Environmental Lecture Series SS23


"The Climate Drama – Are we taking action or just acting like it?"

Here we are, each one of us, standing on this great stage that is steadily igniting. Some are afraid of its future weight, and others are merely reciting. There is no autoplay, no single stairway, nor last will arranged. We are all involved and, here to stay in this century’s great drama: “Climate Change”.  

It is complex, urgent, and the greatest challenge to the humanity of this decade. When has eating meat become worse than burning oil? Or, advocating climate protest more threatening than inequality or populism? Are we really taking meaningful action to combat the climate crisis? Are we, as actors, qualified for this play, or are we just bystanders watching from the sidelines? Maybe we should start changing the script. 

In this intriguing lecture, we’ll cut through the haze of greenwashing and the maze of disinformation. We will analyze the psychology of our action (or rather: our inaction), and delve into the social, political, and economic structures driving – or even impeding – progress. For it is not only about individual action, but the collective movement that can drive a global turnaround against climate change. Don’t miss this chance to get fired up and get ready to act and take on the climate drama!

Check out our trailer! 😉

Play Video



6:30 pm – 7:00 pm (hybrid): Introduction – Environmental Lecture Series

7:00 pm – 8:30 pm (in person):  Festival DOK.fest – Film presentation and 30 min live discussion afterwards:

(OV in German language with English subtitles)

“How many obstacles do we, as a society, put in the way of people who are supposedly ‘different’?” asks Nyke Slawik. As of September 26, 2021, news headlines were flying around her person: “Nyke Slawik – First Trans Woman in the German Bundestag.” But Nyke is more than this headline. The film accompanies her in the months of her candidacy until her election success. Meanwhile, Audrey Dilangu from the SPD in Dinslaken and Lilli Fischer from the CDU in Erfurt are fighting their very own battles in local politics. The three women have one thing in common: despite hate messages and racism, they defend their seemingly inexhaustible commitment. Jan Sebening

Prof. Dr. Florian Kapmeier is Professor of Strategy at ESB Business School of Reutlingen University, Research Affiliate of the MIT Climate Pathways Project, and Partner of NGO Climate Interactive. He presents En-ROADS with his co-authors at scientific conferences on management and climate change, such as Academy of Management, International Conference of the System Dynamics Society, European Geoscience Union, American Geoscience Union, the UN COPs, and IPCC Germany. He led a project funded by the Ministry of the Environment of Baden-Württemberg to produce all En-ROADS materials in German. Furthermore, Worldwide, Prof Kapmeier is among the top 3 users of the model outside of Climate Interactive and the MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative. 


Youth participation at international climate negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has steadily grown. YOUNGO, the official children and youth constituency to the UNFCCC, has done organized efforts to push for more ambitious climate policy since 2009. In this lecture active members of YOUNGO will talk about YOUNGO as a constituency, achievements as well as challenges and how to lobby for change. 

1. Ben Santhouse-James 

Ben Santhouse-James is Energy Contact Point at YOUNGO, the UNFCCC Youth Constituency, and works with a broad range of non-profits and youth climate organisations to promote systems thinking and interdisciplinary approaches to solving the climate crisis. He has been involved with YOUNGO for three years, previously serving on the Global Coordination Team and leading the COP27 and COP26 Energy and Sustainable Consumption & Production Global Youth Statements respectively. He holds an MSc in Energy Systems from the University of Oxford, where his research focused on carbon removals, and a BSc in Earth Science (Geophysics) from Imperial College London. In his day job, Ben works as a Sustainability Consultant at McKinsey & Company across sustainable finance, carbon management, and climate tech, and has previous work experience in environmental policy and growth capital investing across energy transition and circular economy assets.

2. Clara Von Glasow

Clara (28) is a German law graduate who has been an active member of YOUNGO since 2017. She served as the YOUNGO Global Focal Point in 2018 and since then has joined YOUNGO´s Global Coordination Team. Within YOUNGO she focusses on facilitating processes within the constituency and Capacity-Building for youth participation at UNFCCC conferences. In 2019 she sailed across the Atlantic with a group of youth activists to attend a climate conference in Latin America. Since then she has been organizing participation of Latin American youth at international climate conferences through scholarship programs. (last two sentences can be deleted if necessary)

3. Saher Rashid Baig


Youth advocate for Climate Justice, Human Rights and Child Rights Policy | Current Contact Point of the Cities Working Group and Former Contact Point of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) and Human Rights Working Group – YOUNGO; Official Children and Youth Constituency to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) | Stockholm+50 Youth Task Force member on behalf of Sustainable Communities (SDG11) Constituency.


