Future optimism and sense of community are the basis for an open knowledge-based society. High degrees of personal responsibility and self-determination permit low regulation of economy and society. Responsible companies aligned with long-term thinking drive innovation dynamics in the area of sustainability due to a massive increase in efficiency. Within the global environment, cooperative, cross-national decision-making processes are predominant. Little regulated, internationally interlinked economy cycles permit global adjustment of the prosperity level. Global anchoring of sustainability principles in economic life as well as effective implementation of ambitious environmental objectives lead to noticeable improvements of the ecological situation.

A strong sense of community, high personal responsibility and a self-determined, decelerated lifestyle characterise the German society. Deliberate limitations of private consumption promotes a service and solution oriented recycling management. Self administration beyond the current structures and high-performance social security systems enable the prosperity gap to be reduced in spite of reducing economic growth. In the global context, there will be political separation as an answer to the period of deregulated globalisation – national states strive for bilateral implementation of their individual points of view. Regional separation into highly regulated economic areas and generally low technical progress cement global prosperity differences. In spite of the high global environmental awareness, the implementation of global environmental protection is uncertain.

Acceleration and external control characterise the everyday lives of the increasingly separated society in Germany. Purchasing power is reduced and a pessimistic view of the future is spreading, dominated by short-term economic interests. The focus is on maintenance of the social security systems, leaving little room for governmental action. The global economy is characterised by fierce, short-term competition between local regions though which sustainable innovations are strongly inhibited. The industrial nations defend their “islands of prosperity” by regulatory protective walls, cementing the global balance of power. Environment and sustainability subjects are of low global importance.

Existential fear and social conflicts characterise an individualised and materially aligned society in Germany. Prestige-driven consumption pressure in an economically critical environment; Limited public funds limit the scope for decision-making and the state is forced to withdraw from many areas of responsibility. In the global environment, multinational and short-term oriented companies and capital markets hold a strong position compared to highly heterogeneous national and global political structures. Scarce resources and increasing differences between the geological regions leads to a strained global political situation. Environment and climate protection discussions are globally and nationally irrelevant, leading to desolate environmental conditions.

High future optimism and individualism characterise the fast-living society in Germany despite the increasing division. The elite skim-off most of the prosperity; comprehensive consumption possibilities compensate for low participation and educational options for large groups of the population. Traditionally representative political decision-making structures leave social risk protection increasingly to private provisions. Innovations towards sustainability do not pay off and traditional industrial approaches continue to dominate. In the global environment, there are weak supranational institutions. Geopolitical decisions are primarily made based on the cooperation of sovereign national states. Global growth in industrial and developing nations takes place based on networked action and strongly regulated capital and financial markets. International environment protection is the global loser, neglected for the benefit of fast consumption.

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