Prof. Ortwin Renn

Prof. Dr. Ortwin Renn

Scientific Director

IASS Projects

Professor Renn is a Scientific Director at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam (Germany). He remains affiliated to his former institute, the Stuttgart Research Center for Interdisciplinary Risk and Innovation Studies at the University of Stuttgart (ZIRIUS), and continues to direct, together with Dr Marion Dreyer and Agnes Lampke, 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) and Affiliate Professor for Risk Governance at Beijing Normal University.

Professor Renn’s main research activities at the IASS focus on the role of systemic risks as threats to sustainable development, and the structures and processes for sustainable transformations in Germany and beyond. In line with IASS tradition, he will specifically investigate transitions related to energy systems and energy governance. Here, he aims to contribute to the mission of the institute to become a highly reputable and acknowledged international centre for transdisciplinary studies on sustainable development.

Professor Renn has a PhD in social psychology from the University of Cologne. His career has included teaching and research positions at the Jülich Research Centre (Germany), Clark University (Worcester, USA), the Swiss Institute of Technology (Zurich) and the Center of Technology Assessment (Stuttgart). He is a member of several boards, including the National Academy of Disaster Reduction and Emergency Management of the People’s Republic of China and the Governing Board of the German Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech). In the past he served on the panel on “Public Participation in Environmental Assessment and Decision Making” of the US National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. (from 2005 to 2007) and on the German Federal Government’s Commission on Energy Ethics after Fukushima (2011). He was elected president of the International Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) for the period from 2012 to 2013. Ortwin Renn has published more than 30 books and 250 articles. The book Risk Governance (Earthscan: London, 2008) is his most prominent monograph.