The main focus of the university chair "Intercultural Social Transformation" is the (inter-)cultural dimension of transformation. Thus, the holder of the chair, Prof. Barbara Schellhammer, and her team work on concrete issues or projects, continuously reflecting on the (research) process itself to understand roadblocks and to find criteria for sustainable transformation. The projects of IST rest on collaborative ventures which aim to serve the practice of international networking in light of Veritatis Gaudium (e.g. task force with the International Association of Jesuit Universities).
IST is involved in „Transformative Research from the Margins“ with Jesuit Worldwide Learning (JWL) and in research on cultural factors of sexual autonomy of people with so called mental disabilities. It also practices and writes about intercultural philosophy with indigenous traditions in Canada and Africa.
IST contributes to the undergraduate and graduate programs of the HFPH, particularly in the area of cultural and intercultural philosophy and in phenomenology. IST is particularly involved in the M.A. in Ethics and in the Certificate “Ethics of Intercultural Dialogue”.
IST supports the HFPH’s “Third Mission”. Therefore, it is heavily involved with the Center for Social and Development Studies (ger. Zentrum für Globale Fragen, ZGF). Key areas of contribution are philosophy as/for practice, conflict-transformation, restorative justice, peace studies, transformative research and adult education. The aim is to address issues of pressing public concern that also have a global perspective, e.g. growing nationalism, alienation, climate change, angst, border regimes, intercultural dialogue.