Prof. Dr. André Reichel is Professor for International Management & Sustainability at the International School of Management (ISM) in Stuttgart and one of the central thought leaders for business perspectives on the post-growth economy. His research interests are in growth-resilient business models and the success indicators of the next economy.
Daniel Anthes: Please create a tweet about what sustainability means to you.
André Reichel: Sustainability is compassion and care about our human and non-human others.
Anthes: How does your organization contribute to sustainability worldwide?
Reichel: Through teaching sustainability and ethics in all our management programs, both on the bachelor as well as on the master level.
Anthes: What is the main driver of your company’s sustainability activities nowdays, and how is that going to look like in the future?
Reichel: At present, the institutional conviction that sustainability should be in every manager‘s educational curriculum. In the future, because managing sustainability as well as managing sustainably will be the key question for management itself.
Anthes: If you had all the power & money in the world, what would you do to change the world for the better?
Reichel: Make decision makers in politics and business abandon the fixation on economic growth. It makes a truly sustainable development impossible.
Anthes: What do you think is going to be the next big thing in sustainability?
Reichel: Sufficiency as business model – how to enable consumers to make do with less and how to make that profitable.
Anthes: Everybody has to pull together – that’s right. But who really needs to change his doing in order for our world to change for the better?
Reichel: Companies have to get their act together and provide novel solutions that create social and ecological sustainability, beyond mere business case thinking. In order to do that, companies need to be receptive of grassroots initiatives from civil society how to live sustainably beyond growth.
Anthes: How will the world look like in 2050?
Reichel: Most likely it will be 1.5C warmer than the global average in the industrial age, thus creating huge pressures on migration, ressource security, transportation political stability. On the other hand, we will have an almost carbon free energy system and learned to cope with declining economic growth rates or even contractions, especially in the global north.
Anthes: Do you know how big or small your personal carbon footprint is? Please give us a figure.
Reichel: If I don‘t account for airtravel due to professional reasons, roughly around 8.5 tons per annum. With airtravel it is beyond any responsible boundaries.
Anthes: In your personal life, what do you do to live more sustainably?
Reichel: I don‘t own a car, use mostly public transportation and eat meat-free half of the week. I try to teach students and influence decision makers with lectures, talks and publications. And I only vote for political parties that have a clear and honest sustainability agenda.
Anthes: Mr. Reichel, thank you very much for the interview.