Program & Keynote Speakers

Please find here the overview of the programme.

Keynote Speakers

Carrie Exton, Policy Analyst at the OECD
Carrie Exton is a policy analyst at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Based in the Statistics Directorate, her work is focused on measuring, reporting and analysing data about people’s well-being. Carrie co-authored the OECD Guidelines on Measuring Subjective Well-Being and she is currently the lead author and co-ordinator for the OECD’s flagship well-being publication How’s Life?. Prior to joining the OECD, Carrie worked as a policy advisor in the UK Civil Service. She holds a DPhil (PhD) in Psychology from Oxford University.

Dr Cathy Maguire, European Environment Agency
Cathy Maguire works in the Integrated Environmental Assessment programme at the EEA focusing on environmental accounting, indicators and integrated assessment. She was a lead author of the SOER 2015 Synthesis report and part of the SOER 2015 coordination team. Prior to joining the EEA in 2011, she was Director of Research and Senior Policy Analyst at Comhar Sustainable Development Council, Research Fellow at Queens University Belfast and Principal Researcher at EnviroCentre Ltd.. She trained as an ecologist with a BSc (Hons), MSc and PhD from Queens University Belfast. She specialised in multi-disciplinary applied research that provides an evidence base for policy and decision making. Her work has focused on invasive species; resource accounting; indicator development and assessment; stakeholder engagement and policy analysis in the areas of biodiversity, climate change, invasive species, waste and resource management and sustainable development.

Roland W. Scholz
Roland W. Scholz (Prof. Dr. em. ETH) is currently chief senior scientists of sustainable digital environments and professor at Danube University, Krems, Austria, Faculty of Economics and Globalization Department of Knowledge (Department of Knowledge and Information Management) and senior advisor for phosphorus cycle management at Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology (IGB), Germany. Scholz held the Chair of Environmental Sciences: Natural and Social Science Interface at the Department of Envronmental System Sciences, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich, Switzerland; 1993-2013). He has been also been (in parallel) adjunct professor (PD) of Psychology at the Universities of Mannheim and Zurich (1988-2013). Scholz was elected as the fifth holder of the King Carl XVI Gustaf Professorship in Environmental Sciences 2001/2002 at Chalmers University of Technology and University of Gothenborg (Sweden).

Scholz graduated in mathematics (Dipl. Math., 1976, University of Marburg, Germany), social psychology (Dr. phil.) and cognitive psychology (Dr. phil. habil., both at the University of Mannheim, Germany) and has been guest professor/researcher at MIT, Harvard, Carnegy Mellon (USA), Boku Vienna and University of Graz (Austria) and Leuphana University (Germany).

Scholz dedicated his (applied basic) research to challenging societal large scale questions. His research started from mathematical and psychological theory of conflicts and decisions (background: cold war), and risk perception and assessment (at the Universities of Marburg, Bielefeld, and Mannheim, 1973-1993). Then, for two decades, he worked as full professor for Natural and Social Science Interface. Here focused on resilient coupled human and environmental systems (background: environmental depletion). Scholz has been one of the pioneers and promoters of transdisciplinarity (background: society need a transiton of science for to science with society). He was running more than 25 large scale regional, international, and, and global transdisciplinary case studies on sustainable transitioning of urban and regional systems, organizations, policy processes, and global biogeochemical cycle management (i.e., phosphorus). He noticed that too less research is spent on rebound effects, tipping points, change of systems of power and (in)equality, etc. related to the digital revolution. Thus, in he in 2015, together with colleagues from the Danube University of Krems (DUK, Austria), he initiated a transdisciplinarity laboratory (TdLab) on Sustainable Digital Environments (SDE).

Maja Göpel, Head of Berlin Office, Wuppertal Institute
Maja heads the Berlin Office of the Wuppertal Institute. Her research, engagement and publications focus on system transformations for sustainable development, new prosperity models and future justice with an emphasis on the role of paradigm shifts as strategic leverage points. Maja studied in Siegen, Fribourg, Seville, Hamburg, Kassel and Toronto to complete a PhD in political economy and a university diploma in media/communication. She has a long track record in international civil society work on sustainable development, trade, and climate change, lectures at 2 universities and enjoys working in transdisciplinary teams. Her book “The Great Mindshift: Why we Need a New Economic Paradigm for Sustainability Transitions” is being published in 2016.

