Director's Unit

Results from empirical spatial research demonstrate that specific actors often play a central role in advancing processes and initiatives of socio-spatial transformation. Approaches, in which the capabilities of political leaders as well as of leading executives in organisations and businesses are conceptualised, have inspired the team to develop a unique approach to characterise key individuals. The approach differentiates between four dimensions. more

Dynamics of Economic Spaces

The ESRa project examines factors that characterize regions with a predominantly positive attitude towards energy system transformation from regions with a negative attitude. The project aims at explaining how these factors can be influenced with regard to the realization of a successful energy transition. The project relates this question to the phenomenon of increasing regional disparities and the drifting apart of regions concerning those that draw advantage from globalization processes and those that do not. The success of an energy system transformation will depend considerably on helping less favorably equipped regions to develop and use such resources and skills.<br/> more

The lead project focalizes digital online platforms as well as their relevance for design processes in the fashion industry. Thus, it addresses the question, to what extent creative collaboration can be digitalized. All platforms have in common that they enact specific interfaces between the ‘concrete’ and the ‘virtual’ world, at which human actions are translated into data and vice versa. The lead project analyses how different specialized digital platforms are used in design processes, and which spatial patters and divisions of labour in creative work emerge as a consequence. The advance of digital platforms into a formerly more analogue industry like fashion bears the potential to fundamentally change spatial arrangements of creativity-based value creation, to the benefit or at the expense of established creative centres. more

The IRS is a participant in the “Innovation Hub13 – fast track to transfer”, a project funded as part of the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research's (BMBF's) “Innovative Hochschule” initiative, and obtained by the Technical University of Applied Sciences Wildau and the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg. Prof. Dr. Suntje Schmidt developed the sub-project “Open Region: Regional Challenges as Starting Points for Innovation”, which resides at the intersection of innovation promotion and regional development. The aim of the project is to create the conditions for the integration of until now unconsidered innovation actors, in order to develop cooperative solutions for regionally relevant problem areas in Brandenburg. more

Although several studies emphasize the value of improvisation, accidents, and uncertainty for innovation and creativity, these notions are still primarily viewed as threats to be controlled. In order to reduce uncertainty within organizational processes, management typically tends to use standardization and routine. more

The DFG-financed interdisciplinary research unit “Organized Creativity” has formed to provide a better understanding of the conditions under which creativity can prosper within social organization. Empirically analyzing an arts-based as well as a science-based field – the musical and the pharmaceutical industry – enables the research units to add to the development of a multi-disciplinary theory of organized creativity. The subproject at the IRS puts the focus on different modes of governance and the connected types of uncertainty in creative pharmaceutical work. more

The research focusses on the significance and potential of Open Creative Labs (OCL) as places of innovation and participation. The term Open Creative Labs refers to organizations that provide workspaces and technical infrastructures on a flexible and temporary basis. The research seeks to capture significant features of Open Creative Labs and scrutinizes their spatial distribution across the eleven metropolitan regions in Germany. more

Results from empirical spatial research demonstrate that specific actors often play a central role in advancing processes and initiatives of socio-spatial transformation. Approaches, in which the capabilities of political leaders as well as of leading executives in organisations and businesses are conceptualised, have inspired the team to develop a unique approach to characterise key individuals. The approach differentiates between four dimensions. more

This lead project aimed to systemically compare innovation biographies and to evaluate how such innovations are utilised for economic gai n. We conducted qualitative case studies to develop so-called innovation biographies in order to grasp how innovations unfolded. Specifically, we opted to 'follow the idea' whereby we began our investigations from observable innovations and then interviewed experts about an innovation's underlying idea, who had spread it, and through which area and organisation it had been passed on before being realised. more

Institutional Change and Regional Public Goods

The ESRa project examines factors that characterize regions with a predominantly positive attitude towards energy system transformation from regions with a negative attitude. The project aims at explaining how these factors can be influenced with regard to the realization of a successful energy transition. The project relates this question to the phenomenon of increasing regional disparities and the drifting apart of regions concerning those that draw advantage from globalization processes and those that do not. The success of an energy system transformation will depend considerably on helping less favorably equipped regions to develop and use such resources and skills.<br/> more

Cities create approximately 70% of all greenhouse gas emissions while at the same time being substantially impacted by climate change. Especially extreme weather occurrences like torrential rain fall, flooding, and heat waves often result in costly property damage, which in result – caused by inept behaviour in dangerous situations and insufficient preparation – often have an adverse effect on citizens’ health. The BMBF research project “Urban Resilience Towards Extreme Weather Incidents – Typology and Transfer of Adaptation Strategies in Small Metropolises and Medium Sized Cities” aims to measurably strengthen the resilience of cities and towns by working closely with administrations, branches of civil protection, and residents. more

