Research at the institute is based on three scientific pillars: systems sciences, innovation and transition research, and sustainability research. By combining these three science fields, we seek to enhance the ability of human-environment systems to deal with global change.
Links to ongoing research projects, recent publications and guest talks can be accessed via the menu on the left side.
Research and teaching in the field of Systems Sciences deal with the analysis and modelling of complex systems as well as with the acquisition, processing and analysis of data that promote system understanding. The focus is on the reduction of emissions and the possibilities of alternative transport concepts in urban areas, the opportunities and consequences of digitalization, especially in the field of the working world, the favorable and restrictive conditions for cooperation, the development of early warning systems for critical state changes and, in general, a better understanding of the interactions of social and physical systems, such as the interactions of humans and the environment under conditions of global change.
Innovation and Transition Research
We see the management of innovations at different levels as a significant challenge for the transition towards sustainable development. It is our goal to gain insight in innovation processes for new products, services, and technologies, but also in transition processes in society, organizations, and sectors, like the energy sector. Therefore, it is necessary to generate an understanding of logics and patterns of human decision making and action. On this basis, we can develop inter- and transdisciplinary concepts for supporting important decisions that influence sustainability, and we can help initiate sustainability-oriented transition, innovation and adaptation processes in a variety of human-environment systems.
Regions and corporations are important actors and entities for sustainable transitions. Thus, we investigate systems and processes for sustainability management systems and corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives at corporate level including the value chains and the regional level. Key aspects include developing environmental evaluation and controlling concepts and methods, strategic management, corporate sustainability management and strategies, lifecycle analysis, industrial ecology, integrated management systems, management of resources (like waste or energy).