Ute Thiermann

Thesis title:

Uncovering the link between mindfulness and sustainability – an experiment

Abstract:

Mindfulness is defined as “the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose in the present  moment and non-judgmentally to  the unfolding experience, moment by moment”. The positive effect of mindfulness on people’s well-being, cognitive abilities and behaviour has been proven by medical, psychological and organisational research. Consequently, mindfulness has evolved to a business worth over one billion USD with an increasing number of companies investing in in-house mindfulness activities to boost productivity of their employees. Newer research is exploring how mindfulness affects “sustainable behaviour”, which we understand as a more ethical, pro-social and pro-environmental, behaviour. Publications advocate the potential of mindfulness for supporting the transition to a sustainable society.Ute’s study seeks to explore whether there is a causal relationship between mindfulness and sustainability in business settings, reflected in the following research question: to what extent does a regular mindfulness practice increase the sustainability awareness of employees? This mixed-methods research is constructed around an experiment with 50 to 100 employees from diverse companies, who have never practiced mindfulness before.

Social media:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/utebarbarathiermannxw2/
https://www.utebarbara.com/

First supervisor:

William Sheate

Pathway:

6 – Education, Mind & Society

Cohort:

2017-18

Publications:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0921800919315113?dgcid=author

Another paper in print:
The Way Forward in Mindfulness and Sustainability: a Critical Review and Research Agenda
DOI : 10.1007/s41465-020-00180-6
JCGE-D-20-00002R2