Derk Loorbach, Director of DRIFT and Professor of Socio-economic Transitions at Erasmus University Rotterdam
He is one of the founders of the transition management approach as new form of governance for sustainable development. He has over one hundred publications in this area and has been involved as an action researcher in numerous transition processes with government, business, civil society and science. He is a frequently invited keynote speaker in and outside Europ

Rob Hopkins, co-founder of both Transition Town Totnes and Transition Network
He is a serial blogger, author of 21 Stories of Transition (2015), The Power of Just Doing Stuff (2013) and tweets as @robintransition.  He previously wrote The Transition Handbook (2008) and The Transition Companion (2011) and was recently awarded a PhD by the University of Plymouth and an Honorary Doctorate by the University of the West of England. In 2012 he was voted one of the Independent's top 100 environmentalists and one of “Britain’s 50 New Radicals”. He is an Ashoka Fellow, a keen gardener and one of the founders of New Lion Brewery in Totnes and a Director of Atmos Totnes, a very ambitious community-led development project.

Gunter Pauli
Gunter Pauli is author of 15 books including “The Blue Economy: A Report to the Club of Rome - 100 innovations 10 years 100 million jobs”. In 1994 he was invited to advise the United Nations University to design new competitive business models that have no waste or emissions. By 2015, $4billion of investments and 200 projects demonstrate that this is viable. Every successful project is translated into a fables of which the Chinese Government has published 108 to inspire children (and their parents) to steer business and society towards sustainability. He is father of 6 children and resides in Kamakura, Japan. Further information: and

Peter Hennicke
Peter Hennicke was for many years president of the Wuppertal Institute and member of several Enquete Commissions of the German Parliament such as “Protecting the Earth's Atmosphere” and “Sustainable energy supply under the conditions of globalization and liberalization” and the Scientific and Technical Committee (STAP) of the Global Environment Facility (GEF). In his career, he has published over 230 articles, reports, project reports and numerous books mainly on energy and climate policy and is one of the most important opinion leaders of ecologically oriented energy research in Germany.
Since 2008 Peter Hennicke with his scientific expertise worked for the Wuppertal Institute as a freelancer e.g. in the project “bridging the information gap on Energy Efficiency in buildings bigEE”. In January 2012 he became a member of the Management Board of the European Environment Agency and started in April as a full member in the international think tank “Club of Rome”. Since September of the same year Peter Hennicke is currently a visiting professor at the “International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics (IIIEE)” at the Lund University. For his dedication and scientific research in the field of energy policy and efficiency Peter Hennicke was in 2014 awarded by the German Federal Environmental Foundation the German Environmental Award. In addition, he was awarded the 2015 Gothenburg Award for Sustainable Development.

Thomas B. Johansson
Thomas B. Johansson is Professor em. of energy systems analysis at  Lund University, with a focus on energy for sustainable development. He led the International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics (IIIEE) at Lund University as Director from 2001-2009 and he was a member of the Swedish Commission on fossil fuel independence in transport from 2012-2013. He has also held numerous international memberships, for instance as Co-Chair of the Global Energy Assessment from 2006-2012 and Director of the Energy and Atmosphere Programme of the United Nations Development Programme from 1994-2001. From 2001 to 2014 he has been Co-Chair of the Global Network on Energy for Sustainable Development (GNESD) and he was a member of the Senior Policy Advisory Board of the Energy Foundation China from 1998-2014.

Hironori Hamanaka
Professor Hironori Hamanaka is the chair of the Board of Directors of theInstitute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES). When he took up his current position at IGES in 2007, he was teaching at the Faculty of Environment and Information Studies, Keio University as a Professor, and continued to teach at the University until 2015. Previously, he served as the Vice-Minister for Global Environmental Affairs from 2001 to 2004, as well as other important positions at the Ministry of the Environment. While serving with the Government of Japan, he devoted his administrative career to intergovernmental negotiations in areas including: the Kyoto Protocol and its implementing rules; major agreements in the field of sustainable development, such as the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation agreed at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002; and the development of national policies to implement international agreements, most notably the Kyoto Protocol. Based on his professional career, he served as a Co-chair of the Compliance Committee under the Kyoto Protocol and the Chair of its Facilitative Branch from 2006 to 2008. He gained a B.A. in Engineering from the University of Tokyo in 1967.

