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seminar presentation on research and transitions, focuing on the transitions perspective on innovation and the role of research

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  1. 1. Transitions and socio-technical innovations a research and practice perspective Derk Loorbach Technology, economy & society seminar Swinburne U, 15-6-2010
  2. 2. Research context <ul><li>Dutch Research Institute for Transitions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Interdisciplinary research group </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Action and policy oriented </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strong scientific and practical output </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Initiator of Urgenda </li></ul></ul><ul><li>KSI network </li></ul><ul><ul><li>10 universities, 50+ PhD’s </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2004-2010 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multidisciplinary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fundamental and practice/policy oriented </li></ul></ul><ul><li> European network </li></ul>
  3. 3. Transitions <ul><li>Long-term (25+ years) non-linear change in structure, culture and practices </li></ul><ul><li>Co-evolution between economic, societal, institutional, technological, ecological changes at different levels </li></ul><ul><li>Result from interaction between multiple actors </li></ul>
  4. 4. Sustainability as persistent problem <ul><li>multiple actors, levels and dimensions: no easy or straightforward solutions </li></ul><ul><li>many examples: housing stock, climate change, energy supply, water, mobility, agriculture, health care </li></ul><ul><li>persistence is due to system failures that are deeply rooted in our societal structures </li></ul><ul><li>regular policy aimed at incremental improvement is not enough to resolve persistent problems </li></ul><ul><ul><li>transitions are needed and inevitable </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Understanding transitions Predevelopment Stabilization time Societal development Acceleration Take-off Macro-level (landscape, trends) Meso-level (regimes, institutions) Micro-level (Niches, individuals) From: Rotmans et al, 2000 From: Geels and Kemp, 2001
  6. 6. Multi-level perspective on transitions (adapted from Geels, 2002: 1263)
  7. 7. Innovation and transitions <ul><li>Types of innovations: </li></ul><ul><li>New technologies </li></ul><ul><li>New practices </li></ul><ul><li>New regulations </li></ul><ul><li>New organisations </li></ul><ul><li>New ideas and concepts </li></ul><ul><li>New discourses </li></ul><ul><li>New financing </li></ul><ul><li>New networks </li></ul><ul><li>New strategies </li></ul><ul><li>… </li></ul><ul><li>Innovation pathways: </li></ul><ul><li>Geels and Schot (2008): </li></ul><ul><li>transformation, </li></ul><ul><li>reconfiguration </li></ul><ul><li>technological substitution </li></ul><ul><li>de-alignment and re-alignment </li></ul><ul><li>De Haan and Rotmans (2010): </li></ul><ul><li>top-down </li></ul><ul><li>bottom-up </li></ul><ul><li>in-between </li></ul>
  8. 8. Transition in practice… <ul><li>Are combinations of innovations and innovation pathways…. </li></ul><ul><li>Are combinations of radical and incremental changes </li></ul><ul><li>Can only be called transitions in hindsight </li></ul><ul><li>Are used analytically in an ideal-typical way and in practice in a pragmatic and socio-constructive way </li></ul><ul><li>Socio-construction: SCOT, CTA, ISA, discourse and problem structuring… </li></ul>
  9. 9. Core concept: space <ul><li>Mental: discourse and paradigms </li></ul><ul><li>Physical: locations as labs </li></ul><ul><li>Institutional: organisational </li></ul><ul><li>Regulatory: temporaray regulatory ‘free-zones’ </li></ul><ul><li>Financial: cost-benefit and output-measurement </li></ul><ul><li>… </li></ul><ul><li> ‘ framed space’: for experimentation within context of a desired transition </li></ul>
  10. 10. Transition governance <ul><li>long-term thinking as the basis for short term policy </li></ul><ul><li>thinking in terms of multiple domains (multi-domain), different actors (multi-actor), different levels (multi-level) </li></ul><ul><li>learning as an important aim for policy (‘learning-by-doing’ and ‘doing-by-learning’) </li></ul><ul><li>orient governance towards system innovation besides system improvement </li></ul><ul><li>keeping options open, exploring multiple pathways </li></ul>
  11. 11. Transition approach <ul><li>acknowledge that there is a persistent problem </li></ul><ul><ul><li>shared problem perception </li></ul></ul><ul><li>the solution does not exist </li></ul><ul><ul><li> transform problem into visionary challenge </li></ul></ul><ul><li>define guiding principles and evolving transition agenda </li></ul><ul><ul><li>multiple futures with multiple pathways and options </li></ul></ul><ul><li>start portfolio of experiments into the same direction </li></ul><ul><ul><li>postpone choices till enough has been learned </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. 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
  13. 13. society Transition arenas Regular policy arenas <ul><li>- Short term </li></ul><ul><li>- Peloton </li></ul><ul><li>Incremental change </li></ul><ul><li>Problem- and goal oriented </li></ul><ul><li>- Long term </li></ul><ul><li>- Innovators </li></ul><ul><li>System-innovation </li></ul><ul><li>Problem- and goal searching </li></ul>Transition arenas spaces for experimenting and envisioning
  14. 14. sectoral regional neigbour hood transition coalitions transition agenda transition programs technical social economic learning strategies reflexive evaluation transition monitoring Mental physical, institutional, organisational learning experiments policy arenas Transition Governance
  15. 15. How to start?
  16. 16. Transitionteam: who manages? <ul><li>Domain experts, transition experts, problem owners </li></ul><ul><li>Iteration between analysis, process, implementation and reflection </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Managing’: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Analysis (structuring substance in terms of transitions) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Facilitation (create space, support process) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Structuring (discussion, actions) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Selecting (actors, experiments) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stimulating (discussion, competition, cooperation) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Link between regular and transition policy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ TM-management’ </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Characteristics of transition research <ul><li>Interdisciplinarity: co-production between disciplines </li></ul><ul><li>Transdisciplinarity: co-production with society </li></ul><ul><li>Normative: engaged with sustainability </li></ul><ul><li>Explorative: searching for problems/frames </li></ul><ul><li>Innovative: new concept development </li></ul><ul><li>Experimental: testing and refinement </li></ul><ul><li>Reflexive: questioning own propositions </li></ul><ul><li> Transition concepts and language mediate </li></ul>
  18. 18. 5 strategies <ul><li>Re-inventing delta technology </li></ul><ul><li>Volume & Value </li></ul><ul><li>Crossing borders </li></ul><ul><li>Floating gentrification </li></ul><ul><li>Sustainable mobility </li></ul>Long term : perspective 2040 Mid term : course 2025 Short term : action 2015 City harbours
  19. 21. Transition governance structure local experiments transition icons Melbourne Transition arena Thematic transition arenas Municipal transition arenas Evolving agenda and pathways
  20. 22. Key message <ul><li>managing systemic change is about coordination, guidance, innovation and learning </li></ul><ul><li>systemic change starts with creating [financial, organizational, juridical, mental] space for frontrunners </li></ul><ul><li>envisioning is more important than the vision </li></ul><ul><li>intermediary organizations are crucial to facilitate transition governance </li></ul>
  21. 23. <ul><li>Thank you for your attention </li></ul><ul><li>For more information and publications: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>