Capitalist production and consumption patterns overburden planetary boundaries, contribute to climate change and damage biodiversity and natural areas. In Germany, too, the climate and environmental crisis is becoming steadily more noticeable and underlines the urgency of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12 "Sustainable patterns of consumption and production". Consequently, the social striving for a socio-ecological transformation is growing in large parts of society, as shown for example by the Fridays for Future movement or a high level of environmental awareness in our society.

In response to such challenges, Social Innovations for Sustainable Consumption (SI-nK) are emerging, contributing to a socio-ecological transformation of consumption and production. They offer solutions to social problems by fulfilling social and ecological needs away from capitalist structures and creating new social relationships or cooperations in the process. They are thus new approaches to action, thinking and organisation that are indispensable for a sustainable economy and are said to have a high potential for change. Examples of SI-nK are energy cooperatives or solidarity farming projects, but also repair cafés or online resale or lending platforms. While the concepts of SICs have already been studied in depth, there is a lack of empirical research that specifically addresses the impact and transformation potential of SICs.

This is where FoSInKo comes in: As a collaborative partner with the Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW), we are jointly implementing both theoretical and empirical work in five work packages for the selected case studies for SI-nK in online resale and solidarity farming projects. Together with the IÖW, the IZT is developing an impact model for the case studies for impact assessment and then testing the applicability and generalisability of the impact model to other SI-nK. With a representative panel survey, the IÖW analyses the diffusion potential of SI-nK. The project concludes with the development of a monitoring concept jointly developed by the IZT and the IÖW, which is intended to enable the long-term monitoring of the spread of S&C in Germany.

The project uses an interdisciplinary range of methods (including foresight, futurology, technology assessment, life cycle assessment, social and consumer research). Another focus is on the participation of relevant stakeholders for a theoretical and methodological knowledge transfer on SI impact assessment.