Program overview

Conference Tracks & Sessions

The theme of IST 2016 “Exploring Transition Research as Transformative Science” and the broad range of other issues in Sustainability Transitions Research will be discussed along the following conference tracks:

Track: Transformative Science, Transition Labs and Experiments
Track: Urban Transitions
Track: Geography of Transitions
Track: Transitions to a Sustainable Economy
Track: Energy Transitions
Track: Governance of Transitions
Track: Practice Approaches, Social Learning, Social Innovation
Track: Global Perspectives
Track: Theoretical and Methodological Advances in Transition Research

Across the different thematic tracks, the conference will be structured using different session formats.

  • Paper Sessions: 90 minute sessions with full paper presentations and a joint discussion.
  • Speedtalk Sessions: 45 minute sessions with up to 4 short presentations, where an idea or a central research finding is presented in 4 minutes. The rest of the session is dedicated to direct interaction between the presenters and the other session participants in small group discussions.
  • Dialogue Sessions: 90 minute sessions featuring paper presentations with a specific thematic focus, project presentations, panels, discussions or workshops related to the conference theme.


Tuesday, 06 September

17.00    Welcome Reception at the Wuppertal Institute

Wednesday, 07 September

08.30-09.00    Opening Plenary
09.00-10.30    Parallel Session A
10.30-10.45    Coffee Break
10.45-12.15    Parallel Session B
10.45-12.15    Side Event: “EnerTransRuhr” – Presentation of Project Results/Panel Discussion

12.15-13.00    Lunch break

13.00-14.30    Plenary Session
“The Good Life”: Research Perspectives on Well-Being Indicators
Speakers: Carrie Exton, Cathy Maguire, Uwe Schneidewind

14.45-16.15    Joint Plenary Session with LCS-Rnet Conference
The Role of Science in the Context of the SDGs and Climate Policy after Paris
Room: Lecture Hall 32
Speakers of introductory talks and roundtable: Roland Scholz, P. R. Shukla, Jim Skea, Hironori Hamanaka, Government Representative N.N.
Chair: Sergio La Motta, Maja Göpel

14.30-16.15    Speed Talk Session C and D
16.15-16.45    Coffee Break
16.45-18.15    Parallel Session E
16.45-18.15    Side Event: EnerTransRuhr – Interactive Event, Foyer

19.30    Conference Dinner

Thursday, 08 September

08.30-09.00    Plenary Session
The Great Mindshift: Mapping similarities across research & practice for sustainable economies
Speaker: Maja Göpel

09.00-10.30    Parallel Session F
10.30-11.00    Coffee Break
11.00-12.30    Parallel Session G

12.30-13.30    Lunch Break

13.30-14.00    Poster Session

14.00-15.00    Plenary Session
Research and Practice Perspectives on the Governance of Urban Transitions
Speakers: Derk Loorbach, Rob Hopkins
Chair: Maja Göpel

15.00-15.15    Coffee Break

15.00–18.00    Side Event: Visiting the urban real-world labs “Arrenberg”
15.15-16.45    Parallel Session H
17.00-18.30    Parallel Session I

18.00-21.00    Restaurant Day at the urban district “Arrenberg”

21.00    Wuppertal Institute – Anniversary Party at the Villa Media!

Friday, 09 September

9.00-10.00 Plenary Session
The Zero Emission Goal as an Enabler of a New Competitiveness: 200 Examples
Speaker: Gunter Pauli

10.00-10.30    Coffee Break
10.30-12.00    Parallel Session J
10.30-16.00    Side Event: Trafo 3.0 project sessions

10.30-12:00    Side Event: Book launch
Speakers: Uwe Schneidewind, Maja Göpel, Jürgen Scheffran, Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker, Hans Günter Brauch

12.00-13.00    Lunch Break

13.00-14.00    Plenary Session
Can International Cooperation Drive the Energy Transition? The German-Japanese Energy Transition Council funded by the German Federal Environment Foundation (DBU)
Speakers: Peter Hennicke, Thomas B. Johansson, Hironori Hamanaka

14.00-14.30    Coffee Break
14.30-16.00    Parallel Session K
16.00-17.30    Parallel Session L

17.30    Closing of the Conference

Map for Download