WU and society
As a responsible university, contributing to public discourse and proposing research-based solutions to today’s challenges are among our most important jobs. In 2019, we presented our first publication detailing our research’s impact on society and support the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
Under the direction of Vice-Rector Stefan Pichler (Vice-Rector for Research from 2015–2019), a team from the Institute for Managing Sustainability selected 30 research projects, based on the sustainable impact of their results. For example, they found that WU’s work contributes to reducing credit risks in the euro area and optimizing tax laws and, consequently, helps to improve overall economic conditions. WU is also laying the necessary groundwork for digitalization, for instance by helping protect people’s privacy in the digital sphere and developing new quality control systems for making open data more widely accessible. WU’s research provides a solid scientific basis to help decision-makers take steps towards reducing poverty and resource consumption, and it contributes to climate protection efforts by helping to design more efficient emissions trading systems. The knowledge generated also helps to improve the barrier-free accessibility of guidance systems and strengthen the inclusion of people with disabilities.
Knowledge transfer for the environment
Harmonizing the needs of business with the needs of nature is a complex challenge. A new cooperation between WWF-CEE and WU’s Institute for International Business was launched in 2019 to address this issue. In conversations and discussions with the institute’s students, ideas are generated for theses and research projects dealing with the increasing globalization of the economy and its effects on the work of NGOs, as well as the internationalization of WWF itself.
Commitment to freedom of research
Universities are extremely important to society, as they generate fact-based knowledge not driven by ideologies and polemics. This role is crucial for a functioning democracy. WU is committed to the freedom of research and teaching, which is why we joined the Scholars at Risk initiative on January 1, 2019. This network is an association of more than 500 higher education institutions in 39 countries that provide threatened or persecuted researchers with the opportunity to spend time working at member universities as guest scholars.