Sustainability Working Group


Join us in the search for economic solutions to environmental challenges like climate change, pollution, and the management and distribution of finite resources. 

Anna Hornykewycz (Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria)
Mateusz Ciasnocha (Ciasnocha Family Farms, Poland)
Jheelum Sarkar (American University, USA)


Mandate (2024)

Research themes

Exploring the nexus between Sustainability and Inequality on various levels, specifically:  

  • Sustainability and poverty, 
  • The political economy of sustainability in the Global South, 
  • Environmental justice and racism, 
  • Climate change adaptation and gender.  

Conceptualizing economic and legal models for a sustainable (regenerative) society, specifically:  

  • Alternative economic systems, 
  • Necessary legal frameworks for sustainability, 
  • Sustainability and the social solidarity economy, 
  • Community-led environmental stewardship, 
  • Sustainability and the administration of common goods.  

Climate action on various levels, specifically: 

  • UNFCCC Climate Process and Implementation, 
  • Key economic considerations for sustainability in the final decade of SDG action, 
  • Farmers in the climate action, 
  • Building resilience against environmental shocks (e.g. pandemics).  

Financing the socio-ecological transition, specifically: 

  • Role of Central Banks and International Development Banks in just transition, 
  • Public money for public goods, 
  • Repurposing agricultural subsidies – from subsidies to delivery of public services.

Research questions


  • How can we achieve a socially and ecologically just world without perpetuating racism or neo-colonialism? 
  • What does ‘sustainability’ mean to the marginalized communities who suffer the most the environmental disasters? How can this definition inform public policies? 
  • How can we make international processes just and participatory?  

Economic and legal concepts:  

  • How is the climate crisis connected to the capitalist system and to what extent must the capitalist system be changed in order to ensure long-term and overall sustainability? 
  • What legal framework is necessary to support sustainability? 
  • What are the limitations of economic thinking in addressing environmental problems? Can alternative approaches help address the impacts of climate change and potential policies? 
  • Between technological breakthroughs and social innovations of the millennials, what will the cooperative of 2050 be made of?  

Climate action:  

  • How does environmental activism challenge the capitalist system, and what methods, limitations, and learning outcomes are involved? 
  • How to start and accelerate systemic policy making? Especially on the nexus of climate change and agricultural policy-making. 
  • Value of soil health in policymaking? EU Soil Mission, CA4SH: Coalition of Action for Soil Health, National Soil Advocate & the Parliamentary Friends of Soil Health – Australia  


  • Putting (private) money to work through the IDBs: International Development Banks? 
  • How can a socio-ecological transition be financed? 
  • What is the role of finance in achieving sustainable development in the Global South? 

Projects Planned 

Existing partnerships and cooperation 

  • Brazilian Association of Ecological Economics (ECOECO) 
  • CA4SH: Coalition of Action for Soil Health 
  • Central Bank of Bolivia (BCB) 
  • Ciasnocha Family Farms 
  • EIT Food 
  • EU Soil Mission 
  • Future Earth Early Career Researchers – Network of Networks (Future Earth ECR NoN) 
  • IFAMA: International Agribusiness Management Association 
  • Institute for the Comprehensive Analysis of the Economy (ICAE), Linz 
  • International Input-Output Association (IIOA) 
  • MIDAS Project 
  • Ministry of Economy and Finance of Bolivia (MEFP) 
  • Oxford University – Laudato Si Research Institute 
  • Sant’Anna Scuola Universitaria Superiore, Pisa 
  • Scholas Occurrentes – Scholas Catedras 
  • Sustainability & Livelihood Research – Organization (SULIVER) 
  • The Economy of Francesco 
  • The European Carbon Farmers 
  • UNFCCC Conference of the Parties 
  • High Level Champions for Climate Action 
  • Food System Pavilion 
  • University of Padova 


You’re welcome to join any webinar or reading group at any time. You’re also invited to apply to present or participate in an any in-person workshop in your area. 



The latest updates and announcements, sent out to all working group members via email.
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Call for Papers 9th Latin American Energy Economics Meeting (ELAEE)
Dear member of the Sustainability WG, please consider and share…
February 9, 2024
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Call for Papers 9th Latin American Energy Economics Meeting (ELAEE)
Dear member of the Sustainability WG, please consider and share…
February 9, 2024
event news image
Call for Papers 9th Latin American Energy Economics Meeting (ELAEE)
Dear member of the Sustainability WG, please consider and share…
February 9, 2024
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