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Energy transformation in dialogue – from real-world lab to Karlsruhe’s transformation center

Energy transformation in dialogue – from real-world lab to Karlsruhe’s transformation center
Project team:

Marius Albiez (Co-project leader); Stelzer, Volker (Co-project leader); Richard Beecroft, Lea Herfs, Oliver Parodi, Andreas Seebacher


Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft Deutscher Forschungszentren

Start date:


End date:


Project partners:


Research group:

Sustainability and Social Transformation

Project description

The so-called energy transition, the integration of the German electricity, heat, and mobility sectors into a nation-wide grid with both centralized and decentralized structural elements, which is fed by renewable energy carriers, is an enormous challenge for society. The large-scale construction of, for example, wind power and biomass plants, the expansion of energy grids which changes the spatial structure, but also factors such as changing terms of use and pricing structures affect citizens and consumers directly.

The basic idea of the new project “Energy transformation in dialogue” is that a turning point in a society’s way of life and economic activities, i.e., the energy transition, can only succeed in the long term if it is accompanied by a good level of information of those affected and real opportunities for participation. The project shall contribute to an overall societal understanding of the energy transition – by providing and processing information, offering advice and further training, and bringing together the most different actors from research and society.

To this end, ITAS’s transdisciplinary experts prepare some formats for knowledge transfer and participation. With different intensity of participation and scope, these formats do not only address the broad public, but also specific stakeholder groups such as, e.g., the energy sector, industry, civil society, and consumer associations, but also teachers, energy consultants, students, and so-called early adopters. They include in detail:

  • informational and explanatory videos,
  • a tour on “sustainable energy”,
  • energy scenario workshops,
  • transdisciplinary project seminars,
  • citizen forums, and
  • real-world experiments.

All these measures can only be successful if the dialogue on the energy transition, which was started and is intensified in this project, is not a one-way street. It is about imparting knowledge and initiating learning processes, but also about sharing impulses from society with the researchers to make them fruitful. The Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis will use its experience, competences, and structures related to Karlsruhe’s two internationally renowned real-world labs, “District Future – Urban Lab” and “Urban Transition Lab 131”.

To consolidate and institutionalize the “Energy transformation in dialogue” project and other activities of the bidirectional knowledge transfer, KIT establishes the “Karlsruhe Transformation Center for Sustainability and Cultural Change”. From 2020 onwards, it should provide as an independent institution the infrastructure and competences for carrying out knowledge dialogues, further training, and consultation, but also for research, teaching, and innovations related to sustainability transformations. Projects partners are, among others, the city of Karlsruhe, Stadtwerke Karlsruhe (the city’s municipal utilities), and the Karlsruher Energie- und Klimaschutzagentur (energy and climate protection agency). In cooperation with these partners, KIT and the Helmholtz Association aim at realizing one of the first permanent real-world labs worldwide – and, in this way, a beacon of sustainability transformation.

More information on current project activities You may find here: www.dialog-energie.de


