Institut für Umweltsystemforschung

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Universität Osnabrück
Institut für Umweltsystemforschung
Barbarastr. 12
49076 Osnabrück

Raum 66/E10
Tel: +49 541 969 2297
Fax: +49 541 969 2599

Dr. Johannes Halbe

Dipl.-Ing., B.A. Econ.

Resource Management Group

Research Interests

  • Governance of transformations towards sustainable water, food and energy supply systems
  • Modeling and Assessment of Sustainability Visions
  • Participatory model building using system thinking, system dynamics and fuzzy cognitive mapping
  • Methodologies for design, evaluation and analysis of participatory processes
  • Design of Natural Infrastructures and Ecosystem Services

Completed Projects

Ph.D. Thesis on “Governance of Transformations towards Sustainable Development - Facilitating Multi-Level Learning Processes for Water, Food and Energy Supply”.

Societal transitions towards sustainable development are one of the major contemporary challenges. There are plenty of good ideas how a sustainable society could look like – but practical implementation hampers frequently. This completed Ph.D. project included an integrative analysis of different levels at which transformation processes take place, and the transfer of findings from this analysis in applicable solution strategies. Transformation processes towards sustainable development were considered as continuous learning and innovation processes of individuals, communities, organizations and societies in order to adapt techologies for the delivery of management functions to changing circumstances. Governing these transformation processes means to support self-organized learning at multiple levels of society. The PhD research aimed at the development of theory and concepts that support the identification and implementation of effective governance strategies through the setting of contexts that support self-organized learning and innovation.

Case studies: Each of the case studies had a focus on either water, food or energy supply but  synergies to other sub-systems were taken into account (i.e. the water-food-energy nexus). The following case studies have been chosen to analyze transformation processes towards sustainable development in different contexts:

  • Cyprus (focus: water supply)
  • North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany (focus: energy supply)
  • Southwestern Ontario, Canada (focus: food supply).

Learning contexts of individuals, communities, organizations and the society were analyzed in each case study. Participatory modelling processes were organized to inquire perceptions of stakeholders on the management of water, food and energy. The choice of innovative individuals, communities and organizations allowed for the analysis of case-specific factors that support self-organized learning and innovation.

 Download of Ph.D. Thesis


  • Participatory Modeling
  • Environmental Risk Assessment
  • Social Network Analysis
  • Uncertainties in Resource Management
  • Transitions in Human-Technology-Environment Systems
  • Proseminar