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  1. Sustainability Transitions & Transition Management Jan Rotmans Copenhagen, 08-06-2011 2. Persistent problems <ul><li>our society faces a…
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  • 1. Sustainability Transitions & Transition Management Jan Rotmans Copenhagen, 08-06-2011
  • 2. Persistent problems <ul><li>our society faces a number of persistent problems </li></ul><ul><li>many examples: climate change, energy supply, </li></ul><ul><li>water problem, mobility problem, agriculture, health care </li></ul><ul><li>persistence is due to system failures that are deeply rooted </li></ul><ul><li>in our societal structures </li></ul><ul><li>regular policy aimed at incremental improvement </li></ul><ul><li>is not enough to resolve persistent problems </li></ul><ul><ul><li>transformative change is needed </li></ul></ul>
  • 3. Solutions?! <ul><ul><li>current policies are not adequate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>market offers no real solutions for persistent problems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>stakeholder processes aimed at incremental change </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>what could work? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>system failures require radical, transformative changes: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>system innovations / transitions </li></ul></ul>
  • 4. Transition <ul><ul><li>fundamental change of structure, culture and practices in </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>societal (sub)system </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>structure: physical infrastructure, economic infrastructure (market, consumption, production), institutions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(rules, regulations, collective actors) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>culture: collective set of values, norms, perspective </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(shared orientation), paradigm (defining </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>problems and solutions) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>practices: routines, behaviour, ways of handling, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>implementation at the individual level </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>incumbent structure, culture and practices need to be broken </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>down and new (sustainable) ones need to be built up </li></ul></ul>
  • 5. Examples of transitions <ul><li>from coal energy supply to gas energy supply </li></ul><ul><li>from fossil fuel based energy to renewable energy </li></ul><ul><li>from an industrial - to service - to knowledge economy </li></ul><ul><li>from physical, traditional media to social media </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>partly planned, partly emerging processes </li></ul></ul></ul>
  • 6. Multiple Phases ” Widespread application of new paradigms Distribution and diffusion of societal advantages Battle between old and new paradigm Build up and decay of institutions energy Time Consolidatiion transport fisheries health care agriculture 20 - 30 years Acceleration phase Predevelopment phase 20 – 30 years Tipping Point We are here
  • 7. Multiple Levels Macro-level globalization, demographic trends hypermobility climate change Meso-level limited collective steering capacity failing mobility policy Increasing norms for CO2, fine particles Micro-level mobility innovation programmes mobility experiments
  • 8. Multiple Scales Macro-level + scarcity fossil fuels + energy security + climate change - financial-economic crisis Meso-level +/- Copenhagen treaty + WBC Sustainable Development. +/- EU-energy policy + regional / urban initiatives Micro-level + decentral energy production + solar- and wind energy + energy pioneers (frontrunners) - law- and regulatory
  • 9. Multiple Patterns <ul><ul><li>Transformative Change arises from </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>small, emerging changes at the micro-level </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>bottom-up creeping </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>induced changes at the meso-level </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>in between periodic shocks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a massive, fast change at the macro-level </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>t op-down big bang </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  • 10. Transition is Power Struggle <ul><ul><li>regime will try to maintain and defend its existing power </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>and will try to eliminate or assimilate niche-regime </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>regime has diverse defence mechanisms in the form of </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>resistances: institutional, governance, technological, economic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>and social resistance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>especially newcomers (niches), together with ‘change-inclined’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>regime actors can break through the existing order and structure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>transition = regime-shift = shift in power </li></ul></ul>
  • 11. Why do transitions often fail? <ul><ul><li>game, rules and players </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>transition requires a new structure, culture and practices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>transition requires new rules, new players and new game </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>dominant players have too many interests to defend and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>don ’ t want to change the rules drastically </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>only new players can ‘ break open ’ the game and change </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the rules </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>more, different, better </li></ul></ul>
  • 12. Sustainability as orientation <ul><ul><li>sustainability serves as guiding orientation for transition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>sustainable development is a socially and scientifically </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>contested notion: no unique definition or approach </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>transition approach </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>organize reflexive search and learning process with </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>stakeholders [frontrunners] to assess what sustainability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>is in a particular context </li></ul></ul>
  • 13. Transition Governance
  • 14. Transition governance <ul><li>rules of thumb </li></ul><ul><li>long-term thinking as the basis for short term policy </li></ul><ul><li>think 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>using uncertainties as a starting point for governance </li></ul><ul><li>keeping options open (wide playing field) </li></ul>
