposes what might be considered a draft definition of planetary thought.