LeNa Shape (2021-2023)

Project description

What is the approach of LeNa Shape?

In the LeNa Shape project, research is being conducted for the first time in an international context to determine whether and how the principle of "research in social responsibility" changes research processes and projects in terms of quality, impact and motivation of researchers. The three overall objectives of the project are:

1. to provide robust answers to central unresolved research questions using scientific methods,

2. to understand the associated processes and mechanisms in everyday research, and

3. to use this understanding to generate greater penetration and enthusiasm for sustainability management in research organizations and among employees ("Shaping research with social responsibility").

To this end, the LeNa Shape project includes work in two scientific modules (LeNa Move and LeNa Value). Their results interact closely and are integrated for implementation by the Management Board as the central networking body. The participating modules and collaborative research partners delegate equal members to the Management Board. LeNa Move promotes the awareness and implementation of the LeNa reflection framework (link here) in the scientific community by developing targeted and motivating formats, using modern tools to overcome application barriers. The goal of LeNa Value is to develop advanced criteria for the quality of research ("excellence") and a methodology to analyze the impact of research on the realization of a more globally sustainable development, taking into account the context of science theory and policy. The results of both modules will be transferred to the science and innovation system, anchored in the research processes and thus exploited.

Forschungsansatz LeNa Shape

The crucial results of the project will be presented and discussed with experts in a separate format, the "LeNa Summit". The Summit is a new element of LeNa Shape, as it is not a presentation format but a "trial and error" format and scientific results such as the prototypes of the individual companion can be tested. This allows scientific stakeholders to respond directly to research and influence the way research continues.


History of LeNa Shape

In the BMBF-funded project "Leitfaden Nachhaltigkeitsmanagement für außeruniversitäre Forschungsorganisationen - LeNa" (Sustainability Management Guidelines for Non-University Research Organizations - LeNa), a portfolio of tools was developed from 2013 to 2016 by the participating stakeholders to help establish a common understanding of sustainability in research and infrastructure processes. This portfolio includes:

n  the handout "Sustainability management in non-university research organizations",

n  the factsheets,

n  the Reflection Framework for Socially Responsible Research,

n  tools and short reports,

n  the LeNa homepage, and

n  the LeNa film.

This portfolio forms the foundation for a multi-level implementation of a "sustainability management" (LeNa process) for both research and infrastructure processes in the organizations, but with specific characteristics. The reflection framework defines criteria that enable "research in social responsibility". The structure and content of the reflection framework have already been brought into the scientific discourse through publications and presentations. By applying the portfolio, a new "culture" of launching an integrated sustainability strategy is emerging in organizations and their units, both from a research and an infrastructure perspective.

The LeNa portfolio has been widely published and discussed (including in workshops and presentations at the 2016 and 2018 SISI symposia, as well as in other papers and publications) and is widely recognized in the scientific community. Its results have been substantially incorporated into the development and implementation of the BMBF project "Sustainability at Universities HOCHN". After handing over the final report to former Minister Prof. Dr. Johanna Wanka in October 2016 at the 3rd SISI Symposium, an intensive implementation process at Fraunhofer, Helmholtz and Leibniz has taken place. The goal is to implement the LeNa process in the participating organizations. Two strands have emerged: the first strand focuses on answering new research questions, while the second strand deals specifically with the implementation of sustainability criteria in the infrastructure of research organizations. The first strand has given rise to the BMBF-funded project LeNa Shape.

Further information

Global Reporting Initiative: "The GRI Standards: the global standards for sustainability reporting"
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Deutscher Nachhaltigkeitskodex: "The Sustainability Code: guidance for sustainable development"
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United Nations: The Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact
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DIN Deutsches Institut für Normung e.V. (2010): Guidance on social responsibility (ISO 26000:2010)