Institute for Technology Assessment and  Systems Analysis (ITAS)

Social consequences of the corona crisis – a time study

Project description

The corona pandemic, and in particular the sometimes drastic political measures introduced to combat the pandemic, entail unprecedented cuts in social and economic life. The social, economic, political, and cultural consequences for our societies are still hard to predict. The current focus is therefore on questions such as: What are the long-term social consequences of the corona crisis? How will everyday life change? And where should policy intervene? These aspects form the starting point for the research project “Social consequences of the corona crisis – a time study.

The aim of the project is to identify and discuss medium- and long-term relevant questions and solutions arising from the current crisis for politics, society, and science. Against this background, various theses in the fields of culture, politics, economics, climate, and energy are put up for debate. In this context, the consequences associated with the pandemic and possible transformation paths are assessed in terms of their political and temporal relevance and their probability of occurrence.

The methodological core of the project is an online survey, aimed primarily at actors who are professionally engaged with visions of the future. 21 theses are surveyed. Preliminary work of the BMBF Future Office (“Zukunftsbüro”) and the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS) at KIT is used for this purpose. The project team will evaluate the data collected from the survey and, in the course of the project, subject them to critical review in interdisciplinary expert workshops and prepare them for further scientific discourse. Findings from the project will also be made available to policy makers.

In order to map and address the broad range of topics related to the pandemic, scientists from different research groups at ITAS contribute their expertise. This allows taking into account socio-technical questions on the future design of the energy system or the health sector as well as societal transformation processes toward sustainable development.

First interim results are available in the form of slides and can be downloaded below. This is a first quantitative analysis of the data material. The focus is on the individual theses and the assessments of the interviewed experts regarding “probability of occurrence”, “political relevance” and “duration”.


Dr. Oliver Parodi
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
P.O. Box 3640
76021 Karlsruhe

Tel.: +49 721 608-26816