Ortwin Renn

Ortwin Renn



Scientific Director, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS)



Ortwin Renn has spent his career engrossed in systems-level thinking at the intersection of technology, environment, culture and social change. He is the Director of multiple institutes and programs in Germany, including the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, the Stuttgart Research Center for Interdisciplinary Risk and Innovation Studies and DIALOGIK, a nonprofit institute for research on communication and cooperation.

What connects his work is “a desire to understand processes of technological and cultural change, how they interact, and how they can be navigated in order to create a more sustainable and resilient future.”

Ortwin views the primary culprits for the persistence of energy poverty through the lenses of risk governance, sustainable development, public participation and technology assessment. Among these culprits? “The unequal distribution of wealth, a belief in large-scale, centralized energy production and the view that are other more important topics to be concerned with.”

At the Summit, Ortwin will offer insights into systems-level issues in the hopes of opening up space for new ideas and consensus in an area often bogged down in the minutiae of financing, policy change, and technology.