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Roland W. Scholz

Roland W. Scholz
Danube University Krems, Faculty of Economics and Globalization · Knowledge and Information Management

Prof. Dr. em. ETH

About

532
Publications
174,903
Reads
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17,412
Citations
Citations since 2016
25 Research Items
9022 Citations
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201620172018201920202021202202004006008001,0001,2001,400
201620172018201920202021202202004006008001,0001,2001,400
201620172018201920202021202202004006008001,0001,2001,400
Additional affiliations
November 2018 - present
IASS Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies Potsdam
Position
  • Research Associate
Description
  • I am associated as an Affiliate Scholar and contribute to research on sustainable digital environments
August 2015 - present
Danube University Krems
Position
  • Professor
February 2012 - present
Stellenbosch Institute of Advanced Studies (STIAS)
Position
  • Research Associate

Publications

Publications (532)
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Die Digitalisierung führt zu einem grundlegenden Wandel aller Lebensbereiche. Das hat Vorteile, aber auch unerwünschte Nebenwirkungen. Mit unbeabsichtigten Nebenwirkungen oder „Unseens“ der digitalen Transformation beschäftigt sich das Projekt „DiDaT – Digitale Daten als Gegenstand eines transdisziplinären Prozesses“. In diesem transdisziplinären P...
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Systemic risks are characterized by high complexity, multiple uncertainties, major ambiguities , and transgressive effects on other systems outside of the system of origin. Due to these characteristics, systemic risks are overextending established risk management and create new, unsolved challenges for policymaking in risk assessment and risk gover...
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The idea that universities should become entrepreneurial, commercialized, private commodities or should serve politicians and governmental agencies has been promoted by the university–industry–government relationship-based Triple Helix approach and is reality in many places. In contrast, a reemphasis on universities serving the public good has been...
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This paper presents the main messages of a South American expert roundtable (ERT) on the unintended side effects (unseens) of digital transformation. The input of the ERT comprised 39 propositions from 20 experts representing 11 different perspectives. The two-day ERT discussed the main drivers and challenges as well as vulnerabilities or unseens a...
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We present a Strengths, Vulnerability, and Intervention Assessment related to Digital Threats (SVIDT) method, which provides a problem structuring and decision support for organizational vulnerability and resilience management with respect to changes of the digital transition. The method starts from (i) a multi-level actor analysis, (ii) identifies...
Article
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of site-specific fertilizer recommendations on maize yield using the transdisciplinary (TD) process. 144 farmers participated in the study for the two seasons. Experiments were laid on the farmers’ fields at four sites (Kapyemit, Kipsomba, Ngenyilel and Ziwa, in Uasin Gishu County) using Rando...
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The global P cycle is considered from the perspective of geologic and historic timescales to help in the understanding of whether and when fundamental changes in agricultural practices for sustainable P may be needed.
Chapter
This article summarizes the panel session “Life Cycle Management approaches to support Circular Economy” of the 8th International Conference on Life Cycle Management (LCM2017 conference, Luxembourg). Four panellists were invited to share their point of view on this topic. Each of them brought a different perspective, addressing the topic from both...
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We present the main messages of a European Expert Round Table (ERT) on the unintended side effects (unseens) of the digital transition. Seventeen experts provided 42 propositions from ten different perspectives as input for the ERT. A full-day ERT deliberated communalities and relationships among these unseens and provided suggestions on (i) what t...
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This study evaluated the effects of site-specific, soil-testing-based fertiliser recommendations on maize yields using the transdisciplinary (TD) process. The TD process utilizes knowledge from science and practice. Farmers, extension officers, local financial institutions, and other practitioners collaborated with local scientists from the Univers...
Article
Approximately half of today’s annual worldwide crop yields can be attributed to the application of mineral fertilizers. Globally, we rely and depend on additional yields as a cornerstone of present and future global food security. In areas with very low nutrient loads, subsidies for appropriate and responsible fertilizer use may help farmers to inc...
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The German government has adopted a law that requires sewage plants to go beyond the recovery of phosphorus from wastewater and to promote recycling. We argue that there is no physical global short- or mid-term phosphorus scarcity. However, we also argue that there are legitimate reasons for policies such as those of Germany, including: precaution...
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The rapid change of technological, social, and cultural structures is challenging universities to offer new educational programs. The Global Leader Program for Social Design and Management (GSDM) of the University of Tokyo can be seen as a forerunner in this field. The paper provides definitions of social design as well as of global leadership and...
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Several of the comments on the Managing Complexity paper deal with theoretical issues regarding Brunswik’s Theory of Probabilistic Functionalism (TPF) (Mumpower; Hoffrage) or its application to sustainability planning groups (Mieg; Susskind). Other commenters extend the space of application of the TPF to better frame innovation or open data managem...
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The first stage of the circular economy, mining, is examined from the perspective of sustainability. The authors discuss how to maximize the use of phosphate rock, a primary commodity. To attract investment capital in a market economy system, a mine has to operate profitably, i.e., its lifetime must be optimized under economic conditions, for examp...
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Coping with the multitude of information, relationships, and dynamics of the biotic and abiotic environment is a fundamental prerequisite for the survival of any organismic system. This paper discusses what contribution the Theory of Probabilistic Functionalism (TPF) of Egon Brunswik (1903–1955), which was originally developed for visual perception...
