The AMA project was initiated in summer 2015 as an initiative of Prof. Mark Lawrence together with a few researchers in his team at the IASS, especially Dr. Thomas Bruhn and Dr. Maheswar Rupakheti. After a participatory scoping and engagement phase in 2016 it was established as a core-funded IASS research project in January 2017 under the joint leadership of Dr. Thomas Bruhn and Dr. Zoe Lüthi and mentored by Mark Lawrence.

The initiators of the project originally worked as natural scientists in the field of sustainability. In the discourse about sustainability we experienced a dominance of “technocratic” approaches that focus on technological and political “solutions” while the relevance of the inner states of the human mind seemed to be neglected and often even downplayed. When beginning to engage in this field, we perceived enormous untapped potential in the cultivation of the human mind as a key contribution to the transformation to sustainability. The ambition to explore and foster these potentials and connect the often dispersed and marginalized change agents in this field of interest led to the initiation of the AMA project.