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General talk on transitions to sustainability and how they could be applied in thye context of Melbourne

General talk on transitions to sustainability and how they could be applied in thye context of Melbourne

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  • Systeemwijzigingen zijn nodig vanwege persistent problemen: diep geworteld in onze maatschappelijke structuren, cultuur en gedrag


  • 1. Transition management for sustainability Derk Loorbach Melbourne, 10-6-2010
  • 2.
    • Sustainability
    • Transitions
    • Governance
    • Innovation
  • 3.
    • Complex, long-term and uncertain
      • no quick fixes or only technological solutions
    • Embedded in societal structures
      • optimization through existing solutions insufficient
    • Many different actors involved
      • contested and ‘ill-structured’
    • Difficult to ‘manage’
      • Examples: energy, mobility, agriculture, education, health care, water management, housing etc.
      •  Unsustainability lock-in requires transitions
    Persistent problems of sustainability
  • 4. Transitions
      • fundamental change of structure, culture and practices in a societal (sub)system
      • culture: collective set of values, norms, perspectives (shared orientation), paradigms
      • structure: physical infrastructure, economic infrastructure, institutions, rules, regulations, collective routines
      • practices: behaviour, operation, implementation
      • Shared discourse and language for multi-actor learning and innovation processes
  • 5. Transition levels Macro-level: landscape autonomous trends, paradigms, slow changes Meso-level: regime Dominant structure, culture and practices Micro-level : niches innovative ideas, projects, technologies, niche actors Based on Geels and Kemp, 2001
  • 6. Multiple Phases From: Rotmans et al, 2000 Predevelopment Stabilization time Societal development Acceleration Take-off
  • 7. Why do transitions fail?
    • Institutional fragmentation and miscoordination
    • Dominant players have too many interests to defend and don ’ t want to change the rules drastically
    • Technological and social lock-in and path dependencies
    • Lack of coherence in thought and strategy of sustainability initiatives
  • 8. Sustainability as guiding orientation
    • Inherently ambiguous, contested and uncertain
    • Basis for dialogue, competition and innovation
    • It is about the process of sustainable development rather than the end goal
  • 9. Inevitable?
    • Number of landscape developments pressure regimes
      • Resources, climate issues, economic crises, …
    • Number of alternatives becoming competitive
      • Renewables, ecological approaches, community initiatives, new financial models, …
    • Regimes start to defend, get into crises or open up
      • CCS, Desalination plants, ‘Keep mining Strong’, …
      •  Indicators for transitions approaching
  • 10. Possible transition pathways
  • 11. Transition phases predevelopment take-off acceleration stabilisation Based on Rotmans et al, 2001 Sustainable society? health care energy waste water construction mobility finance
  • 12. Transition governance
    • long-term thinking as the basis for short term policy
    • think in terms of multiple domains (multi-domain), different actors (multi-actor), different levels (multi-level)
    • learning as an important aim for policy (‘learning-by-doing’ and ‘doing-by-learning’)
    • orient policy towards system innovation besides system improvement
    • keeping options open (wide playing field)
  • 13. Transition approach
    • acknowledge that there is a persistent problem
      • shared problem perception
    • the solution does not exist
      • transform problem into visionary challenge
    • define guiding principles and evolving transition agenda
      • multiple futures with multiple pathways and options
    • start portfolio of experiments into the same direction
      • postpone choices till enough has been learned
  • 14. Governance framework Strategic (culture, worldviews, norms and values) Tactical (institutions, networks, structures) Operational (practices, innovations, niches) Influencing learning and reflection Influencing changes in structures Influencing changes in culture and discourse Influencing innovation dynamics
  • 15. sectoral regional neigbour hood transition coalitions transition agenda transition programs technical social economic learning strategies reflexive evaluation transition monitoring learning experiments policy arenas Transition Governance
  • 16. society Transition arena Regular policy arena
    • - Short term
    • - Peloton
    • Incremental change
    • Problem- and goal oriented
    • - Long term
    • - Frontrunners
    • System-innovation
    • Problem- and goal searching
    Transition arenas
  • 17. Transition management practices
    • In the Netherlands
      • Health care, building, energy, water, regional and local
    • Internationally
      • Belgium, Canada, Japan
    • In international research
      • European network, Canada, Japan, US, Australia
  • 18. Transitionagenda Building
    • 1 year arena ‘shadow’ process
      • Small core of frontrunners within larger innovation network
    • Shared narrative and language
      • Framing the need for transition
      • Sketching desired future direction and pathways
    • Transitionizing the regime
      • Interaction with regime board focused on damage control
      • Gradually involving innovative regime actors
  • 19. Shared problem definition
    • Building process traditional and supply driven
    • Lowest price dominant orientation