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The core of the digital transition is the representation of all kinds of real-world entities and processes and an increasing number of cognitive processes by digital information and algorithms on computers. These allow for seemingly unlimited storage, operation, retrieval, and transmission capacities that make digital tools economically available f...
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The objective of this paper is to provide a conceptual and empirical historic analysis of applications, misunderstandings, and fallacies surrounding the Hubbert curve, the U-shaped production curve of a commodity, and peak minerals. We show that the ultimate recoverable resources (URR) cannot be predicted by fitting a symmetric curve to the data of...
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This paper discusses the role normative aspects play in different approaches of science–practice collaboration, in particular as action research, (Mode 2) Transdisciplinarity (Td), Transition Management (TM), and Transformative Science (TSc). We elaborate on the different roles that scientists in these processes play. They work as facilitators (or...
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The aim of this paper is to develop two concepts regarding phosphorus that will serve as a contribution fulfilling the call for intergenerational equity: to improve knowledge of future resources and to develop a framework by setting priorities for maximizing availability with a hierarchy of natural resources. The increasing human demand for mineral...
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The Digital Revolution is inducing major threats to many types of human systems. We present the SVIDT method (a Strengths, Vulnerability, and Intervention Assessment related to Digital Threats) for managing the vulnerabilities of human systems with respect to digital threats and changes. The method first performs a multilevel system–actor analysis...
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This paper identifies and discusses the benefits, threats, and vulnerabilities related to the digital revolution. It aims to motivate research and its funding regarding digital threats and vulnerabilities related, in particular, to anticipating unintended, undesirable rebound effects, tipping points, critically fast evolutionary change rates, trade...
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Several recent papers deal with concerns about the longevity of the supply of the mineral phosphorus. The paper by Edixhoven et al. (2014), for instance, expresses doubts about whether the upward estimate of reserves by the IFDC (2006, 2010) and the USGS (2010) provides an accurate, reliable, and comparable picture, as it is based on reports that d...
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Loss management is efficiency management if we increase the output (product, outcome, yield, effect, value) in relation to an input (or reference set) of an action. The phrasing “we have to efficiently produce the right things” shows that efficiency is a means rather than an end. This special issue clarifies conceptual issues and misconceptions aro...
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This contribution provides a set of definitions and relates the concepts of losses, efficiencies, efficacy, and effectiveness (which is conceived as a kind of overall utility) in general and for the case of phosphorus. We show how the material-technical and economic value-related definitions are linked and can be utilized for sustainable phosphorus...
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Part 1 of this paper showed that losses and efficiencies are highly similar concepts used to valuate the quality of a production process from an input–output economics perspective. Both concepts are useful in methods that aim to reduce the amount of input (money, material, labor, etc.) needed to get a certain desired output. Yet, from a decision-th...
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Mutual learning is a fundamental element in transdisciplinary (Td) sustainability research. It allows for integrating knowledge and experiences gained in different contexts, including the building of consensus about necessary transformations to reach sustainability solutions. To successfully achieve mutual learning, appropriate conditions are requi...
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The lack of knowledge about fertilization, inadequate income to purchase fertilizers, limited access to the right type of fertilizers, and national policies have been identified as prerequisites of Sub-Saharan smallholder farmers’ low yield and food insecurity. This paper presents how the smallholder access to phosphorus (SMAP) method was developed...
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This paper builds on the theoretical foundation outlined in Part I (‘The real type and ideal type of transdisciplinary processes: part I—theoretical foundations’) which is included in the same special feature. Mode 2 transdisciplinarity processes are characterized as processes that relate or integrate problem-oriented interdisciplinary research wit...
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Transdisciplinarity integrates or relates different epistemics from science and practice (Mode 2 transdisciplinarity) or from branches of disciplines if interdisciplinary integration is impossible (Mode 1 transdisciplinarity). The paper explains, based on an analysis of the historical development of the Mode 2 transdisciplinarity concept, how trans...
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Infrastructure projects such as repositories for nuclear waste or hazardous waste sites impose risks (in the form of potential burdens or losses) over extensive timescales. These risks change dynamically over time and so, potentially, does their management. Societies and key actors go through learning processes and subsequently may be better able t...
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Several recent papers predict a scarcity of phosphate reserves in the near future. The paper by Edixhoven et al. (2014), for instance, expresses the doubts about whether the upward estimate of reserves by the IFDC (2010) and the USGS (2010) provide an accurate, reliable, and comparable picture, as they are based on reports that do not clearly diffe...
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Consumers' adoption of fuel-efficient vehicles is crucial to saving energy in road transport. Investigating reasons for the gap between intention and revealed behavior can contribute to more effective, faster, and less costly market penetration of efficient vehicles. We compare psychological determinants of the stated importance of fuel consumption...
