Critical Sustainability Studies

Current News


Residency "Den Samen der Veränderung säen" - The mLAB and EcoArtLab aim to use art to open up new perspectives on climate change.

The residency "Sowing the Seeds of Change" at the mLAB and EcoArtLab examines climate change from an artistic perspective. Nora Gailer and Alisha Dutt Islam explore the temporal nature of living in climate-conflicted regions and address concepts such as abundance, scarcity, drought and flooding in relation to soil health. Through their work, they aim to change the perception of soil and encourage viewers to rethink their perspective. The connection between India and the Alps is made through the shared impact of climate change, and the project explores alternative forms of connection with nature and collaboration. In an interview with BFH, they talk about their personal motivation and perspective on the project.

In addition, Susan Thieme was interviewed by SRF Regionaljournal Bern Freiburg Wallis about the exhibition at the Ballenberg Open-Air Museum.


New ASG thematic group Health & Wellbeing

Maaret Jokela-Pansini (University of Oxford) and Susan Thieme (Universität Bern) are leading the new Verband Geographie Schweiz (ASG) thematic group Health and Wellbeing. This aims to bring together researchers in geography studying the different factors that influence health and wellbeing and produce injustices, and the practices and discourses different individuals and institutions use to act upon such injustices in a transformative way.


Concretely, the thematic group will organise workshops, meetings and talks to address issues related to health and wellbeing and to connect people working along those topics.

Image: Dialog N


Student Minds Network

The University of Bern supports the project financially via U-Change and is a co-applicant through Prof. Dr. Susan Thieme. The Student Minds Network is networked with the student organizations SUB and Mind Balance at the University of Bern and various joint activities are being planned for 2024 and beyond.

The Student Minds Network connects student and youth organizations that campaign for mental health at universities on a national level. The aim is to strengthen and protect mental health and to remove the taboos and stigma surrounding the topic in higher education. The project is based at the Swiss Student Union (VSS) and the first project phase in 2024 is largely funded by the U-Change program.


Transdisciplinary Research (TDR) lecture series

Prof. Dr. Susan Thieme with the lecture "Building Structures for TDR: Opportunities and Challenges" in the lecture series "Transdisciplinary Research. Its Nature and Value for Society".

Wednesday, 21 February 2024, 17:00-18:30
At SUPSI (Scuola universitaria professionale della Svizzera italiana)

Programme lecture series TDR "Its Nature and Value for Society" (PDF, 716KB)


Susan Thieme with "Geographie im Gespräch" for the Geographische Gesellschaft Bern

Prof. Dr. Susan Thieme will moderate a discussion on 14.11.2023 at 18.15 - 19.30 in the Alpine Museum of Switzerland, at Helvetiaplatz 4, 3005 Bern, with:

Dr. hc. Simone Schmid, screenwriter, studied at GIUB 1999 - 2004
Simon Bärtschi, Editor-in-Chief BZ / Bund, studied at GIUB 1992 - 1998
Dr. Katrin Schneeberger, Director Federal Office for the Environment, studied and did her doctorate at GIUB 1987 - 2000

Presentations of the Geographische Gesellschaft Bern (German only)

Programm Presentations "Geographie-Gespräche" of the Geographische Gesellschaft Bern (German only) (PDF, 1.3 MB)


Presentation of Luca Tschiderer for the Geographische Gesellschaft Bern

Luca Tschiderer in conversation with Dr. Karina Liechti, Geographer, Centre for Development and Environment CDE at the University of Bern, studied at GIUB 1998 - 2003.

A lecture on 12.12.2023 at 18.15-19.30 in the Large Lecture Hall 001 at GIUB, Hallerstrasse 12 in 3012 Bern, on the topic "Von Gemeingütern zu einer nachhaltigen Gesellschaft der Zukunft?" moderated by Patrick Sieber from SECO.

Presentations of the Geographische Gesellschaft Bern (German only)

Programm Presentations "Geographie-Gespräche" of the Geographische Gesellschaft Bern (German only) (PDF, 1.3 MB)


5th Global Science Filmfestival in Bern

In collaboration with the Swiss Science Film Academy, the mLAB presents the 5th Global Science Film Festival.