The Working Group of the Academy for Spatial Research and Planning (ARL) and its network in Berlin, Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern explores innovations in the planning system to manage energy transition. more

While the German energy transition, Energiewende, is often portrayed as a rural phenomenon, it is widely recognised that the reconfiguration of urban energy systems is a key strategy of climate change mitigation. Thus, there has been a politics revolving about issues how to readjust these systems both technologically and organisationally. In many German cities, debates about to which end urban energy grids should be run, resulted in conflicts about deprivatising urban energy systems – either through state or cooperative ownership. This dissertation project focusses on the cities of Berlin and Hamburg both of which have experienced major conflicts about the future of the city's energy grid and provision. more

Results from empirical spatial research demonstrate that specific actors often play a central role in advancing processes and initiatives of socio-spatial transformation. Approaches, in which the capabilities of political leaders as well as of leading executives in organisations and businesses are conceptualised, have inspired the team to develop a unique approach to characterise key individuals. The approach differentiates between four dimensions. more

Dynamics of Communication, Knowledge and Spatial Development

At the intersection of technical and social innovation, the project "Stadtquartier 4.1" seeks to find out, if and how the introduction of novel logistics and mobility services (such as automated parcel pick-up stations and cargo-bike sharing) in a neighbourhood impacts on local dwellers' behaviours and attitudes related to logistics. Secondly, it seeks to understand the communicative and participatory processes which lead to the introduction of said services into a neighbourhood. Thirdly, it investigates, if and how the social acceptance for novel logistics and mobility services systematically varies between urban and sub-urban environments. The IRS sub-project within the consortium provides knowledge, if and under which conditions technical innovations in the field of urban logistics establish in society and contribute to sustainable urban development. more

Social businesses are increasingly recognised by policy makers, academics, civil society actors and the business sector. In the federal state of Brandenburg, there is a wide range of social businesses. Against this backdrop, the study "Market-Oriented Social Businesses in Brandenburg" seeks to provide the first structured overview of the current state, growth potentials and the need for support of social businesses in Brandenburg. The study commissioned by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Energy focusses on market-oriented business, hence, organisations which generate revenues for social causes by positioning new products and services. more

Smart cities are often talked about – but smart villages? Rural areas, particularly in structurally weak regions, are often affected by out-migration and a growing backlog in digital infrastructure and innovation dynamics. Both trends reinforce each other. However, there are examples of villages in which innovative initiatives do not just strive to compensate for deficits, but develop new, situation- and problem-specific local solutions. In doing so, they combine new services with creative uses of digital technologies and sometimes improved digital infrastructures. In this lead project, such initiatives, driven by ‘smart villagers’, are analysed from the perspective of ‘societal innovations’, yet with an emphasis on the aspects of mediatization and digitalization. more

In current times, many rural regions in Europe are facing major social and economic problems. With a declining population in rural areas, both the public and private sectors struggle to keep services at the same levels as before. However, due to a decrease in revenue they are often only poorly maintained and as a result can become under-utilised and end up with being withdrawn. Similarly, also local living conditions and quality of life decreases as unemployment rises and skilled labour becomes limited.<br/><br/>These developments are mirrored in the media where structurally weak rural areas face recurring negative discourses. This can further reduce economic opportunities by framing the regions as a less rewarding context for both economic development and for everyday living,... more

The following project starts from the assumption that space is not an inert, background category. Instead, like time, it is performed through specific intra-actions with/in practices (Barad, 2007). This presents a challenge; how to grasp practices intended to change space, such as those in social innovation and territorial transformation which are simultaneously affected by the spaces, or spatialities that they enter? It is in this entangled more-than-human performativity which my research engages. more

Rural regions – to be understood as areas with a low population density spanning between the local and the state level – are faced with major social and economic problems. In comparison to ‘predominantly urban’ or ‘intermediate’ regions, ‘predominantly rural’ regions, and particularly structurally weak rural regions, are economically less productive, which finds expression by a low level of gross domestic product . They provide a less extensive scope of desired goods and services, opportunities for higher education and qualified job offers. Not least, they are faced with recurring negative discourses on rural problems in public media resulting in negative images. The RURACTION research and training network focuses on these problems in structurally weak rural regions in Europe and on the impact of social entrepreneurship regarding the development of innovative solutions. more

An inseparable part of modern society, innovation is currently acquiring new contours in its relation to society: Societies are becoming innovation societies, in which innovation is one of the main driving forces of change. Innovations in modern society are primarily (re-)produced in innovation fields, i.e. action fields which are constituted by the interactions between actors and which are based on specific, innovation-related topics. In this process, innovation becomes an increasingly reflexive, heterogeneously distributed, and ubiquitous phenomenon. The Graduate School thus addresses the following key question: How does the innovation society constitute its transformations reflexively as innovation? more