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Phosphorus (P) is a key human, animal and plant nutrient and an important ingredient of many nonagricultural products. However, phosphorus is also a critical pollutant and is unequally used and distributed in the world. The Global Transdisciplinary Phosphorus Management (Global TraPs; 2010-2015) project organizes a multi-stakeholder discourse invol...
Chapter
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This chapter describes the current activities of a multi-stakeholder project known as the “Processing Node of Global TraPs” which focuses on the sustainable management of the global phosphorus cycle. The node team will outline the current state on phosphorus processing (rock phosphate concentrate and phosphorus-rich secondary materials to fertilize...
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This chapter describes the activities in the Dissipation and Recycling Node of Global TraPs, a multistakeholder project on the sustainable management of the global phosphorus (P) cycle. Along the P supply and demand chain, substantial amounts are lost, notably in mining, processing, agriculture via soil erosion, food waste, manure, and sewage sludg...
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The Exploration Node focuses on the search for assessment and quantification of phosphate reserves and resources in relation to the geopotential (i.e., the undiscovered reserves and resources). The Exploration Node encompasses all aspects of the predevelopment stages of phosphate deposits from initial discovery of deposits to the involved feasibili...
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Increased demands for agricultural output per unit of land area must be met in a way that encourages improved efficiency and better stewardship of natural resources, including phosphate rock. Modern crops remove between 5 and 35 kg P/ha, with P removal exceeding 45 kg P/ha for high-yielding maize. In situations such as Sub-Saharan Africa, where soi...
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Training programs for conditional probabilities based on the graphic models tree diagram, inverted tree diagram and unit square are investigated with respect to their ability to overcome students’ misconceptions in this field. Theoretical considerations from viewpoint of cognitive psychology lead to the main hypotheses that 1. graphic visualization...
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Mountain regions provide essential ecosystem goods and services (EGS) for both mountain dwellers and people living outside these areas. Global change endangers the capacity of mountain ecosystems to provide key services. The Mountland project focused on three case study regions in the Swiss Alps and aimed to propose land-use practices and alternati...
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The aim of this paper is to examine discounting of negative consequences of nuclear waste from both content-related and methodological perspectives. To test whether discounting depends on the issue at hand, we compare discounting judgments between nuclear and hazardous wastes. Further, we investigate psychological factors underlying discounting. Fr...
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Alpine regions in Europe, in particular, face demanding local challenges, e.g., the decline in the agriculture and timber industries, and are also prone to global changes, such as in climate, with potentially severe impacts on tourism. We focus on the Visp region in the Upper Valais, Switzerland, and ask how the process of stakeholder involvement i...
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Ecosystem service degradation, exacerbated by climate change, requires flexible and effective communication within governance systems to foster actions that reverse current trends and can cope with changing conditions. Key organizations bridge information to a variety of actors across administrative scales and policy areas in complex governance net...
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In nearly all domains of Global Change Research (GCR), the role of humans is a key factor as a driving force, a subject of impacts, or an agent in mitigating impacts and adapting to change. While advances have been made in the conceptualisation and practice of interdisciplinary Global Change Research in fields such as climate change and sustainabil...
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This paper elaborates in what way a dynamic perspective on reserves, resources and geopotential is necessary to provide robust estimates on resource availability. We introduce concepts of essentiality, criticality and economic scarcity and discuss for the case of phosphorus (P) how they are defined and may be measured. The case of P is considered i...
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Cities want to attract young families as residents instead of losing them to the suburbs. This asks for profound and specific understanding of the housing-related needs and expectations of those families desiring urban living. The article presents and discusses these needs and expectations, focussing on social and environmental issues, as seen by d...
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Interdisciplinary scientific knowledge is necessary but not sufficient when it comes to addressing sustainable transformations, as science increasingly has to deal with normative and value-related issues. A systems perspective on coupled human-environmental systems (HES) helps to address the inherent complexities. Additionally, a thorough interacti...
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Participation of a variety of actors has been observed in both energy research and the transition process of energy systems, and more participation is commonly advocated. Despite this, ‘participation’ seems to be an all-purpose term with an unclear definition. To give it meaning, the following key questions must be addressed: Why and when should di...
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Analyzing sustainability in dynamic systems is difficult from the scientific point of view. In addition to that it depends on subjective values. We plead to start sociopsychological analyses with a task analysis to describe attributes of a sustainable development. To get access to sustainability from a sociopsychological point of view, we need i) c...
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A key challenge of land-use modelling for supporting sustainable land management is to understand how environmental feedback that emerges from land-use actions can reshape land-use decisions in the long term. To investigate this issue, we apply the Human-Environment System framework formulated by Scholz (2011) as a conceptual guide to read typical...
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The assessment of different urban planning scenarios by stakeholders can yield important insights which, in turn, inform sustainable urban transition. Yet to gain in-depth insight, this assessment needs to be multi-faceted and should go beyond a unidimensional “most/least desired” approach. Accordingly, we use indicators that distinguish between de...