Patrizia Nanz was as a Scientific Director at the IASS from April 2016 to January 2021. She is a Professor of Transformative Sustainability Studies at the University of Potsdam. She conducts research on the development of enabling environments for societal transformation. Her experiments with co-creative thinking and organisation bring together people from diverse sectors, organisations, and backgrounds to develop solutions to critical challenges such as climate change. Since 2020 she is co-chair of the Franco-German Forum for the Future, a dialouge forum for the transformation processes in Germany and France.
At the IASS, Professor Nanz is also co-chair of the Science Platform Sustainability 2030, which advises the German government with the support of a steering group of prominent figures from academia and representatives from the business community and civil society. In 2016, she co-authored Die Konsultative. Mehr Demokratie durch Bürgerbeteiligung (The Consultative. More Democracy through Citizen Participation - Klaus Wagenbach Verlag), together with Claus Leggewie, in which she called for the establishment of 'future councils' as a means to bring the oft-neglected issue of intergenerational equity into focus in public affairs and to revitalise representative democracy. In 2020, "Reconstructing Democracy" (Havard University Press) was published, in which Nanz, together with Charles Taylor and Madeleine Beaubien Taylor, uses local examples to describe how democracy can be revitalized in the transformation process by involving citizens.
Patrizia Nanz has held a Professorship of Political Theory at the University of Bremen since 2002 and conducts research on the future of democracy. Between 2013 and 2016, she was the head of the transdisciplinary research area "Culture of Participation" at the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities Essen (KWI), where she initiated and accompanied numerous participation processes with her expertise. In 2009, she was among a group of researchers and practitioners from Harvard University who launched the wiki platform Participedia.net to document examples of democratic innovation from around the world. In the same year, she founded the European Institute for Public Participation (EIPP), which advises businesses, public authorities, and governments in various European countries.
After gaining a degree in philosophy at Munich School of Philosophy, Patrizia Nanz continued her studies under Jürgen Habermas (Frankfurt/Main) and Charles Taylor (McGill, Montreal), not least of all because they combine scholarly research with a commitment to the public good. She went on to earn her PhD with a thesis on the European public sphere at the European University Institute in Florence. A trained journalist, she worked for several years as an editor with German publishers S. Fischer Verlag and the Milan-based publishing house Feltrinelli. Patrizia Nanz is the editor of the series "Politik", published by Klaus Wagenbach Verlag.