In large parts of Europe, structurally weak rural regions are facing similar problems. Economic productivity is low, as is the availability of jobs for qualified people. At the same time, educational and cultural opportunities cannot be provided in these regions to the same extent as in conurbations. This is the starting point for RurInno: It brings together researchers and practitioners from two research institutions and four social enterprises working in rural areas. The partners are pursuing three objectives together: first, promoting knowledge transfer between research and practice; second, improving empirical knowledge of conditions for social innovations in rural areas; and third, increasing the visibility of the work of social enterprises in politics and society. more

The lead project explores municipalities in structurally weak rural areas where citizens and actors from politics, administration or business seek creative ways to solve local problems. The lead project’s aim is to investigate these innovative projects in rural areas. The civic engagement under study ranges from renewable energies, local supply as well as arts and culture. more

In Deutschland werden Zwischennutzungen in unterschiedlichen funktionalen und räumlichen Kontexten strategisch in Prozesse der Stadtentwicklung eingebunden, um neue Entwicklungsperspektiven für leerstehende Flächen, Gebäude und schließlich ganze Quartiere zu initiieren. Wie kommt es zur Entstehung, Verbreitung und schließlich zur Etablierung solch neuartiger Planungsansätze? In seiner Dissertation untersucht Thomas Honeck diese Fragen anhand des empirischen Gegenstandes der Zwischennutzung im deutschen Planungssystem. more

Results from empirical spatial research demonstrate that specific actors often play a central role in advancing processes and initiatives of socio-spatial transformation. Approaches, in which the capabilities of political leaders as well as of leading executives in organisations and businesses are conceptualised, have inspired the team to develop a unique approach to characterise key individuals. The approach differentiates between four dimensions. more

Im Modellprojekt des Förderprogramms „Zusammenhalt durch Teilhabe“ des Bundesministeriums des Innern, ging es darum, auf ländliche Räume angepasste, innovative Medienstrategien, Kommunikations- wie auch Interaktionsformen zu entwickeln, zu etablieren und zu verbreiten, um auf diesem Wege demokratisches Engagement, Partizipation und Kreativität zu wecken. Das IRS unterstützte die Projektdurchführung mittels der Aufarbeitung des Forschungsstandes zu zivilgesellschaftlichem Engagement, Teilhabe und Kommunikation in ländlichen Regionen. more

Das Projekt befasste sich mit Raumpionieren, die in sozial benachteiligten Stadtquartieren versuchen, neuartige, sozial-innovative Projekte entweder selbst zu entwickeln oder aber neue Projekte von andernorts aufzugreifen, zu modifizieren und vor Ort mit dem Ziel der Verbesserung von Lebensqualität umzusetzen. Die Akteure sind mit ihrem sozial-innovativ und reflexiv angelegten Handeln potenzielle Motoren für die Quartiersentwicklung. Das Projekt knüpfte an Diskussionen um zivilgesellschaftliches Engagement und Konfliktbeziehungen zwischen Akteuren der Bottom-up- und Top-down-Ebene in der Raumentwicklung an. more

Regeneration of Cities and Towns

As one of the most pressing issue of our times, immigration has gained particular relevance at the local level. The recent increase of refugee migration to Germany has instigated new negotiation processes in urban policy and planning. At the national level, the transition of Germany into an immigration country is envisaged by the government, and a new immigration law is underway to create new legal pathways for labour migration. Simultaneously, immigration has become a central focus of the mobilisation for new right-wing parties and movements. These current conflicts over immigration lead to a multiplicity of new dilemmas for municipal decision makers. Consequently, this research project investigates how urban migration policies are negotiated and formulated, which actors participate in policy formulation and how migration-related segregation tendencies are addressed. more

Results from empirical spatial research demonstrate that specific actors often play a central role in advancing processes and initiatives of socio-spatial transformation. Approaches, in which the capabilities of political leaders as well as of leading executives in organisations and businesses are conceptualised, have inspired the team to develop a unique approach to characterise key individuals. The approach differentiates between four dimensions. more

Research Management and Communication

In large parts of Europe, structurally weak rural regions are facing similar problems. Economic productivity is low, as is the availability of jobs for qualified people. At the same time, educational and cultural opportunities cannot be provided in these regions to the same extent as in conurbations. This is the starting point for RurInno: It brings together researchers and practitioners from two research institutions and four social enterprises working in rural areas. The partners are pursuing three objectives together: first, promoting knowledge transfer between research and practice; second, improving empirical knowledge of conditions for social innovations in rural areas; and third, increasing the visibility of the work of social enterprises in politics and society. more