Socio-technical transition dynamics in scenarios for climate change mitigation and sustainable development: where next?

Organizers: Evelina Trutnevyte (University of Geneva), Nico Bauer (PIK), Detlef van Vuuren (Utrecht University)


Description of the session: 
Changes in integrated social and technical systems drive structural transformations that are crucial for bridging long-term objectives and short-term actions for climate change mitigation and sustainability. Future scenarios shall thus improve the representation of socio-technical systems to inform assessments of the challenges, risks and opportunities for policy making. The technical dimension is the main focus of modelling-based scenarios, where integrated assessment or sector-specific models are used to capture the interplay of technical, environmental, economic, and some policy dimensions. Socio-technical transitions theory offers a complementary approach because it addresses the structural transformations as well as path dependencies due to the interplay of behavioral, institutional, socio-political, and technical dimensions. With its origins in science and technology studies and innovation studies, transitions theory has a different ontology than modelling, which poses a challenge for integrating its insights into the modelling-based analysis.

This workshop session addresses the following question: What is the state of the art and what are the research needs for developing representations of socio-technical transitions in future scenarios in order to better capture the structural transformations for climate change and sustainability analysis?

After a short introduction to the session, a panel with 5-7 speakers will make brief statements on the topic (5 min per speaker). The remaining time of the session will be dedicated to the discussion between the panel and the audience. In addition to the invited speakers, the session seeks abstracts from individuals who are interested to join the panel with such a 5-min statement. The submitted abstracts shall describe the panelist’s background and how it is relevant to the workshop’s topic as well as mention the key points to be raised during the panel statement.

Invited speakers: 

Aleh Cherp, Central European University, Hungary & Lund University, Sweden

Roberto Schaeffer, COPPE, Brazil