The writing workshop is an advanced training programme on the topic of the “imperial mode of living” in the form of a participative working and writing process. A team consisting of interested students, doctoral candidates as well as civil society activists is looking in depth into the concept of “the imperial mode of living” in the context of labour and unions.

The “imperial mode of living” describes production and consumption patterns that underlie our everyday life and our way of thinking, and that are based on the apparently unlimited acquisition of natural and labour resources. It is a scientific concept developed by Professors Ulrich Brand and Markus Wissen, that helps understand the current multiple crisis and possible pathways for a socio-ecological transformation.

The Structure: The writing workshop started in January 2019 and ends in July. Under the supervision of project leader Magdalena Heuwieser and partially Prof. Ulrich Brand, the 12-person team is working on a brochure, educational material and other creative formats that make the scientific concept of the imperial mode of living understandable and accessible for everyone. The writing process is additionally supported by external experts. The project combines five seminars with intensive group work. In the second half of this year, the results of the projects will be disseminated in form of events, workshops, articles and in cooperation with other civil society organisations.

In the course of the writing workshop the following questions with the focus being on labour and unions will be analysed: What are the stabilising factors for “the imperial way of living” and where are they anchored in our everyday life? What are entry points for convincing political propositions and how can we realise pathways for a socio-ecological transformation?

The format is open, so that the participants, according to their interests and abilities, have the possibility to collectively decide on topics to focus on as well as the output. Overall, the understanding of interconnections between Austrian institutions (e. g. unions) and the imperial mode of living as well the socio-ecological transformation are a general goal of the writing workshop. Furthermore, we aim to create an understandable and attractive “framing” for the concept of the “imperial mode of living” and the socio-ecological transformation: how can the scientific concept be comprehensively and convincingly communicated using (linguistic) images, metaphors and stories, to those beyond the academic field?