Scenarios of Perception and Reaction to Adaptation, Quantitative Data Collection and Modelling


The conditions and courses of diffusions of cultural change processes are the topics of this project. They are analyzed on the basis of cases of dynamic changes of practice and comparatively projected under different assumptions in order to get to a first model of cultural change potentials against the background of climatic change.

The SPREAD project aims to develop spatially and temporally explicit computer simulations which model the diffusion of changed patterns of behaviour and interpretation in the face of climate change in Germany. The simulations will be based on a) qualitative surveys, b) network analyses, c) a survey on problem perceptions, options for actions, patterns of attitudes as well as d) spatially explicit demographic and lifestyle data including their projection until 2020 which are available to the project partners.

Results concerning the range and the limitations of possible cultural adaptation processes – adaptation processes which will become necessary to cope with climate change – are expected to emerge from the scenarios. In addition, this project provides a contribution to social scientific scenario development by combining different methodical instruments. To this end, a comprehensive empirical census (target 1) and subsequent multi-agent-based simulations of scenarios on societal adaptation processes based on the empirically found individual and further demographic-economic data (target 2) will be conducted.


On the one hand, the results are to be prepared such that they become accessible and comprehensible for interested scientists and institutional actors with whom these results and their consequences will then be discussed at workshops. On the other hand, the focus will be on scientific publications in high-ranking journals as well as a monograph. The results are embedded in the research on sustainability and are significant for the development and implementation of climate change adaptation strategies.

Funding agency

Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)

Project duration

November 2010 − October 2013

Project management

Andreas Ernst

Project staff

Ramón Briegel
Angelika Gellrich
Silke Kuhn
Aldo Martínez Piñánez


Prof. Dr. Harald Welzer, Universität Duisburg-Essen und Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut Essen

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