In 2013, the IZT created the short study “Successful regional transformation processes. Potential futures for the Ruhr region” in contract to the Essen Brost-Stiftung. The study compared six regions as examples for the Ruhr area; all six organized the structural change from the mining-supported raw materials industry into a knowledge-based society. Examples that have been successful so far include Manchester-Liverpool (North England), Leipzig-Halle-Jena (Middle Germany), Randstad (Netherlands) as well as Pittsburgh (USA), Gauteng (South Africa) and Wuhan (China). The study identified future-oriented focal points (seeds of transition) for each region that helped support a more sustainable development.
IZT works on inter- and transdisciplinary futures studies, sustainability design and technology assessment. It also investigates early identification of opportunities and risks, with a focus on transformation, participation and stakeholder integration.