Planets orbiting young, active stars are embedded in an environment that is far from being as calm as the present solar neighbourhood. They experience the extreme environments of their host stars, which cannot have been without consequences for young stellar systems and the evolution of Earth-like planets to habitable worlds. Stellar magnetism and the related stellar activity are crucial drivers of ionization, photodissociation, and chemistry. Stellar winds can compress planetary magnetospheres and even strip away the outer layers of their atmospheres, thus having an enormous impact on the atmospheres and the magnetospheres of surrounding exoplanets. Modelling of stellar magnetic fields and their winds is extremely challenging, both from the observational and the theoretical points of view, and only ground breaking advances in observational instrumentation and a deeper theoretical understanding of magnetohydrodynamic processes in stars enable us to model stellar magnetic fields and their winds – and the resulting influence on the atmospheres of surrounding exoplanets – in more and more detail. We have initiated a national and international research network (NFN): ‘Pathways to Habitability – From Disks to Active Stars, Planets to Life’, to address questions on the formation and habitability of environments in young, active stellar/planetary systems. We discuss the work we are carrying out within this project and focus on how stellar evolutionary aspects in relation to activity, magnetic fields and winds influence the erosion of planetary atmospheres in the habitable zone. We present recent results of our theoretical and observational studies based on Zeeman Doppler Imaging (ZDI), field extrapolation methods, wind simulations, and the modeling of planetary upper atmospheres.