Johann Heinrich von Thünen (1783 - 1850) was an agronomist, economist and social reformer. His work is still influential today. On his manor in Tellow (Mecklenburg) he combined experiences of agricultural practice with mathematical models. He thus became one of the most important pioneers of applied agricultural research. In 1830, the University of Rostock awarded him an honorary doctorate.
In his considerations regarding production and location theory, he placed the relative advantages of different farming methods in relation to the situation of the respective sales markets. This led to the model of the so-called "Thünen Circles": The invisible hand of the market leads to the development of different agricultural and forestry production methods in different regions and thus to an economically optimal land use.
In the course of the political events of spring 1848, Thünen put into effect his long planned profit-sharing model for the Tellow workers in April, which anticipated some points of the later social insurance.