MPI Kolloquiumsreihe: Prof. Dr. Walter Stahel: Opportunity and Risk - Two Sides of Systems' Solutions

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MPI Kolloquiumsreihe: Prof. Dr. Walter Stahel: Opportunity and Risk - Two Sides of Systems' Solutions

  • Datum: 17.11.2016
  • Uhrzeit: 16:00 - 18:00
  • Vortragender: Prof. Dr. Walter Stahel, Gründer und Direktor des Product-Life Institute, Genf, Schweiz
  • Mitglied des Club of Rome
  • Ort: Max-Planck-Institut Magdeburg
  • Raum: Großer Seminarraum "Prigogine"

Dieser Vortrag ist Teil der öffentlichen Kolloquiumsreihe am Max-Planck-Institut Magdeburg in Kooperation mit dem Forschungszentrum Dynamische Systeme: Biosystemtechnik (CDS) Magdeburg. Alle Interessierten sind herzlich eingeladen.

Prof. Dr. Walter Stahel ist Gründungsdirektor des Instituts für Produktdauer-Forschung (The Product-Life Institute) in Genf, Schweiz, einer Nonprofit-Organisation. Der Schwerpunkt des Instituts für Produktdauer-Forschung liegt auf praktischen Strategien und Vorgehensweisen, damit ein höherer realer Wohlstand, wirtschaftliches Wachstum und mehr qualifizierte, auch handwerklich geprägte, Arbeitsplätze mit einem deutlich geringeren Ressourcenverbrauch erzeugt werden können

Walter Stahel ist als unabhängiger Berater und Industrieanalytiker in zahlreichen europäischen Ländern, den USA und Asien, tätig, vor allem auf den Gebieten:

  • der Strategie- und Politik-Beratung für eine nachhaltige Gesellschaft,
  • der Förderung von technischen und kommerziellen Innovationen der Nutzungsdauer-Optimierung (Weiterverwendung, Reparatur, Wiederinstandsetzen und technologisches Hochrüsten von Gütern und Systemen),
  • der regionalen Wirtschaftsentwicklung und der lokalen Beschäftigungsinitiativen,
  • des Risikomanagements und der Versicherungswissenschaft. (Quelle:

  • Vortragsthema


1 The opportunity side of systems’ solutions

Policy systems’ solutions, such as JHEB (Junction of Health, Environment and BIoeco­nomy), enable to focus the funding of research on projects which improve several problems (in Horizon 2020).

The circular economy is a systems solution sub­stituting manpower for energy while reducing resource consumption and waste. Risks are tech­nology jumps and upstream commercial changes.

The era of ‘R’: techno-commercial strategies to re-use, repair, remarket, remanufacture, re-programe, upgrade goods and re-refine chemicals.

The era of ‘D’: technologies to de-polymerize, de-alloy, de-laminate, de-vulcanize materials, de-coat goods, de-construct infrastructure & buildings.

Spreading the CE knowledge – technical and eco­nomic – to class- and boardrooms, to academia & technical training institutions.

Technical systems’ solutions are opportunities for creating synergies between products (PTS, ConCast), or people and products (lighthouses). Will (semi-)auto­no­mous cars become the new challenge? Are they different from aircraft on autopilot? Will Google or Tesla philosophy win?

The Internet of Things enables economic actors to exercise a control over their goods in use; either intracompany (Rolls Royce selling power by the hour) or in a ‘violation of ownership’–liability–user contracts (Apple iPhone, on-line automobiles).

The Performance Economy (selling molecules or goods as services) is a circular economy in which economic actors retain ownership of goods and their embedded energy, materials and water, thus internalising all cost of risks and waste. Clients buy the performance of the goods or molecules. Risk is licence to mine.

Big data. Wearable / smart IT (phones, watches, cars) is the creator of data used for algorithms and exploited in big data networks. Ownership rights apply similar to copyright and IPR–middle-men (Telefonica) have started offering creators their royalties, retaining substan­tial administration fees (similar to VG Wort).

Product-Life Analysis. Green is not sustainable. Most modern energy technologies cannot use secondary materials nor be recycled: hydro-dams, nuclear power, solar PV, windmills.

2 The risk side of systems’ solutions

Tensions arising from the clash between virtual and physical systems. Smartphones are the modern great equalisers (after the Colt). Anybody with a smart has instant access to information, the physical solutions are slower. (Disaster relief arrives on a disaster scene long after the announcement of help, or is attacked/derouted/slowed down by third parties (WFP).

Industrial ecology links several manufacturers of different sectors in a chain of decreasing energy, material or water quality (Kalumborg). Economy of scale comes with dis-economy of risk. The DDR was a chain based on increasing value added and the catastrophic potential of production chains.

Risk Management prevents losses by reducing the complexity of systems.

· Post-loss: Flixborough, the chemical industry replaced batch by continuous flow processes.
· Pre-loss: Hospitals, emergency services and supplies should not be situated in flood plains (New Orleans) or in unreinforced buildings (earthquakes in Italy, Haiti).

Risk management increases resilience to unknown risk (black swans).

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