Dr Ariane König

Ariane König

Research scientist

Discipline(s) Multidisciplinary, general & others / Education & instruction / Sociology & social sciences
Faculté ou Centre Faculté des Sciences Humaines, des Sciences de l'Éducation et des Sciences Sociales​
Department Département Sciences de l'éducation et intervention sociale
Adresse postale Université du Luxembourg
2, Avenue de l'Université
L-4365 Esch-sur-Alzette
Téléphone (+352) 46 66 44 6233
Fax (+352) 46 66 44 36233
Langues parlées English, French, German, Italian, Luxembourgish, Spanish
Séjours de recherche en Luxembourg, United Kingdom, United States of America

Ariane König is a senior researcher at the University of Luxembourg. She developed and leads an innovative transdisciplinary study programme, the ‘Certificate in Sustainability and Social Innovation’, that is open to students at all levels and professionals; she also built and co-led an interdisciplinary strand on sustainability as part of a doctoral school. König has analysed challenges of connecting interdisciplinary research and teaching to practice in a special issue in the Journal Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability she edited in 2016. She has recently edited the book Sustainability Science: Key Issues (Routledge 2018), positing a novel conception of transformative sustainability science for refashioning the interface of research, policy and practice. Currently she leads two research projects that serve to further develop and put into practice concepts and methods described in the book, including collaborative conceptual systems mapping and scenario approaches, engaging diverse stakeholder groups to gain new perspectives and repertoires of action on sustainability challenges.

König is a member of the national Conseil Supérieur pour un Développement Durable and of the European Statistical Advisory Committee. Before coming to Luxembourg König was employed at the Universities of Harvard and Oxford, where she conducted research and taught in post-graduate and executive training courses on technology governance. Prior to this, she learnt about the co-production of technologies and social practice working for a leading multinational life science corporation. She was a scientific consultant for the OECD, the European Commission, and EU research consortia. Ariane König was conferred her Bachelor, Master and Ph.D. Degree in Biochemistry from the University of Cambridge, Emmanuel College.

Download Ariane König's full CV.

Last updated on: mercredi 09 octobre 2019


ISI Web of Science (WoS): H-Factor: 14; SCOPUS: H-factor 13; over 1600 citations (Research Gate); Peer-reviewed publications: 37; 25 first author publications;

Titles of two most recent research projects as leader

NEXUS FUTURES: Anticipating challenges at the food-water nexus with collaborative conceptual systems mapping, scenarios, and citizen science approaches. (2 Ph.D.s:, 1 Post doc, 5 year duration, funded by the Luxembourg Ministry for Sustainable Development and Infrastructures and the University of Luxembourg.)

SCHOOL FUTURES: Transformative learning in the face accelerating change: Scenarios and conceptual systems mapping for linking learning at the organisational level and in individuals in schools. (2 Ph.D.s, 4 year duration, funded by the Luxembourg Ministry for national Education, Childhood and Youth (MENJE), and the Service for Coordination of Research and Innovation and Technologies (SCRIPT)).

Research trainees:

  • Kristina Hondrila ‘What is actionable knowledge for sustainable water governance?’ started on 15 March 2017 - ongoing. Supervisor, PI.
  • Karl Pickar ‘Co-design of a citizen science tool for sustainable water governance and transformative learning’, started on 1 July 2017- ongoing. Supervisor, PI.
  • Bo Raber ‘Transformative learning from collaborative with conceptual systems mapping and futures in schools’, started on 15 November 2017 – ongoing. Supervisor, PI.
  • Ante Galich ‘The co-production of policy and science in the governance of EU research & innovation policy’ co-supervisor with Prof. Robert Harmsen- in the role of scientific contact and vice president of the jury. Completed with the notion of ‘very good’ in February 2015.
  • Franklin Feyeh Bahfon on ‘Greening Local Economies in Luxembourg: Understanding Nature Parks as instruments of Sustainable Regional Development’ co-supervisor with Prof. Christian Schulz in the role of scientific contact. Completed in May 2015.
  • Jan Tobias-Doerr ‘Learning from 30 of transition – A reconstruction of the sustainable development of Beckerich and its implication for Luxembourgish rural development’ co-supervisor with Prof. Christian Schulz, in the role of scientific contact. Ongoing.

Oversaw research at the University of Oxford towards a Master thesis on ‘The governance of biotechnology at WTO: a cultural theory framework’ by Samuel Evans, who was awarded the Dan Gowler Prize for prize for best dissertation in the Management Department of the year at the Saïd Business School. Gave supervisions and tutorials to undergraduates at Cambridge University, and to Masters students at Harvard University Kennedy School of Government).

Editorial and Reviewing Activities

Journals: reviewed for include Nature Biotechnology, Journal for Cleaner Production, Futures, International Journal for Sustainability in Higher Education, Minerva, Food Control, Risk Analysis.

Special issues edited in the international peer reviewed Journals Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability (2015) and Environmental and Sustainability Education (in press, 2018).

Books edited: Sustainability science (Routledge, 2018); Regenerative Sustainability in Universities and Cities (Edward Eglar, 2013).

Funding Responsibilities at Various Career Stages Included

2017-2023: Project ‘NEXUS FUTURES’, PI: Ariane König.  Budget: 943 k Euro 2017-2023.

2017-2021: Project ‘WATGOV’ PI: Ariane König.  Budget: 187 k Euro 2017-2023.

2017-2021: Project ‘SCHOOL FUTURES’, PI: Ariane König.  Budget: 380 k Euro 2017-2021.

2009 to date: University of Luxembourg:  Head of Sustainable development.  Budget:  ~75 000 Euro / year.

