Michael Jäger

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Research Interests: Innovative solutions for a sustainable society, new business models and their impact on sustainability, interaction between economy, ecology and technology, environmental impacts.

As an economist and sustainability researcher, I am particularly interested in the question of how to align economic growth with sustainable development. Technological as well as social innovations have the potential to offer solutions for a sustainable social transformation. Especially at the interface between the different disciplines, a field of new ideas opens up, which is why I am particularly attracted by interdisciplinary research. The sharing economy is therefore an exciting phenomenon for me, which has the potential to fundamentally change our society. Joint research into this phenomenon together with the junior research group platforms2share will produce new findings and will help to understand how the potential for sustainability can be realized at best.

The promoted goal of the sharing economy is to intensify the use of products and to extend their life cycle. The sharing economy promises both an economic saving effect for consumers and positive effects on the environment. However, if saved income is spent elsewhere increasing consumption, the ecologically positive effect of sharing might be offset. This phenomenon is also known as “rebound effects” and impairs the sustainability promise of the sharing economy. Within platforms2share, I am developing an impact assessment model for different organizational and business models of the sharing economy by taking into account rebound effects.

As a group leader for sustainable construction at the Fraunhofer IBP, one of my main concerns is to assess solutions for the future living in buildings, districts and cities with regard to their sustainability. Thanks to the junior research group, I can now expand my focus by including the important aspect of user and usage interactions in order to be able to assess future living spaces holistically.

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IBP