Prof. Ortwin Renn

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Ortwin Renn

Affiliate Scholar

Prof. Ortwin Renn served as Scientific Director at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) from Feb. 1, 2016 to Dec. 31, 2022 (since Jan. 1, 2023 Research Institute for Sustainability - Helmholtz Center Potsdam). Until his retirement, Renn also worked as a full professor for environment and technology assessment at the University of Stuttgart. Renn is a visiting professor at Beijing Normal University (China) and at the University of Stavanger (Norway). Together with Dr. Rainer Kuhn and Agnes Lampke, he directs the non-profit research institute Dialogik, which researches and implements innovative forms of science communication and participation.
At the IASS, Prof. Renn was engaged in research projects on the implementation of the energy transition from the regional to the global scale, on the global threats posed by systemic risks, and on the impact of digitalization on sustainable development. His goal was to help establish the IASS as a world-renowned centre for transdisciplinary sustainability research.´ Renn studied economics, sociology, and social psychology and completed his master and Ph.D in social psychology at the University of Cologne. He has worked as a researcher and university lecturer in Germany, the USA and Switzerland. Renn is a member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, the German Academy of Science and Engineering Acatech (where he also serves on the Board), and the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BBAW), among others. He is a member of numerous commissions and committees for policy advice, including chairman of the Sustainability Advisory Board and the Sustainability Platform of the State of Brandenburg and, since 2019, a member of the Steering Committee of the Federal Government's Science Platform for Climate Protection. In 2021, he assumed the chairmanship of the scientific board of trustees of the Citizens' Climate Council. Renn has received many awards, including the Federal Cross of Merit, First Class, an honorary doctorate from ETH Zurich and Mid-Sweden University, and an honorary professorship from the Technical University of Munich. Ortwin Renn's publications include over 30 monographs and edited volumes as well as more than 250 scientific articles. Of particular importance is his 2008 monograph: "Risk Governance" (Earthscan: London).