This picture shows Prof. Dr. Ortwin Renn

Prof. Dr. Ortwin Renn

Areas of Research: Sociology, Politics
Thematic Priority: Risk governance, Public participation, Sustainable development, Digitalization, Technology assessment and foresight
[Image: IASS]

Field of Work

Ortwin Renns research interests include risk governance (analysis perception, communication), stakeholder and public involvement in environmental decision making, transformation processes in economics, politics and society and sustainable development.

He has focused his research on systemic risks and transformation processes towards sustainable economic and social development. In addition, his research focuses on national and international energy policies with a special focus on the social sustainability of the energy transition, as well as the participation of citizens in political decision-making processes and in the design of their living environment. In this context, he also researches the role of technological innovations – in particular with respect to Industry 4.0 and digitization of everyday life.

Personal Information

Ortwin Renn, born 1951 in Schmidtheim (Germany),  is scientific director at the International Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam (Germany) and professor for environmental sociology and technology assessment at the University of Stuttgart. He also directs the non-profit company DIALOGIK, a research institute for the investigation of communication and participation processes. Renn is Adjunct Professor for “Integrated Risk Analysis” at Stavanger University (Norway), Honorary Professor at the Technical University Munich and Affiliate Professor for “Risk Governance” at Beijing Normal University.

Ortwin Renn has a doctoral degree in social psychology from the University of Cologne. His career includes teaching and research positions at Clark University (Worcester, USA), the Swiss Institute of Technology (Zuerich) and the Center of Technology Assessment (Stuttgart). His honours include the National Cross of Merit Order, an honorary doctorate from the Swiss Institute of Technology and one from the Mid-Sweden University. In 2019, he was awarded the Order of Merit from the State of Baden-Württemberg for special achievements in scientific policy advice. 

Renn is a member of the German National Academy of Sciences “Leopoldina”, the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, and of the Board of Directors of the German National Academy of Technology and Engineering (Acatech). He belongs to numerous scientific and academic advisory councils. From 2006 to 2012, he headed the Sustainability Advisory Council of the State of Baden-Württemberg and was a member of the Ethics Commission "The Future of Energy" appointed by Chancellor Angela Merkel. Until 2014, he served on the "Science and Technology Advisory Council", an advisory body for EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. Since 2019, he has been a member of the Federal Government's "Climate Change" research platform and heads the Sustainability Platform of the State of Brandenburg.

 Renn has published more than 30 monographs and over 250 peer reviewed articles. His most prominent English publication is the book “Risk Governance. Coping with Uncertainty in a Complex World (London: Earthscan 2008).





Prof. Dr. Ortwin Renn
Institut für Sozialwissenschaften V

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