Josué Manuel
Quintana Diaz

Goethe Universität Frankfurt

Theory, Taxonomy and Strategy of Organizations and its Transformation towards Sustainability

A knowledge management contribution to structure the study and the discourse on sustainability development

The notion of transformation towards sustainability became a central claim in both global research programs on sustainable development and high-level policy discourses worldwide (see for example Future Earth 2014a, 2014b; HLPEP 2013; Hajer et al. 2015; Patterson et al. 2016).

The research contribution tackles three identified research objectives, which – following the global research initiative Future Earth – have to be addressed in the upcoming decades to make the great transformation towards sustainability work (WBGU 2011):

  • „Understanding transformation processes and options, assessing how these relate to human values, emerging technologies and economic development pathways [1. research objective focused on a trans-disciplinary theory of transformation]. (..).
  • Understanding the many feedbacks from human responses and governance to earth system processes requires close collaboration between natural and social scientists [2. research objective focused on a trans-disciplinary taxonomy of transformation].
  • Evaluating strategies for governing and managing the global environment across sectors and scales [3. research objective focused on a (knowledge) governance strategy for organizations and its transformation].“ Future Earth (2016)

This work addresses this three postulated research objectives by building conceptual knowledge to understand the transformation of organizations across and beyond disciplines (i.e. general theory to understand transformation), to manage – i.e. to classify, order and integrate – the produced knowledge on transformation with regard to five time-invariant variables (i.e. a general taxonomy to manage knowledge on transformation), and to propose a strategic code of conduct to sustain and accelerate the great transformations towards sustainability (i.e. a general governance strategy to build knowledge for transformation).


2011-2013 – Projekt Manager, KfW Banking Group

2011– Consultant, Bosch Group

2009-2010 – Analyst, Bankhaus Metzler


2014 – LAE (equivl. to Master in Business Administration) Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM)

2009 – 2011 – M.Sc. Economics (International Economist Programm) Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main Université Paris Dauphine
Thesis: Price and Asset Inflation in a Pure Credit Economy

2006 – 2009 – B.A. International Management (Double Degree Programm) University of Applied Sciences Münster

  • Economic theory on growth and development
  • comparative institutional economics
  • applied system thinking
  • management practices


  • Kenya School of Government, Nairobi,: Earth System Governance Project -Confronting Complexity and Inequality: Economics behind Earth System Transformation.
  • Evangelical Academy Tutzing, “Capitalism, Globalization, Democracy“ convention: Where does the next great transformation lead us?
  • National University of Australia, Canberra: Earth System Governance Project – The Anthropocene and Democratic Resilience: Measuring Good Governance?
  • University of Basel, Basel: Futures: Prospective Money and Money’s Prospects”. The Merger of Economics and Cryptography – Do cryptographic economic systems lead to the future of Money and Payments? (Paper presentation)


  • University of Basel, Basel: Futures: Prospective Money and Money’s Prospects”. The Merger of Economics and Cryptography – Do cryptographic economic systems lead to the future of Money and Payments?
  • Franz-Hitze Haus, Münster, Latin America Convention: `Buen Vivir´ and Sustainability. Wachstum statt Wohlstand als Ambivalenz der Moderne. [Economic Growth instead of Welfare as ambivalence of Modernity]
  • Zeppelin University, Friedrichshafen, Nachwuchsgruppe EnergyCultures: Nachhaltigkeitswissenschaften und die Suche nach neuen Wissensregimen. Sustainable thinking – a system theoretical founded classification of sustainability thinking.
  • STUBE, Stuttgart, Academic accompanying program for and by students from Africa, Asia and Latin America: Money Rules the World – the power of financial institutions. Introduction to the operation of Financial Markets.
  • Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, Berlin, AG: Institutions and Global Commons. An economics perspective on efficiency and meaning.


  • Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, Berlin, Forum: Sustainable Change and challenges. Institutional Change and System Thinking.
  • ITU University, Copenhagen, Workshop: Crypto-Currencies – the future of money and payments. Distributed Autonomous Organizations (DAO).
  • University of Leipzig, International Degrowth Conference. Money and institutional Change in the view of Karl Polanyi’s ‚Great Transformation’.
  • University of Erfurt, Wilhelm Röpke Seminar Series. Comparative institutional economics in the view of Karl Polanyi’s ‚Great Transformation’.

2017Working Paper, Governance Strategy and Innovation of organizations and its transformation towards sustainability – A metric to manage Technological Change in self-regulating Organizations. Published Paper, Study of Literature on Production Growth and the source of sustained productivity growth.

2017Can the resistance against the standard economic paradigm be overcome? An inquiry into the nature of markets and the economy. Oxbow Books

2017Does the homo oeconomicus model require an update? An inquiry into the nature of organizations and behavior (2016). Accepted paper, Why our observations define the course of earth system transformation in the Anthropocene – how can different contribution in the field of sustainability sciences be ordered. Published Paper, System Thinking in the Anthropocene – the quest to find a value-neutral general methodological framework to study sustainable development (2016). Metropolis Verlag

2016Working Paper, `The Open Society and its Enemies ́ in the Anthropocen – How to measure the merits of public choice in the light of resistance and political movements?

2015Working Paper, The Merger of Cryptography and Economics – Do Cryptographic Economic Systems Lead to the Future of Money and Payments? (2015).

2015with Haferkorn, M.: Seasonality and Interconnectivity within Crypto-currencies – An Analysis on the Basis of Bitcoin, Litecoin and Namecoin (2015). LNBIP series. Springer-Verlag.

2015Published Paper to the Exhibition Catalogue of the DFG Graduierten-Kollege „Transformation of Value and Equivalence“, Wirtschaft und Verwaltung, Bürokratiefreiheit und die Gemeinsamkeiten zwischen Bitcoins und Steingeld. Kerber Verlag, Bielefeld.