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Abstract

The transformation from our fossil-based economy to a more sustainable, bio-based economy demands a broad societal acceptance. Therefore, it is essential to learn more about people’s opinions, attitudes and doubts. Based on a Q study about the societal perspectives concerning bioeconomy in general, focus group discussions with a more specific focus on aspects of consumption were carried out. The participants debate in an area of tension between sufficiency strategies and the development of innovative technologies. The discussions were followed by a representative online survey in Germany which took on insights from the first two explorative studies and yielded quantifiable results. It becomes apparent that there are distinct perspectives which are very similar in their attitudes towards a bioeconomy, but that there is much heterogeneity in the society as a whole with regard to the assessment and feasibility of different actions for the protection of nature and resources. A lot of people feel badly informed and find it difficult to take the “right” decisions. They ask for support from politics which is assigned considerable responsibility for the development of a bioeconomy. Nevertheless, there is a very fine line between the demand for support and the feeling of paternalism through the state. The acceptance of different state measures is a field which needs to be further explored.

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