Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is about teaching how to think and act to ensure the well-being of people and the planet. In sociology, ESD has so far been undervalued and treated as a topic related more to the natural, agricultural or scientific sciences. A new trend in inter-/multi- and trans-disciplinary programmes is now evident and includes action oriented sociology to mitigate climate changes. Within the thematic group we want to discuss the various forms of activities (research, education, advocacy) of sociologists, their effectiveness, mission and goals. In particular, we are interested in the following questions:

  • How do sociologists respond to the climate-environment crisis within and outside the academy?
  • How can sociology help us understand human activities in the Anthropocene in our daily work and lives?
  • Do we have the right teaching tools to deal with this task within the academy?
  • Where are the possibilities for interdisciplinary cooperation between representatives of the social sciences and representatives of other sciences, e.g. earth sciences? What opportunities and challenges does this cooperation present?
  • How can the social sciences prepare us, if at all, for a future in which ecological catastrophe is one of the realistic possible scenarios?
  • How can we confront the emotions that knowledge of the current climate-environmental crisis generates in both academics and students? How do we address these emotions in the didactic process?
  • What issues, topics, tasks, activities should be central to academic climate-environmental activism from the perspective of those directly involved in academia?
  • How do existing concepts, theories, schools in the social sciences problematize the issues that address the above questions?

The point, then, is to draw attention to the proposal that the social sciences should be an integral part of the discussion of the climate-environmental crisis, seeking new ways of thinking about it, problematising it and, what is more, also taking action in the broadly defined field of applied humanities directed at one of the most urgent and complex problems of today and, above all, of the future.