Enhancing Sustainable Consumption through User Integration in Sustainability Innovations

Head of the project:

Prof. Dr. Hugo M. Kehr, Dipl. Psych. Susanne Steiner

Description of the project:

The essential precondition for realizing sustainable consumption are sustainability innovations like e.g. passive houses, bio-plastics or fuel cell-powered cars. On the one hand those offers are already available on current markets, but remain in their specific niche or segment, on the other hand specific offers have to be developed primarily. Through user integration – so the underlying assumption and basic idea of the research project - in sustainability innovation-processes sustainable consumption can be realized , facilitated, improved and accelerated. User integration means to involve potential clients and users in the innovation process from the first idea to the introduction on the market and following diffusion. The pinpointed and dialogical integration of users in the innovation-processes of sustainable products and services offers some important advantages: Heightened market-acceptance through in-time integration of consumer needs and demands, thereby reducing the risk of flops, accelerating diffusion on the markets and the evaluation of socio-economic effects of sustainable consumption.

Integrating users in the producers’ innovation process can considerably contribute to the success of these projects. Why do people contribute their time and skills to the innovation process of companies, without getting adequate payment? Our task within this Joint Research Project which focuses user integration in sustainability innovation processes was to identify possible incentives for users to participate in Innovation workshops or Toolkits. Moreover we design used methods of unser intergration to enhance motivation of the participating users.

Promoted by:

Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)