The Johann Heinrich von Thünen Lecture has been an important part of the annual meetings since 1986.
Johann Heinrich von Thünen (1783-1850) was a noted German agronomist, economist and social reformer from Mecklenburg. His “ring model” of agricultural land use is an early example of applied economic geography. Other notable work of Thünen addressed the notion of a "natural wage". He is one of the pioneers of applying marginal principles to the solution of optimization problems in economics.
The Thünen Lecture is given at the invitation of a commission of the Executive Council and honors distinguished members of the Verein für Socialpolitik or other persons and their academic achievements in Economics in the German-speaking world. The topic of the presentation is determined by the lecturer.