Book Chapters
Köglberger, K.; Dietz, R.; Eller, C.; Piontek, F. M.; Albiez, M.; Potthast, T.
Schutz in der Exposition, Schutz für die Exposition - Wie man in transdisziplinären und transformativen Forschungsformaten mit Ungewohntem und erhöhter Aufmerksamkeit umgeht.
2019. Transdisziplinär und transformativ forschen, Band 2 : Eine Methodensammlung. Hrsg.: R. Defila, 93–138, Springer VS, Wiesbaden. doi:10.1007/978-3-658-27135-0_5
Journal Articles
Parodi, O.; Seebacher, A.; Albiez, M.; Beecroft, R.; Fricke, A.; Herfs, L.; Meyer-Soylu, S.; Stelzer, V.; Trenks, H.; Wagner, F.; Waitz, C.
Das Format ,,Reallabor“ weiterentwickeln: Best-Practice-Beispiel Karlsruher Transformationszentrum.
2019. Gaia, 28 (3), 322–323. doi:10.14512/gaia.28.3.17Full text Full text of the publication as PDF document
Albiez, M.
Energiewende: Schon genug geredet?.
2019. Veranstaltungsreihe “Junge Talente - Wissenschaft und Musik” (2019), Karlsruhe, Germany, October 31, 2019 
Albiez, M.
Reallabore als Innovationstool: Energietransformation.
2019. Workshop "Reallabore als Innovationstool" im Rahmen der Kommunalen Innovationstage Baden-Württemberg (2019), Karlsruhe, Germany, May 10, 2019 
Albiez, M.
Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung in Reallaboren.
2019. Reallabore, Citizen Science, Service Learning & Co (2019), Berlin, Germany, January 22, 2019 
Albiez, M.; Meyer-Soylu, S.; Seebacher, A.; Späthe, J.; Trenks, H.
Klimaschutz mit Herz und Hand: Eine Methoden-Vernissage.
2019. K3 Kongress zu Klimawandel, Kommunikation und Gesellschaft (2019), Karlsruhe, Germany, September 24–25, 2019 
Albiez, M.; Stelzer, V.
Energietransformation im Dialog: Vom Reallabor zum Karlsruher Transformationszentrum.
2019. 2. Wissenstransfer-Tagung der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft (2019), Berlin, December 9–10, 2019 
Albiez, M.; Stelzer, V.
Energietransformation im Dialog. Vom Reallabor zum Karlsruher Transformationszentrum.
2019. Arbeitskreis Wissenstransfer der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft Deutscher Forschungszentren HGF (2019), Karlsruhe, Germany, May 8, 2019 
Albiez, M.; Stelzer, V.
Energy transformation in dialogue.
2019. ForDigital Workshop "On the effects of Information Systems on the individual Social Consequences of the Energy Transition" (2019), Karlsruhe, Germany, March 6, 2019 
Parodi, O.
Reallabore: Experimetierräume für eine Ökonomie der Nachhaltigkeit.
2019. Auf zu neuen Ufern : Der Beitrag der Wirtschaftswissenschaften zur nachhaltigen Entwicklung (2019), Bern, Switzerland, September 25, 2019 
Parodi, O.
Reallabore als Rahmen tranformativer und transdisziplinärer Forschung.
2019. Tagung “Transformative Wissenschaft” (2019), Würzburg, Germany, September 30, 2019 
Parodi, O.
Konzeptionelle und praktische Erkenntnisse aus dem Reallabor “Quartier Zukunft - Labor Stadt”.
2019. Abschlusstagung des Projekts "DoNaPart" (2019), Dortmund, Germany, October 11, 2019 
Parodi, O.
Impulse für den CoLiving Campus: Das Konzept “Reallabor”.
2019. Workshop “CoLiving Campus” (2019), Brunswick, Germany, November 19, 2019 
Parodi, O.
“Quartier Zukunft - Labor Stadt” - Erfahrungen aus dem Karlsruher Reallabor.
2019. Denksalon (2019), Görlitz, Germany, September 13, 2019 
Parodi, O.
Grundsatzfragen: Wie haltet Ihr‘s mit dem Reallabor?.
2019. Hunziker Areal (2019), ETH Zürich, December 12, 2019 
Parodi, O.
Das Leben in der Stadt von morgen: ... menschlich und nachhaltig?.
2019. Zukunftsforum (2019), Dresden, Germany, May 30, 2019 
Parodi, O.
