Dr. Maria J. Welfens

Senior Expert

Sustainable Production and Consumption
Research Unit Production and Consumption Systems
Maria J. Welfens
+49 202 2492-244
+49 202 2492-108

Education and Academic Training

  • 1982 Ph.D in Economics at the Warsaw School of Economics
  • 1970 - 1974 Economics/Foreign Trade at the Warsaw School of Economics, Poland

Professional Experience

  • Since 2016 Senior Expert in the Division Sustainable Production and Consumption
  • 2004 - 2016 Project Co-ordinator in the Research Group Sustainable Production and Consumption
  • 1998 - 2003 Project Co-ordinator in the Division Material Flows and Structural Change
  • Since 1993, Researcher at the Wuppertal Institute
  • 1991 - 1992 Freelance activities: work for McKinsey & Company, Freie Universität Berlin and others
  • 1984 - 1989 University of Duisburg, Faculty of Economics: Research and co-ordination of the international project "Economic steering problems in market economies and centrally planned economies"
  • 1974 - 1984 Research Fellow at the Warsaw School of Economics/ Foreign Trade Faculty: Research and Teaching on international economic relations, environmental economy: numerous research stays and fellowships in Middle and Eastern European Countries

Research Focus

  • Sustainable consumption: Scenarios and Dialogue Processes 2020-2050
  • Green growth and new indicators for measuring prosperity
  • Key drivers of consumption and production patterns
  • Education for sustainable development: Development of concepts for education and qualification to improve the "Gestaltungskompetenzen" ("shaping competencies") in production and consumption
  • Scientific advisory and transfer of exhibition concepts


  • 2008/2009 Teaching at the Folkwang University, Department Industriedesign
  • 1985 - 1989 Teaching at the University of Duisburg/Faculty of Economics: Seminars on Shadow Economy and Inflation in Market Economies and Centrally Planned Economies
  • 1975 - 1984 Teaching at the Warsaw School of Economics: Foreign Trade Faculty


  • 2011 Member of the "Fortschrittsforum" assisting the Committee of Enquiry "Growth, Prosperity, Quality of Life" (Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung)
  • Since 2010 Member of the Network for Low-Carbon-Societies (LCS-Rnet)
  • 2005 - 2014 Participation in the Round Table "UN-Decade for Education for Sustainability"
  • 2001 - 2002 German UNESCO Commission, Advisory Board for Agenda 21
  • 2000/2001 Reviewer for the German Ministry for Research and Education
  • Since 1997 Advisory Board of the Institute for Sustainable Development, Warsaw