Minor tweaks will not do. To address the scale and the deeply rooted causes of the environmental crises that we face, sustainability transitions require transformative change. This requires that novel ideas, technologies, sectors and business models be scaled up to evolve from being small niches to becoming the norm.
We need to understand what hinders and what advances such transition processes, as well as what creative interventions (policy instruments, technologies, social innovations, etc.) may work as catalysts.
Energy and agriculture are two critical sectors that need to undergo such transitions and which I work with.
Using my expertise on Renewable Energy policy and governance, I envision the coming future of “Third Industrial Revolution” Energy Systems and become interested in how this can be optimised and utilised for meeting sustainability goals.
From my experience studying Sustainable Food Systems and Forests & Biodiversity Conservation, I am interested in how we can promote Sustainable Landscapes that reconcile the two as well as in the creation of Green Value-Chains & a Bio-Based Economy that can address human and environmental needs sustainably.
Sustainability transitions can only take place through adequate policy and governance. Models alone won’t do when they cannot be applied in practice, and even pilot projects are of limited help until they are scaled up and turned into policy.
Therefore, understanding the institutional settings where these transitions need to take place is crucial. This is what distinguishes wishful thinking from strategic thinking.