Scientific expertise to design principles and strategies for sustainable development
[Translate to English:] © Öko-Institut

The transition to sustainability is essential for a liveable future. We aim to use our ideas, understanding and knowledge to persuade stakeholders from politics, business and society that there is a need to bring about change and create frameworks to support that process, and we help them to move in that direction. To that end, we produce scientific analyses and develop sound strategies and workable, applied solutions that facilitate fair and equitable transitions within society.

We advocate for a participatory and discursive approach, inclusive debate and open and respectful dialogue. We see open access to knowledge as a valuable asset. We therefore ensure that our scientific methods are transparent and we make our findings publicly available as much as possible in order to facilitate critical debate.



Transdisziplinäre Forschung: Wenn Wissenschaft und Gesellschaft gemeinsam die Zukunft gestalten

Transdisciplinary research: when science and society shape the future together

Energy transition, mobility transition, climate change mitigation, resource conservation and sustainable consumption – the challenges are considerable, the problems complex, the actors and stakeholders diverse. In transdisciplinary research, scientists and civil society work together to find solutions. Transdisciplinarity involves various sectors of society and mobilises their very specific forms of knowledge generated by practical everyday experience. New knowledge coalitions can thus emerge, offering more effective solutions to the challenges facing society.

As one of the pioneers of transdisciplinary research, the Oeko-Institut has been working at the interface between science, politics and society for many decades. In addition to the numerous “grassroots” transdisciplinary projects in which they are involved, the Oeko-Institut’s researchers engage with and advise on meta-level issues relating to transdisciplinarity.

As a founding partner of the tdAcademy, the Oeko-Institut actively promotes networking in the context of transdisciplinary research.

Energy projects

TRANSENS – Transdisciplinary research on the disposal of high-level radioactive waste in Germany: The Oeko-Institut is participating in a research network involving 16 institutes and university departments.

GECKO – Geothermal energy for climate-neutral heat supply at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (North Campus) / Inter- and transdisciplinary co-design of an implementation concept: A project involving the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS) at KIT and the Oeko-Institut.

ENSURE the power grid of the future – a Kopernikus project: Transdisciplinary cooperation among scientists, industrial enterprises and civil society organisations, on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Urban and regional development projects

s:ne – system innovation for sustainable development in fields such as mobility, urban development, global supply chains and cooperative heat supply. The Oeko-Institut is one of seven project partners of Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences.

TRASIQ: Transformative development of urban neighbourhoods – Concepts and options for swarm cities (website only available in German): Cooperative project involving six research partners, coordinated by the Oeko-Institut and funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

ZuGG – Shaping futures together in rural areas: A joint project involving the Oeko-Institut and the Technologie- und Gewerbezentrum Prignitz (TGZ) technology and start-up centre, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research under its Kommunen Innovativ grant programme.

Mobility projects

WohnMobil – Innovative forms of housing and mobility services (website only available in German): A joint project involving five research and seven practitioner partners, on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

MobiQ – Sustainable mobility through sharing in the neighborhood: A project involving the Oeko-Institut, the Centre for Sustainable Urban Development (ZNS) at HFT Stuttgart and Nürtingen-Geislingen University of Applied Sciences (HfWU), with funding from the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts.

Weber et al. 2022: Reallabore – eine praxis-orientierte Näherung in wenigen Worten am Beispiel des Forschungsprojektes „Zukunft im ländlichen Raum gemeinsam gestalten (ZuGG)" [Real-world laboratories – a concise applied approach with reference to the Shaping Futures Together in Rural Areas (ZuGG) research project]: Working Paper

KomKomIn 2022: „Im Gespräch...": Innovative Ansätze zur Stärkung des bürgerschaftlichen Engagements [In conversation: Innovative approaches to strengthen citizen engagement]

Weihe 2021: Der Realitäts-Check [The reality check]: eco@work article

Lam et al. 2021: Transdisciplinary research: towards an integrative perspective

Melanie Mbah, Bettina Brohmann (2021): Das Lernen in Organisationen – Voraussetzung für Transformationsprozesse und Langzeitverfahren [Learning in organisations – a precondition for transformation processes and long-term approaches]

Research coordinators at the Oeko-Institut

Three research coordinators with proven expertise manage the Oeko-Institut’s main fields of research.