Prof. Thomas Göllinger

is professor of energy and resource studies, organization and sustainability at the University of Konstanz (HTWG). Previously, after receiving his doctorate and habilitation at the University of Siegen, he was active as project leader and chairman of the Institute for Ecological Business Management. From a systemic evolutionary perspective, the question of Biocracy is approached via the intersystemic competition between biosphere and anthroposphere. Increasingly deep intrusion into the biosphere creates the hazard of an impaired coevolution. The author’s focus is on the central question: How is it possible for economic activity to be sensitive to nature in the context of the evolution of biosphere and anthroposphere? Knowledge concerning the functional principles of the biosphere are not only required in order to limit the intensity of intrusion, but also valuable information for the development of the anthropogenic metabolism. At the same time, these potential fields of innovation must be reflected upon in the context of evolutionary economic realizations.

We need integrated, systemic and evolutionary strategies for sustainability.

Prof. Thomas Heupel

has been a full-time lecturer and professor at the FOM University in Essen since 2007, and since 2009 Prorector for Research. Following his study of business economics at the University of Siegen, Heupel worked as a research associate while also serving as project leader at the institute for ecological business management (IÖB) as well as Director of the Institute for Research in SME Economics at the University of Siegen. Heupel sees his contribution and that of his colleagues at the FOM University in Essen on the topic primarily in the context of environmental, social and economical ethics. It is about orienting economic activity around the greater good in the broadest sense.

Environmental protection is not only a cost factor for businesses, but also a competition factor.

Prof. Ralf Isenmann

is professor for sustainable future management at the University of Munich, and also associate lecturer at the University of Bremen, focusing mainly on sustainability management, especially sustainability reporting and industrial ecology. Hopes are especially pinned on Bionics on the technical side and the organization of the economy in analogy to natural material cycles, which are seen as an objective idea in industrial ecology. Isenmann is concerned with outlining a new, biophile understanding of nature and its consequences for our relationship with nature – especially in dealing with nature in economics. His vision: to learn from nature’s sources of innovation, which can be seen as exemplary: from its smart phenomena; from its strategies – tried and tested through evolution – in dealing with materials, energy, information, time and space; and from its basic functional principles. He wants to transform the traditionally strict, analytical “management rules of sustainable economic activity” into co-evolutionary strategies for decision making, organization and rendering of services.

A fair and co-evolutionary exchange with nature is possible.

Prof. Eckehard Krah

teaches innovation management at the University of Mittwieda and is a lecturer at the EC Europa Campus. Previously he was active as a research associate in projects at the University of Siegen. He currently serves as president of the Jung-Stilling-Society at Siegen. In cooperation with the University of Kaliningrad as well as the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture in the Arab Emirates, Krah has been involved in both international and interdisciplinary research. This is where his contribution to “Rights of Nature/Biocracy” ties in: In connection with the essential “comestible water”, he sees biocracy as a mission for highly qualified innovation management on the micro, meso, and macro level of economic activity.

If more long-lasting products are consumed, it is no longer necessary to continually expend extra labor for the renewal of short-lived products.

Prof. Georg Müller-Christ

has been professor of sustainable management at the University of Bremen since 2001. The focus of his research lies in the systemic study of the relationships of decision premises of businesses and individuals concerning sustainable development. Müller-Christ approaches the topic of Rights of Nature/Biocracy from his field of activity: sustainable management and system constellations. In his contribution he discusses the systemic relationships of the rights of humans, the economy, and nature.

The resource aspect will have to be incorporated into our actions in a holistic sense.

Prof. Eberhard Seidel

is professor emeritus at the University of Siegen. In Siegen, he founded the institute for ecological business management (IÖB) in 1989, which he directed until 2003. Most recently Seidel was engaged in several domestic and international guest professorships in the area of ecologically oriented business economics/environmental economics. If Biocracy is to become a reality, the Rights of Nature must be strictly respected and implemented in the area of human economy. That is where they are permanently ignored and infringed upon.  The major part of his article brings the Biocracy model into relation with the Brundtland Triad. An organizational analysis of all conceivable configurations of the triad of labor, capital and environment shows: Even equal ranking of labor, capital and environment is insufficient for the achievement of sustainability, which is why the environment must be given precedence. In the sense of its operationalization, the text devises a primary, bioecological and a secondary, socioeconomic chamber.

If Biocracy is to become a reality, the Rights of Nature must be strictly respected and implemented in the area of human economy. That is where they are permanently ignored and infringed upon.

Prof. Volker Stahlmann

was professor for business economics, logistics, production and material sciences as well as environmentally responsible business administration at the University in Nuremberg until 2010. Since then, together with his wife, he has been developing the historically preserved train station in Ottensoos / Bavaria into a forum for sustainable development with an integrated art museum.  Stahlmann developed the topic from his area of activity, “economics of sustainability/post growth economy”. He understands Biocracy as a task of the art of human living. It is about the crafting of a “successful good life” in harmony with nature.

The development of an ecocentric society in Germany with exemplary character could consequently be a gain for all of humanity.

Prof. Eberhard K. Seifert

was made honorary professor for ecological economics and president of the German society for commodity economics and technology (DGWT) at the Economic University of Vienna following activities at the Wuppertal-Institute. He is active in leading positions at national and international institutes, for instance as chairman of the advisory board in the Association for sustainable and environmental management (VNU) and various norming committees.  His approach to Biocracy comes from historical cornerstones of  economic theory and the philosophy of economics as well as forms of life governance; for this purpose he discusses examples of advancement through international standardization activities.

We must overcome the oblivion of nature.

Dr. Georg Winter

has been recognized, nationally and internationally, as an outstanding environmental pioneer. He founded the HAUS DER ZUKUNFT (House of the Future) in Hamburg. Until 1995 he was co-owner and co-CEO of Ernst Winter & Sohn in Hamburg and Norderstedt. In 1972, he became the creator of the world’s first “integrated system of environmentally oriented business administration (Winter Model)”.  In a text that pioneered entrepreneurial literature, Georg Winter holds a passionate plea for the Rights of Nature. “The wall between our technological civilization and nature must fall! The objective is the reunification between technological civilization and nature. Full recognition and implementation of the Rights of Nature demand the augmentation of democracy into Biocracy.

Even democracy is a form of state that requires further development. It must take seriously not only every human being, but every living creature, the nettle as much as the cherry tree, the fish, the horse.

Prof. Hans-Ulrich Zabel

has been foundational professor for “business administration, especially entrepreneurial environmental management” at the Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg at the location Halle/Saale since 1995. After studying economic cybernetics at the Technical University of Magdeburg he went on to complete his doctorate and habilitation.  Zabel approaches the topic of “Rights of Nature/Biocracy” from the concept of his “sustainability-friendly norms of conduct on the basis of genetic conditioning”. The solution space is the unity of ecosphere and psychosphere imparted by this conditioning. It is about achieving service to life through a use of technology that is both socially and ecologically compatible.

Sustainability will decide our fate.