Only ONLINE via Zoom

In order to address the climate and ecological crisis, we need to reduce our material consumption, is lecture will show how the lessons of wellbeing research and the lived experience of happily modest consumers can help us to prioritise what is really important in life. 

Dr. Teresa Belton studied Art History at the University of East Anglia 1971-1974, during which time she was a founder member of the UEA Eco-action Group. Later, she worked in a theatre, in community learning development, and undertook doctoral work into the influence of television on children’s story-making, leading to work as an educational researcher.  She is the author of Happier People Healthier Planet: How putting wellbeing first would help sustain life on Earth   http://happierpeoplehealthierplanet.com 

In our workshop, we use simple calculations to get to the bottom of the following questions:

What is the difference between terawatts and terawatt-hours?

How much energy do I need? How much can I take out of the earth?

How can I estimate my carbon footprint?

What measures can I take, what measures must society and business take to ensure the freedom of future generations?

 Psyche and Physis are ancient Greek words that  are connected to the relationship between cognition of self dimension and environment. Climate change today is unexpectedly connecting this two concepts under a psychological condition related to the perception of an environmental phenomenon: ecoanxiety. How it can be framed into a renewed vision of human health connected to environment? This is particularly true for young generations that are more senstitive and affected by ecoanxiety, in a sort of evolutive trend being the world citizen of tomorrow.

Domenico Vito, PhD Bio-engineer, worked as Researcher at the Metabolism of Cities Living Lab San Diego State University, observer of  Conferences of the Parties since 2015 , Member of the Italian Society of Climate Sciences (SISC), Youtuber HubZine Italia for dissemination on international negotiations and organizer of the Climate Change Symposiums and Climate Social Forum. Since September 2021 he is co-coordinator and member of the scientific committee of the International Conference One Health Conference.

 Paul Cockshott is a Computer Scientist and Marxist Economist. His CS research has covered special purpose machines, 3D TV studios, programming languages and video compression. In Economics he has done work on value theory, the foundations of historical materialism and the operation  of planned economy.

Now retired from paid work he writes and lectures online. He previously worked in the Computer Industry and as an academic at various Scottish Universities. His two most recent books were  How the World Works  and  Economic Planning in an Age of Climate Crisis. 

In this lecture we will discuss about the #DigitalArt4Climate COP28 edition, systemic innovation for all of society climate action empowerment in the context of the UNFCCC, potentials of blockchain technology for menaingful and rewarding youth engagement in climate action and (micro) climate entrepreneurship, our citizens’ climate action app development efforts in the context of the EU INTERREG Central Europe project JET4CEour experiences with the COP27 (and COP28) Digital Innovation pavilion

Miroslav Polzer is the founder and executive director at IAAI GloCha, a UN accredited social enterprise based in Klagenfurt/Austria which aims to get everyone, everywhere engaged in climate action with culture, technology and organizational innovation (including resource mobilization innovation). Miroslav Polzer is founder of the #DigitalArt4Climate program which engages global youth and global creative community in climate action with an art competition, blockchain technology (NFTs) based resource mobilization and related edutainment programs. Miroslav Polzer is also strategic director of the Climate Chain Coalition, which is the world’s leading network of organizations that work in the field of harnessing blockchain technology for enhanced multistakeholder climate action.

Climate scientists agree that the climate crisis poses an existential threat to humanity. Although this knowledge has now reached large parts of society, the collective climate protection measures taken are far from sufficient. What is holding back policy makers, society, and individuals from taking action? The talk will introduce various cognitive action barriers, such as the principle of cognitive dissonance, the bystander effect or the single action bias.

Clara Kühner studied psychology at LMU Munich (B. Sc.) and Bamberg University (M. Sc.). During this time, she held internships in various organizations in the fields of personal development and personnel selection. In 2022, she received her Ph.D. from the University of Leipzig, focusing on the connections between work and employee well-being.

The sociological perspective on the environment and environmentalism at environmental goals in the areas of agriculture, energy, mobility and climate change from a specific angle. Environmental problems are deeply rooted in industrial society. Yet these problems are perceived and interpreted differently by different actors – individuals, organisations and states. From the scientific study of the question of how societies deal with the natural environment, approaches to solving environmental problems can be critically and constructively questioned. 

Birgit Peuker, Berlin, studied and obtained her doctorate in sociology. Her work focuses on the sociology of the environment and technology. She has worked in various research projects at university and non-university research institutions. She is currently employed at the Robert Koch Institute.

