Participation, Governance and Technology Assessment Research Area

Center for Interdisciplinary Risk and Innovation Studies

Researching and Testing New Approaches to Participation, Governance and Technology and Risk Assessment

ZIRIUS researches and explores new forms of participation in politics, economy, science, and civil society in a wide variety of contexts.

The main focus in the area of governance at ZIRIUS is on risk management. We study innovative, participative approaches that allow for the inclusion and consideration of all relevant stakeholders, their interactions and communication with each other, as well as their processes of decision-making.


Against the background of pluralised living environments, ZIRIUS explores the following aspects of technology assessment: scientific assessment, social assessment, and the chances of influencing and shaping socio-technical development. Participation of all relevant stakeholders is essential here.


The integrated approach taken in this research area allows for generating knowledge and identifying resources for supporting decision-making. Thus, we address societal challenges and their implications for politics, the economy, science and civil society.

Current Projects of this Research Area

The potential of energy scenarios to support decisions for future energy systems is still not at his fullest, since the cognitive argument with different future scenarios seem intangible and too abstract. In order to overcome this problem, the knowledge and technology transfer project (WTT), aims to develop scenario technology for a better transfer of knowledge into society, and make future models a tangible experience that promotes a social discourse of energy transition.

To the Project

Das Ziel des Landes Baden-Württemberg ist es, die Gesundheitsversorgung angesichts der zahlreichen Herausforderungen für die Zukunft aufzustellen. Hierzu werden vor Ort passgenaue Konzeptefür die regionale Gesundheitsversorgung gemeinsam mit Bürgerinnen und Bürgern in Strukturgesprächen entwickelt.

To the Project

TechnikRadar is a joint project by the Körber Foundationacatech, ZIRIUS and the Department of Sociology of Technology and Environment at the University of Stuttgart. The aim of the project is the regular collection of empirical data and analysis of the attitudes, expectations and perspectives in relation to new technologies and technical change.

To the Project

Using the example of the Río Lurín water catchment area in the region of Lima, Peru, experts from various disciplines are collaborating in the joint project TRUST to develop planning tools as well as water and wastewater disposal concepts primarily for drinking water supply. ZIRIUS coordinates the project with the overall objective of contributing to the achievement of the sustainable development goals.

To the Project

The VENAMO research project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and explores the question of the extent to which traffic relief effects can be achieved through spatial and temporal flexible work and a change in mobility behaviour for work-related travel (including the use of new mobility technologies).

To the Project

The WECHSEL research project uses the example of the Neckar valley in Stuttgart to address the transformation of industrial riverside areas into sustainable urban living environments. For this purpose, it bundles interdisciplinary competencies in order to offer high-quality suggestions for Stuttgart as a river city.

To the Project

Children and young people develop their own climate protection measures for their municipality. This reduces the discrepancy between being able to take part in decision-making and having to assume the consequences.

As part of the German National Climate Initiative (NKI), support is being given to German municipalities that offer their young people the freedom to develop their own projects. With WirWollenMehr, young people decide for themselves which climate protection measures they find sensible and necessary. The young people will be introduced to the subject of climate protection through a series of workshops. The jointly developed proposals and specifically planned measures will be implemented by and with the young people. 

To the Project

Members of Research Area Participation, Governance and Technology Assessment


This image shows Sarah-Kristina Wist

Sarah-Kristina Wist


Spokesperson for the Research Area Participation, Governance and Technology Assessment

Sabine Mücke



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