Harald Katzmair News Talks

ESG in the economy of tomorrow - Ecosystems in transition: Harald Katzmair at the RuSt

Whether in the natural sciences, in economics or in law: The challenges affect us all and can only be solved together. Creative minds are now needed in all areas.

At RuSt, many of these creative minds came together, including the renowned network researcher and founder of FASresarch Harald Katzmair.

Dr Harald Katzmair is a sociologist, philosopher and entrepreneur. On 13 October 2022, he gave the keynote at RuSt. He succeeded in conjuring up new images in people's minds on the subject of ESG.

He started with a thought experiment: How much of what you see here did you create yourself? Your watch, your shoes, the armchair you are sitting on? None of it, of course. We are all part of a long value chain, at the beginning of which is still the primary sector. The professional roles of a lawyer or in-house counsel have innumerable prerequisites to be able to function at all. As value creation increases, so does complexity and with it transaction costs. Reducing complexity, making complex interrelationships manageable, is not only a sign of intelligence, but also the order of the day in terms of the ESG framework. So what is to be done? Harald Katzmair suggests a change of perspective. We do not solve the problem of pollution by making it even more complex, we have to reduce complexity in order to regain room to manoeuvre.

Environment: Consistency beats intensity: It is better to take small steps and implement them consistently than to demand too much and fail.
Sustainability: Much happens through imitation. All artificial incentives, whether they come as carrots or sticks, have only a limited effect. But once a critical mass has been exceeded, and one can expect approval and recognition in one's peer group for an action, then changes start to roll.
Governance: Never shame! (never shame others). Reframing would certainly move the discussion forward because it takes emotion and aggression out of the discourse. Instead of perceiving oil as "dirty", one should rather ask whether it is not far too valuable as a raw material for medicines or plastics to be burnt in engines. But unfortunately, this is exactly the conversation that is not (yet) taking place at the moment.
In the next few years, according to Katzmair, we should carry out a "Great Simplification". This means that our currently highly complex systems, especially in terms of energy supply, must be radically simplified to meet modern requirements. Harald Katzmair also talks about the "Great Simplification" in the new Shortcut Format of Puls24, here you can listen or watch.