It all started with a call published in the ZEIT weekly newspaper: scientists and practioners were invited to submit brief papers dealing with overarching issues within the social sciences and humanities. The response was encouraging: over 281 ideas were submitted by the end of August 2014.
The aim of the agenda process is to identify issues that are relevant to the future and that are of great importance for society and social policies. These issues will be tackled within the framework programme ‘Humanities, cultural sciences and social sciences’ of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
At the DLR Project Management Agency, we designed the agenda process, evaluated the immense potential of the submitted papers and used this as a basis to develop focuses for future funding announcements. In addition, we held technical discussions to which the authors of the papers and other experts were invited. Three announcements on current social challenges will be published in 2016, based on these preparations. The aim of this research focus, which can draw on approximately 40 million euro in funding, is above all the implementation of the scientific results and hence ensure that major social challenges are not merely addressed on paper.