Prof. Balensiefen studied law and philosophy at the university of Tübingen where he received his doctoral grade too. Since more than two decades he practices as a Professor of Environmental, Building and Planning Law at the University of Applied Sciences in Biberach. There he established several years ago a climate protection management and a climate protection concept for the University in the program of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment “National Climate Initiative” (https://www.hochschule-biberach.de/campusklimaneutral).

Considering the global anthropogenic climate change with its man-made consequences, questions of motivation and means for taking actions arise:

Are we taking actions for reaching certain goals or are we acting to ease our personal conscience, to feel good or at least better? And: Does it mean that acting together requires that members of acting groups pursue the same purposes?

Depending on the positioning, the instruments of taking actions differ widely: should we move only within the frame of legal possibilities, or is there a concept of justice which legitimates even illegal behaviour? Or does the end, in the sense of preventing the world conflagration, justifies the means? And: What is the role of the scientific community in this? The operating system of science is, first, gaining and generating correct knowledge. Therefore, the theory-practice problem is inherent in it. But already in the Middle Ages the task of the professional faculties (jurisprudence, medicine and theology) was the practical implementation of knowledge, and modern professional faculties like engineering sciences, as well, are unthinkable without the perspectives of practical implementation. On the other hand, are there limits for the duty, or at least the allowance, to take actions in line with our scientifically based knowledge? In the normative scale, there is a broad range going from legal correctness over stressing the boundaries of legal admissibility up to civil disobedience or even violence towards objects or against people.

There is no panacea for all of these problems, but there is the possibility for critical differentiation and for drawing up crash barriers, which should help to prevent mispositioning that neither leads to achieve the overall goals nor to personal self- fulfilment.

Ottmar Edenhofer is director and chief economist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and director of the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC). Furthermore, he is professor at the Technical University of Berlin and considered one of the world’s leading experts on the economics of climate change. His memberships include, among others, the German Academy of Science and Engineering acatech and the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. From 2008 to 2015, Ottmar Edenhofer served as Co-Chair of Working Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Edenhofer’s scientific expertise is sought by policy and international organizations likewise. He has published articles in a number of peer-reviewed journals and authored a number of books. The fourth year in a row, Ottmar Edenhofer belongs to the 1% of the most cited scientists worldwide in the category “interdisciplinary science” according to the Web of Science citation index.

Side events

Room HS1180

First Part: 6.00 pm – 6.30pm

Ilyess El Kortbi (they/them), 26, is a Ukrainian Climate Activist of Ukrainian-Moroccan origin hailing from Kharkiv. In 2019, they co-founded Fridays For Future Ukraine, where they later served as Board Secretary and actively engaged in UNICEF youth projects. As a refugee who escaped war to promote peace and justice through climate action, Ilyess is a powerful voice advocating for the immediate transition to renewable energies as a robust solution for peace and a secure future.

On the eve of the Chernobyl disaster anniversary, Ilyess El Kortbi will discuss the various perspectives on energy security and climate action amidst the ongoing war in Ukraine and their implications for world peace. Drawing from their experiences as a refugee and their
activism background, Ilyess will delve into the complexities surrounding renewable energies, nuclear power, and the role of climate activism in shaping a more sustainable and secure future.
Join us for this thought-provoking talk that emphasizes the need for a united Europe in the face of climate crisis, geopolitical tensions, and military conflict.


Second Part: 6.30 – 7:30 pm – Festival DOK.fest – Film presentation “A Norwegian Headache” (Norsk hodepine) by Rune Denstad Langlo and short discussion afterwards with Ilyess El Kortbi and an Jan Sebening:

Fridays for Future attempt a coup in Norway: for the first time ever, several generations go to court to defend their fundamental right to a clean environment – for Norway and the whole of Europe. A thrilling film about rights, democracy and climate activism. Morgane Remter

Writer: Rune Denstad Langlo, Sigve Endresen. Camera: Alvilde Horjen Naterstad. Sound: Fredric Vogel, Yvonne Stenberg. Editing: Lisa Ekberg. Music: Ola Kvernberg. Production: Motly’s AS. Producer: Sigve Endresen. Length: 51 min. International Sales: Rise And Shine World Sales. Distribution: Rise and Shine World Sales


Only ONLINE via Zoom

Various speakers from different background talk about their practising of Climate Action and respective diverse perspectives.



Tobias Holle (TUM student Straubing, University Policy, YOUNGO) is a master student in bioeconomy and active in the climate movement. He focuses on international climate policy and sustainability at universities. At the moment, Tobias is deeply involved in the support of international climate activists and NGOs and pushing the UNFCCC for the best framework possible with Klimadelegation. Also, he works on a progressive outcome of the Bavarian election in autumn 2023.



