Mindfulness based learning
(Credit: Clarissa Diekmann)


Change perspective, change the world?

Climate change, with its symptoms such as air and water pollution, soil erosion and devastation, rising sea levels, extinction of species and mass migration, raises the question of whether and how we are able to learn to deal more sustainably and fairly with ourselves and our human and non-human environment.

Many things in our society seem "normal, natural and necessary" to us because of familiar cultural practices, systems of belief and structures of power, but they contribute massively to this problem.

What changes of perspective have paused you already in your everyday routine to think about the non-sustainable aspects of our culture, society, politics and economy?

You are invited to share your insights.


 Mindfulness Based Learning: Consumer Society
Credit: Lea Joerg

This drawing depicts today's Western consumer society. We are used to being able to buy anything we want quickly and anywhere, whether it is exotic fruit, technical equipment or clothing. We have plenty of food and drinks.

And all this seems to us to be ? normal ? and natural. But what do we see when we look closer and question critically?

We suddenly see that we live in a society of mass consumption, performance orientation, technologisation and capitalism. We realise that convictions such as belief in free market economy and constant economic growth promote the global climate crisis. We perceive the super-tankers, oil tankers, container ships are being built to satisfy global consumption and industry.

We realise that most goods travel miles around the world to get from the country of manufacture to the country of consumption. Today already 90% of all goods are shipped. This means that 500 million containers are transported every year. The effects of all this are catastrophic for our environment and are slowly but surely destroying our planet.

We are aware of the consequences, but why don't we do something about it? Does the preservation of our standard of living prevent us from doing so? If we don't react now, when will we?


In the drawing you see a man who goes into the forest and gets firewood so that he can heat his home. He doesn't think much about the impact his actions have on the environment.

  • But what happens if we look at the whole thing from a different perspective?
  • We see that forests are being cleared to make way for fodder crops, which will then be used for mass livestock farming.
  • We see that the survival of bees and many other animal and plant species is threatened.
  • We see that deforestation of the rainforests is contributing to the destruction of many ecosystems and habitats.
  • We understand that deforestation, slash-and-burn and other interventions are destroying our forests.

Now the question arises, what are we going to do with this knowledge? Do we continue to watch destruction or do we take the initiative and change something?

Where do your shoes come from? Your favorite fruit, the avocado? Your pepping up make-up pencil?

Or - where will your high-tech equipment for everyday use end up when the market offers something new again? Why do we deal with the world as if we had a second one stored?


Through the concept of minimalism, people want to achieve freedom. Freedom is restricted because we put too much meaning into material things. By minimising the material objects the focus can be directed to the important things in life. The nice thing is that minimalism is not a generally given concept, but every human being can live minimalistically in his or her own way.

Is your happiness hidden behind all your things?

The Lightsmog-problem

The term "light pollution" may sound a little strange at first, but the problems that result from it cannot be dismissed.

Buildings and facades illuminated as bright as day cause a sensory overload and a change in night-time perception, especially in large cities. In many metropolises, it is hardly possible to admire the stralit sky in its full splendour because it is virtually "outshone" by the many artificial light sources.

Flora and fauna are also strongly influenced by light pollution. Countless birds and insects are killed by light traps or street lamps, and many nocturnal animals also react extremely sensitively to the artificial light sources.

It is also a strong influence on our internal clock. Sleep rhythm disturbances or lack of energy and drive can be a result.

(Source: https://www.durchdacht.at/2015/05/lichtverschmutzung/)

If the Titanic sank in 2050

  • 60 % of the fruit and 66 % of the vegetables offered are wrapped in plastic.
  • Throughout Germany, all packaging waste generates 90,000 tons of plastic waste a year.
  • Each German produces 24.9 kg of plastic waste per year.

Is this part of the European or Austrian solution to reduce plastic waste?

  • 70% of global water is used for agriculture.
  • Farm animals consume about 8% of the global water and thus represent the largest consumer group.
  • About 15,000 litres of water are needed for 1 kg of beef.
  • The waste water is usually only partially treated and returned to the water cycle, since e.g. pesticides or medicine cannot be filtered. This restricts the amount of available drinking water.
  • A study from Oxford has shown: If all people were to eat a purely vegetarian diet, greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by 2/3 by 2050.
  • A consistent vegetarian vegan diet would halve our current water consumption. 


The woman has beautiful parts,
but look again carefully,
what's behind it,
who sews for these brands,
if children work hard for it,
animals had to suffer for it,
if it destroys the environment,
you've heard it all before.
And who profits from it,
or who loses in the process.
Where are you in this game,
do you make that much on consumption?

The Alpine glaciers have shrunk by a third over the past 150 years. Between 1901 and 2011, their volume fell by half.

The phenomena of climate change pose considerable risks for the future population that are difficult to assess.

To preserve ski tourism, many glaciers are covered with fleece in summer to protect them from the sun's rays. Even in lower areas, tourism would no longer exist without artificial assistance.

The enormous energy and water consumption, as well as interventions in sensitive landscapes destroy natural areas.



Reingard Spannring, Institute of Educational Science (Faculty of Educational Sciences).

This micro exhibition is part of the 350th anniversary of the University of Innsbruck.


Marie Theres Kappacher, Pia Wolff, Institute of Design (Faculty of Architecture)

Project member

Isabella Friedle


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