Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize Online Conference 2022

titel picture of the online conference showing sunrise over planet earth

© Pixabay

Planetary boundaries and social dynamics of decarbonization

  • Presented by: Deutsches Wissenschafts- und Innovationshaus Tokyo (DWIH Tokyo, German Centre for Research and Innovation Tokyo) in cooperation with Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation)
  • Date/Time: Wednesday, 14th December 2022, 9:00-12:00 (CEWT) / 17:00-20:00 (JST)
  • Language: English / Japanese with simultaneous translation
  • Place: Online, livestream on YouTube


Please proceed to the homepage of the DWIH Tokyo via the link below to register for the talks, the panel discussion (YouTube live stream), and the group discussion.

Registration for the group discussion (online meeting tool)

The language for the discussions is English (with a translator present to support).
The deadline for registration for the group discussions is 9th December.


In honour of DFG Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize winners of 2019, Prof. Dr. Stefan Aykut at the University of Hamburg and Dr. Jonathan Donges at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the German Centre for Research and Innovation Tokyo (DWIH Tokyo) are presenting the second Heinz Maier-Leibnitz-Prize Online Conference.

Right after the 27th UN Climate Change Conference researchers from Germany and Japan will share their insight into the state of our planet in the year 2022. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm in 1972. The same year, the Club of Rome published the ‘Limits to Growth’ report, which constituted a first attempt to link dynamics of social and natural systems. The conference and the report put the question of global ecological limits to human development on the global agenda. In 2022, we are also celebrating 30 years of integrated climate impact research at the Potsdam Institute, and it has been 25 years since the ‘Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’ has been adopted in December 1997.

The Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize Online Conference on “Planetary boundaries and social dynamics of decarbonization“ will highlight the significance of these anniversaries. The prize winners will introduce research on the social dynamics of ecological problems, especially climate change, and on the complex structures of the earth system in the Anthropocene. We will discuss the global challenges and risks of climate and environmental crises for human societies from the perspectives of Germany and Japan. We invite participants from both countries to join the discussions with our speakers and share ideas on environmental governance, climate mitigation and resilience building for the years to come.

DFG Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize winners of 2019

HML prize winner Dr. Stefan Aykut

Prof. Dr. Stefan Aykut

Assistant Professor of Sociology, Director of the Center for sustainable society research (CSS), University of Hamburg

HML prize winner Dr. Jonathan Donges

Dr. Jonathan Donges

Co-Leader of the FutureLab on Earth Resilience in the Anthropocene, Working Group Leader on Whole Earth System Analysis in Research Department on Earth System Analysis, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research


MC Dr. Anna-Julia Saiger

Dr. Anna-Julia Saiger

Research Assistant, Institute for Media and Information Law Department II: Public Law, Albert Ludwigs Universität Freiburg; Fellow at the Integrative Research Institute Law and Society, Humboldt University Berlin


panelist Dr. Shinichiro Asayama

Dr. Shinichiro Asayama

Social Systems Division, National Institute for Environmental Studies

panelist Dr. Chiho Ochiai

Dr. Chiho Ochiai

Associate Professor, Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies, Kyoto University

panelist Akiko Yoshida with her toddler son

Akiko Yoshida

Climate / Nuclear / Power Shift Campaign, Friends of the Earth Japan

panelist Tomoko Hasegawa

Dr. Tomoko Hasegawa

Associate Professor, College of Science and Engineering, Ritsumeikan University


Dr. Ingrid Kruessmann

Dr. Ingrid Krüßmann

Director, DFG Office Japan; Deputy, International Affairs; Head, Sino-German Center for Research Promotion, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation)

Axel Karpenstein

Axel Karpenstein

Director, Tokyo office of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD); Director, German Centre for Research and Innovation Tokyo (DWIH Tokyo)