Melissa Jiménez Gómez-Tagle is a mexican planetary health scientist, master candidate in sustainable resource management and passionate climate activist. She’s been involved in international processes regarding climate negotiations, such as the Petersberg Climate Dialogue in 2022, COP 25 in Spain, COP 26 in Scotland and COP 27 in Egypt. She’s currently aiming to reduce the carbon footprint from research centers and envision, at the same time, the impact that our positive actions have in our surroundings and in our community. She’s a member of Extinction Rebellion Mexico, Germany and Scotland, as well as Scientist Rebellion.



Ilyess El Kortbi, an experienced environmental activist and a key figure within Fridays For Future Ukraine, will discuss the significance of youth leadership in climate action. The presentation will provide an overview of the unique challenges faced by the movement amidst the ongoing conflict and political instability in Ukraine. The discussion will focus on the strategies and tactics used by Fridays For Future Ukraine to mobilize young people, promote environmental awareness, and drive meaningful change.





Anna is a 20-year-old student studying Liberal Arts and Sciences in Freiburg. With a longstanding interest in politics and climate change, she became increasingly informed about the urgency of the climate crisis, leading her to join the Letzte Generation movement in October 2022. Recognizing the need to take immediate action to secure a sustainable future, she has actively engaged in civil disobedience as a means of advocating for change.

ONLY in presence! HS1200 – Carl-von-Linde Lecture-Hall

On May 31st at 7 pm, a Fishbowl discussion on the role of universities in the climate crisis and climate policy will take place in the Carl-von-Linde lecture hall (Arcisstr. 21).
Representatives from various status groups of the TUM, including the new Vice President Sustainable Transformation, Prof. Werner Lang, as well as representatives from students and doctoral candidates, will be present at the event. In addition, there will be an open space for questions from the audience.
The discussion will be held in English and will address three demands of the sustainability campaign #Hochdruck: Sustainability in teaching, climate-friendly campus design, and financing sustainable universities.

World leaders have finally woken up to the fact that a global strategy is needed to address one of the biggest environmental threats facing our planet: plastic pollution. In March 2022 UN member states agreed to negotiate a new legally binding global plastics treaty. This is an unmissable chance to shift from today’s dangerous business-as-usual pathway, but it must be the right kind of treaty—one that really tackles the plastic problem.

Jakob Franke is an Associate at Systemiq, a hybrid between a sustainability consultancy and a system change think tank that fights the climate crisis. He is a policy expert and most interested in projects that drive disruptions of our unsustainable economic system. He holds a Master of Public Policy and Administration from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

Location: 0360, Theodor-Fischer-Hörsaal (0503.EG.360)

Taking sustainability serious demands to push beyond the economic growth paradigm and overcome the focus on accumulating wealth.
Our societies idea of what a good life is needs to be questioned and re-invented. Differenciating between wealth and well-being is key, as happiness and sustainability could well fit together. The philosophical concept of ‘the art of living’ might help us to overcome materialism and a well understood hedonism might also contribute to develop future lifestyles of sufficiency.
Dr. Jochen Dallmer is a political scientist and wrote his phd on the topic of ‘sustainability & happiness’. Jochen is working as freelance facilitator and consultant on topics of sustainability, subjective well-being and education. He is based in Berlin, but likes to travel for work and leisure.









Lecture Hall Max-von-Bauernfeind HS2750

Meeting ID: 626 4871 4088

Passcode: Climate

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History of the Environmental Lecture Series

The lecture series on the environment is an interdisciplinary, public lecture series organised by the Environmental Department of the Student Union of the TU Munich. It is organised by TU Munich students on a voluntary basis.

Speakers have been giving lectures on the topic of sustainability since 1985. This includes, for example, technical environmental protection, health, consumer and climate protection. In this way, it offers both students and teachers at the TU Munich, as well as the non-university public, the opportunity to learn about and discuss these topics and research results at a scientific level.

The speakers from research, associations, authorities and companies will be happy to answer questions from the audience after the lecture; the slides of the lectures, and in some cases the video recordings themselves, will be made available – if available – on our website. In the 40 years of its existence, more than 480 lectures have been organised so far.

In the meantime, the lecture series on the environment has become a regular part of the TU’s lecture programme and is supported, among others, by the management of the TU Munich, the Munich Center for Technology in Society and the KHG of the TU Munich. The lecture series on the environment is a partner of the BNB, the “Alliance for Sustainability in Bavaria”. In addition, some lectures are held in cooperation with the Environmental Academy and the Munich Forum for Sustainability.

We would also like to thank our regular media partners, the Münchner Klimaherbst and Jahnsmedia.

Our previous lecture series

Watch our previous recorded lectures here!