  • 15. Complexity characteristics translated in principles TM Complexity characteristics Theoretical Principles TM Systemic Instruments for TM emergence creating space for niches transition arena dissipative structures focus on frontrunners transition arena and competence analysis diversity and coherence guided variation and selection transition experiments and transition pathways new attractors, punctuated equilibria radical change in incremental steps envisioning for sustainable futures co-evolution empowering niches competence development variation and selection learning-by-doing and doing-by- learning deepening, broadening, scaling up experiments interactions, feedbacks multi-level approach multi-domain approach complex systems analysis Patterns, mechanisms anticipation and adaptation multi-pattern & multi-level analysis
  • 16. Transition approach <ul><ul><li>principles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>put energy in frontrunners and not in the pack </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>bring frontrunners together in protected spaces </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>develop a long-term agenda, incl. vision + pathways </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>start with portfolio of transition experiments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>create new coalitions around pathways & experiments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>searching, learning, experimenting </li></ul></ul>
  • 17. Transition approach cycle vision, pathways, transition agenda transition arena transition experiments evaluation, monitoring learning
  • 18. society Transition arenas Regular policy arena <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>The transition arena space for experimenting and envisioning
  • 19. Transition Experiments <ul><ul><li>s ocietal experiments with high risks (chance of failure) and a high potential to contribute to a transition process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>how to manage portfolio of transition experiments? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>deepening [learn as much as possible from an experiment] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>broadening [repeating an experiment in a different context] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>scaling up [anchoring of an experiment in the regime ] </li></ul></ul>
  • 20. Ongoing Transition Processes in the Netherlands
  • 21. Ongoing transition processes <ul><li>at the national level ministries have official transition policy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>energy transition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>water transition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>construction sector transition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>materials and waste transition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>mobility transition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>biodiversity transition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>health care transition </li></ul></ul><ul><li>at the regional level regional bodies have transition policy </li></ul><ul><li>at the local level municipalities experiment with transition policy </li></ul><ul><li>demand driven </li></ul>
  • 22. Role of government <ul><ul><li> not in a directing role </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>but </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a facilitating, enabling, stimulating role </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>still an active but different role </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>formulating vision and high ambition level </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>creating space for frontrunners </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>stimulating and enabling transition experiments </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>removing barriers for sustainable innovation </li></ul></ul></ul>
  • 23. Lessons <ul><li>natural tendency to an execution process </li></ul><ul><li>natural tendency of the government to fall back </li></ul><ul><li>in the command-and-control mode </li></ul><ul><li>the first period is relatively easy, thereafter arise </li></ul><ul><li>winners and losers </li></ul><ul><li>space for frontrunners is of crucial importance </li></ul><ul><li>[financial, organizational, juridical, mental space] </li></ul>
  • 24. <ul><li>ROTTERDAM CITY PORT </li></ul>
  • 27. Rotterdam City Port = 1600 ha of Rotterdam in transition = long term transformation [25-50 jaar] = experimental garden for innovation of the city and harbour = long term sustainability vision City Port [2030] = execution programme 2010-2020 = 12 business cases
  • 28. Rotterdam City Port <ul><li> organic development trajectory </li></ul><ul><li>sustainability vision </li></ul><ul><li>arenas with frontrunners </li></ul><ul><li>rules for development </li></ul><ul><li>icons [floating pavillion, clean tech delta] </li></ul><ul><li> vision-action intertwined </li></ul>
  • 29. Sustainability Rules for City Port <ul><li> top 10 </li></ul><ul><li>1. energy neutral building </li></ul><ul><li>2. climate proof building </li></ul><ul><li>3. development on the water </li></ul><ul><li>4. reuse of existing materials/products </li></ul><ul><li> 5. green als carrier of development </li></ul>
  • 30. Sustainability Rules for City Port <ul><li> top 10 </li></ul><ul><li> 6. diversity as starting point </li></ul><ul><li> 7. human standard as starting point </li></ul><ul><li> 8. building in cultural historical perspective </li></ul><ul><li> 9. sustainable exploitation and maintenance </li></ul><ul><li> 10. sustainable knowledge as economic driver </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  • 31. Icons
  • 32. Clean Tech Delta incubator for new economy in Rotterdam and the Netherlands will be located in Merwe/Vierhavens started by business companies (frontrunners) and municipality upcycling of waste, clean water, energy production, biomass living lab = breeding place
  • 37. Floating Pavillion floating pavilion is learning exercise for floating district stepping stone floating district will be a learning exercise for floating city learning-by-doing and doing-by-learning
  • 38. Dutch Research Institute For Transitions
  • 41. Floating City Dutch Research Institute For Transitions water recreation ecology: wetlands technology: floating foundation energy: decentral heat/cold storage mobility: floating highway, water taxi living / working units
  • 42. Conclusions <ul><li>transition thinking offers new perspective for persistent problems </li></ul><ul><li>transition management seems a promising new governance mode </li></ul><ul><li>we need more empirical evidence for validating the concept of </li></ul><ul><li>transition management </li></ul><ul><li>City Port Rotterdam is transformed into a sustainable living, </li></ul><ul><li>working and recreation area </li></ul><ul><li>this transition process takes about 30 years and requires an </li></ul><ul><li>organic development trajectory </li></ul>
  • 43. Growing interest in & outside Europe <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Germany, England, Belgium, Austria, Finland </li></ul><ul><li>but also outside Europe </li></ul><ul><li>Australia, New Zealand, Japan, India, Canada </li></ul>
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