09:00 (CEWT) Opening and introduction of Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize winners by Dr. Ingrid Krüßmann, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
09:05 (CEWT) “Introduction of the topic from a legal perspective: A bird’s eye view on climate change litigation” by Dr. Anna-Julia Saiger, Albert Ludwigs Universität Freiburg
09:15 (CEWT)
  • Talk “Planetary Boundaries and tipping points in the earth system – risks and opportunities” by Dr. Jonathan Donges, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
  • Talk “Social dynamics of decarbonization: an assessment framework” by Dr. Stefan Aykut, University of Hamburg
09:45 (CEWT) Break
09:50 (CEWT) Panel discussion “Planetary boundaries and social dynamics of decarbonization”
Opening of discussion by Dr. Anna-Julia Saiger
With inputs by
  • Dr. Shinichiro Asayama, National Institute for Environmental Studies
  • Dr. Chiho Ochiai, Kyoto University
  • Akiko Yoshida, Friends of the Earth Japan
  • Dr. Tomoko Hasegawa, Ritsumeikan University
And comments by Dr. Aykut and Dr. Donges
10:55 (CEWT) Closing remarks by Axel Karpenstein, DAAD Tokyo / DWIH Tokyo
11:00 (CEWT) End livestream on YouTube
Break and transfer to group discussions
11:05 (CEWT) Group discussions
Group 1 “Social dynamics of decarbonization”
  • MC: Dr. Laura Blecken, DAAD Tokyo / DWIH Tokyo
  • Dr. Stefan Aykut, Dr. Anna-Julia Saiger, Dr. Shinichiro Asayama, Akiko Yoshida
Group 2 “Planetary Boundaries and tipping points in the earth system”
  • MC: Myra Bauersachs, DFG Office Japan
  • Dr. Jonathan Donges, Dr. Tomoko Hasegawa, Dr. Chiho Ochiai
Wrap up by MCs
12:00 (CEWT) Closing remarks and end of conference

Interactive climate time travel into the future of planet earth on the following day of DFG-Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize Online Conference 2022 “Planetary boundaries and social dynamics of decarbonization“

ClimateTimeMachine – Time Travel Into the Climate Future

forecast climate 2100

© Sciara

We invite you to travel in time to the future of the climate on planet earth with the science-based online simulation app ClimateTimeMachine by SCIARA (Society - Climate Interaction Analysis with Real Agents). ClimateTimeMachine directly simulates the climate and cost impacts of our everyday choices and vividly depicts the consequences. It motivates participants to act for climate protection.


ClimateTimeMachine contributes to effective climate protection and aims to speed up the shift away from fossil to renewable energy. The ClimateTimeMachine community strengthens the acceptance, the support and the demand for climate protection. Sciara has been developing this science-based online simulation since 2020 and conducted climate time travels with thousands of participants.

life style aspects

© Sciara

How to travel into the climate future

Based on your own values and needs you will simulate your future life in time-lapse mode.
How will you live, be mobile, eat and consume? What policies and structural measures will you support, which will you reject? How can you yourself influence the transformation to a safe climate future? How do you want to communicate, exchange views and mobilize like-minded folks? Can you and your fellow time travelers stop or soften the climate crisis? And how does that change your own life?

ClimateTimeMachine calculates how your choices influence the climate, your enviromment and your financial situation. All simulated changes of the climate and the environment in ClimateTimeMachine are based on scientific models which were provided by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and other research institutions. These models and underlying data are public.

graph showing today's weather

© Sciara

How does the time travel work?

The time travel takes place on the ClimateTimeMachine web app and an accompanying 3 hour workshop on the online conference tool Webex. Participants quickly create their own account on the ClimateTimeMachine app and log in after an introduction at the workshop. The time travel starts with a climate simulation of the year 2100 based on the current emissions pathway. After an explanation about the functions of ClimateTimeMachine app, everyone sets up their lifestyle configurations. From there on, the integrated climate model calculates the influence of the participants’ life choices on the emissions of climate gases. At any time, participants can adapt their simulated lifestyle to the visualized changes in the world.

Participants discuss (live and in the chat) about the conditions on the simulated future earth and possible individual and societal measures to mitigate that condition. The workshop provides space to share about personal values, needs and limits. The simulation allows to experience the effects of each participant’s choices and to see the consequences for the climate, environment and costs of living on earth.

At any time, the simulation can be set on hold for questions, support and input by the participants. The workshop and time travel conclude with deliberations on the simulated climate change and a round for feedback. We are looking forward to lively discussions.


MC Daniel Tamberg

Daniel Tamberg

ideator and co-founder, SCIARA

Sciara is being advised and supported by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), the German Federal Foundation for the Environment (DBU) and the German Society of the Club of Rome.