Nachhaltige Entwicklung: Welche Menschen wollen wir sein?.
2019. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Humanökologie (2019), Sommerhausen, Germany, May 23–25, 2019 
Parodi, O.
Transformationsforschung und die Arbeit im Quartier Zukunft.
2019. House of Transdisziplinary Studies (2019), Pforzheim, Germany, March 27, 2019 
Parodi, O.
Quartier Zukunft - Labor Stadt.
2019. Preisträgerrede anlässlich der Vergabe des Forschungspreises "Tranformative Wissenschaft" (2019), Darmstadt, Germany, January 16, 2019 
Parodi, O.
Kommunikation in Reallaboren.
2019. Darmstädter Tage der Transformation (2019), Darmstadt, Germany, January 15–17, 2019 
Parodi, O.; Seebacher, A.
Real-world Labs - as transdisciplinary and transformative infrastructure.
2019. 3rd Indo-German Dialogue on Green Urban Practices: Co-creation of the Living Environment (2019), Pune, Indien, December 5–7, 2019 
Schmidt, M.; Schopp, K.; Albiez, M.
Methane and CO2 in Lake Kivu - An interdisciplinary investigation in respect of the sustainable development goals.
2019. Kosmos Conference (2019), Berlin, Germany, August 28–30, 2019 
Albiez, M.; Stelzer, V.
Energietransformation im Dialog. Projektübersicht.
2019. Effektvoll am KIT. Tag der offenen Tür 2019 am Stand des KIT-Zentrum Mensch und Technik (2019), Karlsruhe, Germany, June 29, 2019 
Albiez, M.; Stelzer, V.
Energietransformation im Dialog. Laufende Aktivitäten.
2019. Effektvoll am KIT. Tag der offenen Tür 2019 am Stand des KIT-Zentrum Mensch und Technik (2019), Karlsruhe, Germany, June 29, 2019 
Pineau, C.; Albiez, M.; Stelzer, V.
Energietransformation im Dialog. Tour Nachhaltige Energie.
2019. Energiewendetage Baden-Württemberg (2019), Stuttgart/Karlsruhe, September 21–23, 2019 
Book Chapters
Parodi, O.
Reallabor im Quartier.
2018. CLC : CoLiving Campus, 34–39, Technische Universität Braunschweig 
Albiez, M.; Stelzer, V.
Energietransformation im Dialog. Vom Reallabor zum Karlsruher Transformationszentrum.
2018. 5th Workshop "Umwelt-Energie-Stadt". Karlsruhe - unterwegs in Richtung Zukunft (2018), Karlsruhe, Germany, October 25, 2018 
Parodi, O.
Das Konzept "Reallabor" in der Forschungspraxis.
2018. Ecornet Workshop "Reallabore" (2018), Frankfurt am Main, Germany, October 17, 2018 
Parodi, O.
TransformAtion? Anregungen zu aktuellen und potenziellem Verhältnis von TA und Transformation.
2018. 8. Internationale Konferenz des Netzwerks Technikfolgenabschätzung (NTA 2018), Karlsruhe, Germany, November 7–8, 2018 
Parodi, O.
Nachhaltige Mobilität - schöner, stiller, langsamer.
2018. Tagung Nachhaltige kommunale Mobilitätssysteme (2018), Bad Boll, Germany, November 15–16, 2018 
Stelzer, V.
Wege zur Realisierung einer CO₂-freien Kommune: Ein Überblick.
2018. CO₂-freie Stadtplanung - Beispiele aus der Praxis (2018), Rastatt, Germany, November 7, 2018 
Parodi, O.
Quartier Zukunft - Labor Stadt (Projektvorstellung).
2014. Netzwerktreffen im Kreativpark Alter Schlachthof (2014), Karlsruhe, Germany, March 24, 2014 
Parodi, O.
Quartier Zukunft - Labor Stadt.
2014. Vortrag im Rahmen der Bürgerversammlung Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, 9. Februar 2014 
Parodi, O.; Seebacher, A.; Quint, A.; Albiez, M.
Quartier Zukunft - Labor Stadt.
2013. Wissenschaftsfestival EFFEKTE, Karlsruhe, 21.-30. Juni 2013 
Seebacher, A.; Parodi, O.
Quartier Zukunft - Labor Stadt.
2013. Visit of a Delegation of Heads of Baltic Technical Universities, Karlsruhe, November 12, 2013 


Dr. Volker Stelzer
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
P.O. Box 3640
76021 Karlsruhe

Tel.: +49 721 608-23474