Our research activities lie in the areas of developing future scenarios (regarding the education system, for instance), education for sustainable development, analysis of the effects of a knowledge-based society (e.g., on education policy and the economics of education), examining innovation transfer and knowledge, as well as subject-oriented research into the future and uncertainty. Our numerous research and development projects in these fields are funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU), and the EU.
The institute’s research focuses on an area we envision as outlined by a triangle, with the vertices defined as the future, knowledge and knowledge transfer, and uncertainty.
In our activities, we consider the future from both an objective and a subjective perspective. We use the Delphi method and scenario method to develop conceivable future scenarios with a scientific and academic basis. To ensure that we are able to successfully prepare for the future, it is critically important that we understand the conditions under which innovative knowledge is transferred and take them into account in transfer processes. To this end, our research focuses on theoretical and empirical models of the diffusion of innovations, including social innovations. From an individual perspective, the future is associated in most cases with uncertainty and risk, because potential developments are complex and there are gaps in our understanding of the factors that influence these developments. Companies, organizations, and individuals are therefore called upon to face these challenges on the basis of individual, social, and societal resources.