    • Business models outdated
    • Negative incentives for sustainability and innovation
    • Self-organising capacity absent
  • 20. Future orientation and pathways
    • Building sector produces social added value:
      • Carbon neutrality
      • Urban renewal
      • Energy transition
      • Accessibility
      • Liveability
      • Adaptability and resilience
  • 21. Experiments, stepping stones and business cases
    • Roof transition
    • Floating cities
    • Neigbourhood development companies
    • Sustainable infrastructure corporations
    • Sustainable purchasing
    • Sustainable finance model
  • 22. Impact?
    • Agenda adopted by regime board
      • Transition platform established by ministries
    • Experiments started
      • And concrete regulations influenced
    • Narrative/discourse spreading
      • Accelerated by financial crisis
    • Energy neutral built environment 2020
      • 140 billion Euros investment and returns
  • 23. Local arena Oud-Charlois
    • Context: Pact op Zuid
      • 1 billion Euro investment in battling social problems
      • Reframing program as transition program
    • Transition arena experiment in deprived neighbourhood (wijkarena)
      • Local citizens, entrepreneurs, organisations
    • Close cooperation policy-science in transition team
      • ‘ transitionizing’ policy through coproduction
  • 24. Core challenge
    • Community empowerment
      • Developing self-organisational capacity
      • Paradigm shift towards self-awareness
      • Articulating community needs
    • Policy transition
      • Participation in societal process
      • Toward integrative cooperation
      • Developing process governance capacity
  • 25. Emerging agenda and action
    • Core narrative: welcoming neigbourhood
      • Cultural ‘islands’ produce anonymous public space
      • Feeling at home implies responsibilities and space
    • Practical orientation
      • Community planning for local square
      • ‘ bridge builders’
      • Collaborative youth
      • Physical strategy
      • Greening the neighbourhood
  • 26.  
  • 27. Different but similar…
    • Transition concepts as mediating frame and language
    • Discourse as coordinating force in networks
    • Process as means to indirectly influence action
    • (Unpredictable) actions follow from open arenaprocess
  • 28. Transitionizing…
    • Transition teams: domain experts, transition experts, problem owners
    • ‘ Managing’:
      • Analysis (structuring substance in terms of transitions)
      • Facilitation (create space, support process)
      • Structuration (discussion, actions)
      • Selection (actors, experiments)
      • Stimulation (discussion, competition, cooperation)
    • Mediating between regular and transition policy
      • Gradually and strategically engaging with regime as narrative and network get stronger
  • 29. 10 years transition management key process lessons
    • Relevance of context
    • Space for frontrunners
    • Empowering frontrunners is key to a transition process
    • Composition of a transition arena
    • The regime-niche dynamic
    • Indirect impact and results of a transition process
  • 30. 10 years transition management key scientific lessons
    • Society as laboratory
    • Role of rersearchers
    • Need for engaged research
    • Inter- and transdisciplinarity
    • Struggle with disicplines
    • Uncertainties and need for proactivity
    • Difficulties of normative science
  • 31. Transition management 2.0
    • New phase of societal transitions (take-off/acceleration)
      • Chaotic, reorganisation, counter-forces, power and politics
      • From variation to selection and institutional change
      • From arenas to public/political debate
      • From ‘shadow’ to mainstream
      • From interdisciplinary to also disciplinary
    •  From build-up to breakdown and breakthrough
  • 32. TM: evolving theory and practice Monitoring, evaluating and adapting Developing sustainability images, coalitions and joint transition-agendas Problem structuring, envisioning and organizing transition-arenas Mobilizing actors and transition- experiments TM 1.0 Creating space and convergence Arenas, experiments Discourse and culture Monitoring, evaluating and adapting Developing sustainability images, coalitions and joint transition-agendas Problem structuring, envisioning and organizing transition-arenas Mobilizing actors and transition- experiments TM 2.0 Focus on breakthroughs Institutions for transition Upscaling and structural change
  • 33. Transition management 2.0
    • Basic tenets and framework guide experimental governance development
    • In predevelopment: building niche-regimes
      • Visions, experiments, agenda’s & reflection inform one another
    • Creating societal pressure on regime, and seducing regime actors to participate
      • Building up new discourse, institutions and alternatives
    • New strategies developing for
      • Breakdown: ‘Transitionizing’ regular policy
      • Breakthrough: TM instruments 2.0 (laws, institutions, regulatory freezones, financial restructuring)
  • 34. Transitionizing Melbourne?
    • Core challenges
      • Greyfields, Water sensitive cities, Mobility, Demographic growth, Energy,(social/cultural …?)
    • Transition support base
      • Large sustainability community, scientific expertise, innovative niches, pragmatic culture
    • Possible barriers
      • Policy and science culture, too strong landscape developments, skepticism and vested interests
    •  Need for engagement, creativity and translation
  • 35.
    • Thank you for your attention
    • For more information and publications:
      • [email_address]