2012: Grant by Fonds National de la Recherche : Public Lecture Series on Sustainable Development’ : 3000 Euro

2010: Grant by Fonds National de la Recherche for ISCN Symposium in China. Budget: 10 000 Euro.

2005-2007: Independent consultant. Received fees in the order of 15 000 - 20,000 Euro / year.

1998-2000: Monsanto. Head of Scientific Affairs Europe / Africa.  Budget of ~1.4 M USD / year.

1993-1995: ESRS grant in support of Ph.D.


2000  EU Fulbright Fellowship to conduct research on science and technology governance at the Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government

1994  Emmanuel College Quartercentenary Studentship funding Ph.D. research.

Last updated on: 16 fév 2018

2017 – to date
At the University of Hokkaido, Sapporo, Japan - Invited to co-design and contribute to course in Summer School of Hoklkaido University on Sustainable campus development, systems thinking and futures.

2013 to date:
Developed and launched the University of Luxembourg’s Certificate in ‘Sustainability and Social Innovation’ with 2 core courses for 6 ECTS each on ‘Science and Citizens meet Challenges of Sustainability’ and on ‘Social Enterprise and Social Innovation’, 2 auxiliary course, project work, and internship opportunities for transformative learning for sustainability. I developed the course on environmental science for ‘Global Environmental Change in the Anthropocene’ the Master in Geography and Spatial Planning that can also count towards the Certificate (download the flyer of the Certificate).

2014 – 2017
Co-lead and development of the programme for the interdisciplinary strand on sustainability of the IPSE doctoral school.

2009 – 2012
Developed and taught the University of Luxembourg’s first interdisciplinary cross-faculty courses (for students and professionals) on ‘Science and citizens meet challenges of sustainability’; and ‘Social enterprise and social innovation’.

2002 – 2004
Executive training: Taught in executive training programmes offered by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Harvard School of Public Health. 

2001 – 2004
Training at post-graduate-level: Taught in post-graduate courses at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Oxford University Saïd School of Business, and at Georgetown University.

1992 – 1995
Training at undergraduate level: Taught and supervised undergraduate students at the University of Cambridge, Emmanuel College: Taught tutorials and laboratory classes in biochemistry and molecular biology.

Last updated on: 26 fév 2018

April 2016, April 2017
Expert advice on the initiative Real Labore in Baden-Württemberg at which the Land invests 15 M Euro in

January 2015 to date
Appointed a member of the European Statistical Advisory Committee of the European Statistical System

Jan. 2013 – to date
Member of the Luxembourg ‘Conseil Supérieur pour un Développement Durable’. Co-lead of the project ‘Scenarios for education in Luxembourg in the face of 21st century sustainability challenges’.  Lead of the working group to evaluate the national action plan on climate change.

Apr. 2009 – 2016
Chair of a Working Group of the International Sustainable Campus Network (ISCN), and lead-author of ISCN Charter committing signatories to regular reporting. Over 50 Universities signed.

Apr. 2012 2015
Appointed Member of the national ‘Groupe de Réflexion: Indicateurs Développement Durable du Ministère pour le Développement Durable et Infrastructures’

2012 2013
Jury member of the national competition 123 Go Social awarding business plans for social enterprise.

March May 2011
Invited international expert for a campus planning project for the regional government of Canton Zürich, Zentrale Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaft, and Baseler & Partner. 

Jan. 2012 – May 2013
Expert for the OECD-LEED study on Indicators for Local Green Growth Transition in Alzette-Belval.

October 2005
Expert for the evaluation of FP6 SME cooperative research proposals in health and biomedicine.

2003 2004
Consultant to OECD, a research report on public participation in activities on technology policy under the auspices of intergovernmental organizations.

2000 2002
Expert on panel for evaluation of biosafety research for German Federal Ministry for Research and Education.

Expert advisor to the European Commission Forward Studies Unit contributing background paper on democratising expertise and a presentation towards the ‘White Paper on Governance’.

1998 1999
Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC) representative at OECD meetings on food safety.

Last updated on: 16 fév 2018

Edited Volumes



König, A. (2018). Ed. Sustainability Science: Key Issues. Earthscan: Routledge. (Promotional flyer –click here).

Sustainability Science: Key Issues is a comprehensive textbook for undergraduates, postgraduates, and participants in executive trainings from any disciplinary background studying the theory and practice of sustainability science. Each chapter takes a critical and reflective stance on a key issue or method of sustainability science. Contributing authors offer perspectives from diverse disciplines, including physics, philosophy of science, agronomy, geography, and the learning sciences. [more]







König, A. (2013). Ed. The Regenerative sustainable development of universities and cities: the role of living laboratories. Edward Elgar. (Promotional flyer – click here)

Now that the Earth has reached the limits of its biophysical carrying capacity, we have to change technologies, social practices and social norms relating to material production and consumption to ensure that we do not further jeopardize the functioning of our planet’s life support systems. Through research, education and civic engagement, universities have a pivotal role to play in this transition. This timely book explores how universities are establishing living laboratories for sustainable development, and examines the communication networks and knowledge infrastructures that underpin impact both on and beyond the campus. [more]


Special Issues

Van Poeck, K., Wals, A. E.J. and König, A. (2018). Guest Editors. Environmental and Sustainability Education in the Benelux Region. Environmental Education Research, Special Issue. In press.

König, A., Budwig, N. (2015). Special issue on ‘Changing requisites to universities in the face of complex challenges of global environmental change’ developed and accepted by the Journal Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, (IF = 3,1).

Last updated on: 16 fév 2018