World politics and science meet on the big screen. The festival will show international feature films, documentaries and short films that link social developments with current scientific debates. Following the film screenings, the topics will be explored in depth in moderated discussions between the audience, filmmakers and researchers.

Click here for the programme

The whole programme as a download (PDF, 5.9 MB)


New Publication

Prof. Dr. Susan Thieme has written an article on migration infrastructures and mobility injustice for the Almanach Entwicklungspolitik 2024 by Caritas.

Click here for the Website and the Almanach (only in German)


Picture: Musikfestival Bern

Susan Thieme with the composer Anda Kryeziu about the topic of identity at the Musikfestival Bern

Prof. Dr. Susan Thieme talks with Anda Kryeziu about the topic of identity at the Musikfestival Bern at the Progr.

Freitag, 08. September at 12:30h at Progr Bern.

Further Information and Tickets (German)


New Publication

Publikation by Prof. Dr. Susan Thieme, Prof. Irene Vögeli, Mirko Winkel and Luca Tschiderer:

Thieme, Susan; Vögeli, Irene; Winkel, Mirko und Tschiderer, Luca (2023): Care-Arbeit erzählbar machen – Transdisziplinäre Lehre als Aushandlung zwischen geographischer Forschung und künstlerischer Praxis (Narrating care-work: negotiating geographical research and artistic practice in transdisciplinary teaching). QuPuG - Journal für Qualitative Forschung in Pflege- und Gesundheitswissenschaft. 1(10): 6-14.

This publication relates to the research project 'Healthcare Unbound', and the course 'Film and Geography' of the Fall Semester 2022.



Master Thesis wins the second SGAG-Price 2022

Eileen Schilliger wins second prize in the Swiss Society of Applied Geography (SGAG) Award 2022 with her master's thesis.

Master's thesis title:  «Koproduktion von Wissen durch Film. Eine filmische Perspektive auf die Lebenswelten von Schafhirt*innen in der Schweiz.»

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Susan Thieme.

The thesis examined and depicted the living environments and everyday work of three shepherds in Switzerland. The focus of the study was on their personal knowledge and future perspectives. Together with the shepherds, a film was co-produced to make their experiences accessible to a wider audience. On a methodological level, the thesis makes a very important and original contribution by demonstrating the potential of film in geography as a research and communication medium for collaborative transdisciplinary work.

Click here for the film (German): Wandernde Lebenswelten


Student Films Work/Health/Care

As part of the course "Film and Geography," students produced various films on the topic of Work/Health/Care.
The course was taught by Mirko Winkel, Luca Tschiderer, Susan Thieme, Irene Vögeli, Nora Longatti, Judith Weidmann, and Jana Thierfelder.

More information on the project and its exhibition:

Click here for the student films:


Prof. Dr. Susan Thieme, Dr. Sarah Hartmann und Luca Tschiderer in Oxford

Workshop "Creative Methods in Health Geographies", a collaboration between the School of Geography and the Environment, Oxford UK, as well as Critical Sustainability Studies and mLab, Institute of Geography at the University of Bern.

Program Workshop "Creative Methods in Health Geographies" in Oxford, May 2023 (PDF, 220KB)


Spatial Narratives – Installation

Wanda Spahl and Dominic Schwab

The installation Spatial Narratives displays a hybrid media geography that unfolds the work in progress of the interdisciplinary collaboration GEOGRAPHY OF GHOSTS. Mapping multiple media/meanings of healthcare for refugees (mLAB Residency). Through integrating artistic research methods into classical social science methods Spatial Narratives forms a fragmented landscape of experiences, legal frameworks, spaces and affection.
The installation attends to the in/visibility of refugees in the public (healthcare system) and to their place in liminal space and reflects upon this through various modalities and media.
Further information: Link

(1st through 3rd of May, Monday and Tuesday 10:00 – 18:00 and Wednesday 13:00 – 16:00, room 007, GIUB)

