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Bodensee 2030 – a Foresight Study for the international Bodensee region

On Wednesday, 11 February 2015, four universities from Germany, Liechtenstein and Switzerland gave the starting signal for a joint research project on the international Bodensee region. Scheduled to last for several years, the IBH supported project focuses on concrete and practical knowledge designed to help decision-makers with a view to encouraging innovative economic developments.


On Wednesday, 11 February 2015, four universities from Germany, Liechtenstein and Switzerland gave the starting signal for a joint research project on the international Bodensee region. Scheduled to last for several years, the IBH supported project focuses on concrete and practical knowledge designed to help decision-makers with a view to encouraging innovative economic developments.


The region around the Bodensee, or Lake Constance, is made up of four countries – Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Austria. It is seen by economists as a border region capable of exceptional performance, showing higher than average growth rates in all its subordinate areas. Attempts have been made for some time to influence the development of this part of the world, with the help of appropriate regional policies. A wide range of different regional strategies and spatial planning approaches are already in existence. But is the Bodensee really adequately prepared for the coming years, in view of the increasing intensity of international competition between regions?    

International perspective: regional predictions
Numerous global development trends – like demographic transformation, technological development and climate change – are not going to stop short of the region around Lake Constance. But there have not been any forward-looking studies of long-term development with a view to anticipating the future of the Bodensee to date. Four universities of the region are now hoping to make an important contribution to the long-term forecasting of development prospects for the Bodensee.

The partners involved in the joint research project ‘Bodensee 2030’ are the Institute of Systemic Management and Public Governance of the University of St. Gallen, the SurveyLAB of the University of Konstanz, the HUGIN Center for HUman capital, Growth & INnovation of the Zeppelin University in Friedrichshafen and the University of Liechtenstein’s Chair of Sustainable Spatial Development.
The project is being supported by the "Internationale Bodensee Hochschule IBH" as regional project.



Giving the starting signal for the joint Foresight Study ‘Bodensee 2030’:
(from left to right) Moritz Schirmböck, Professor Peer Ederer, Professor Peter Droege, Dr Roland Scherer



Need for research with an emphasis on innovation
The joint research project will tackle development issues in a cooperative, integrative and far-sighted way. Joint conceptions of the future will be developed for the first time in independence of the everyday discourse of politics. Cross-border development stands to benefit both from the formulation of joint visions of the future and from an approach to this futuristic debate in which numerous institutions are involved. Regional forecasting can thus help to reduce the complexity of development in border regions with the help of a jointly elaborated framework for the future.

Concrete and practical regional knowledge
The entire project, from conception to implementation, is designed to focus on concrete and practical aspects. The idea is to transform a general understanding of trends into practically useful regional knowledge. As a result, regional decision-makers should be presented with pictures of the future and long-term development patterns as well as possible strategies of action and reaction for their activities in the present.    



From left to right: Professor Peer Ederer, Dr Roland Scherer, Professor Peter Droege, Moritz Schirmböck


Focusing on thematic areas

Innovative economic development that aspires to provide a regional forecast, while registering and taking into account transdisciplinary trends, cannot be conceived in too narrow a sense. Four subordinate areas have been marked out, under the headings of Innovative Companies, Human Capital and the Labour Market, Tourism and Spatial Development. In each of these fields, it is hoped, relevant developmental trends can be identified, their significance for the region democratically discussed between the participants and concrete recommendations for action developed to the benefit of the region.

Involving target groups
With this thematic emphasis, the project is addressed to all those regional players, networks and partnerships which are associated in any way whatsoever with issues of economic development. The defined target groups of the project will be linked in with it as directly as possible. In addition, the project will address other regional players who are suitably open and willing to be involved in the Foresight process, purely on the grounds of their interest in the region – whether through active participation, or as passive consumers of the relevant information.   

Further information

University of Liechtenstein, Bodensee 2030 Research Project
www.uni.li/bodensee2030
Internationale Bodensee-Hochschule IBH
www.bodenseehochschule.org/projects/bodensee-2030/