Tuesday: Apéro at 13:45 and short introduction at 14:00


Exhibition: Narrating care-work

In the context of social transformation processes, care is increasingly ascribed a central political function. In the everyday life of nurses and health professionals, knowledge acquired in professional practice plays an important role, which has so far remained underexposed in the scientific discussion. The mLAB at the Department of Geography in Bern and the Master’s program in Transdisciplinarity at the Zurich University of the Arts have approached the topic of nursing across disciplinary boundaries with a new teaching format. The films produced by the students can be seen here:

Cafe "HalleR

Film installation: 4 - 17 May 23, Monday - Friday 07:30am - 4pm, basement Hallerstrasse 10
Opening with snacks: 4 May, 1pm
With Prof. Dr. Susan Thieme and Prof. Dr. Christoph Gehrlach (Head of Institute Organisation and Social Management), Luca Tschiderer and Mirko Winkel (GIUB) and students of the course "Film and Geography".

Department of Public Health

Film installation: 10 - 16 May
And  on the occasion of the Day of Care on 12 May, we will show the films on care work at the Department of Health, International Lounge, 6th floor, Schwarztorstrasse 48, 3007 Bern
Discussion: 16 May 2023, 4:30pm - 6pm, Room 404, Schwarztorstrasse 48, 3007 Bern
As part of the discussion, excerpts from the films will be used to discuss the potential of film for a critical examination of the topic of care work. What possibilities does the medium offer to bring together creative and different perspectives on this subject and to make them negotiable in a broader public?

With Prof. Dr. Sabine Hahn (Head of the Department of Nursing), Prof. Irene Vögeli (Co-Head of the Master Transdisciplinarity, ZHdK), Prof. Dr. Susan Thieme (Critical Sustainability Research, Co-Head  of mLAB), Luca Tschiderer (PhD student, Critical Sustainability Research “Future of Work”) and students of the course “Film and Geography”.


Workshop "Our One Earth Home: An Embodied Journey of Transformation" With Dr. Rama Mani

On the 5th and 6th of June 2023, the workshop "Our One Earth Home: An Embodied Journey of Transformation" with Dr. Rama Mani (Theatre of Transformation Academy) will take place. Please register by the 15th of May 2023 and write your interest and motivation to participate in the workshop to Prof. Dr. Susan Thieme and Anja Ruckstuhl.

See also the research project "Healthcare unbound: A transnational perspective on the future of the world of work in health care" by Prof. Dr. Susan ThiemeDr. Sarah Hartmann and Luca Tschiderer.

Flyer to the Workshop with Dr. Rama Mani (PDF, 253KB)


Filmscreening "Weaving Threads Across Borders" with Yvonne Riaño (Université de Neuchâtel)

As part of the lecture "Migration, Im/Mobilities, In/Equalities" lead by Prof. Dr. Susan Thieme, there will be a lunch cinema with subsequent discussion on the documentary film "Weaving Threads Across Borders" with Prof. Dr. Yvonne Riaño on Monday, 15.05.2023 from 12:15 - 14:00h. All interested parties are cordially invited.

Flyer Lunchkino Prof. Dr. Yvonne Riaño (PDF, 1.2 MB)


New Research Project

An SNF-funded collaboration between the EcoArtLab, the BHK, the mLAB and the Research Unit Critical Sustainability Studies.


Click here for further information on the research project.


New Publication

Just published: new publication by Susan Thieme and Thomas Schulte-Vels

Thieme, Susan und Thomas, Schulte-Vels (2022). Kritisches Denken: Eine Einladung zum Mitreden und Mitdenken. Psychiatrische Pflege, 7:6, 9-11.

If you are interested in the publication, please contact Susan Thieme.


Mirko Winkel and Susan Thieme at the International Transdisciplinarity Conference ITD 2022

Mirko Winkel and Susan Thieme present at the International Transdisciplinarity Conference on the 07.09.2022 in Rapperswil.


New Publication

New publication by Andrea Kölbel, Joanna Pfaff-Czarnecka andSusan Thieme.

Kölbel, Andrea; Pfaff-Czarnecka, Joanna; Thieme, Susan (Eds.) (2022). Universities as Transformative Social Spaces. Mobilities and Mobilizations from South Asian Perspectives. Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Table of Contents Universities as Transformative Social Spaces (PDF, 52KB)

If you are interested in the publication, please contact Susan Thieme.