socio-technical transitions theory to analyze real-world transitions can be
challenging for practitioners (e.g. policy makers) or scholars that are not
deeply based in transition analysis (e.g. experts in certain innovation areas
that are more and more affected by transition processes). Easily understandable
and straightforwardly applicable tools, which aid in attaining sectoral
sustainability goals, remain scarce.
Contemporary frameworks for applying transitions thinking have several shortcomings. First, they are not easily understandable without some background knowledge of transitions theory. Second, many involve static indicators that do not capture the dynamics of transition processes. How can a dynamic understanding of systems and transitions be easily communicated to, and easily applied by, non-specialists in transition theory?
research, we present a developing framework that aims to capture the
socio-technical system and transformation dynamics in an easily understandable
and applicable fashion. By applying the framework to different cases, we
demonstrate its applicability to comparing varied systems and transformations.
The framework was developed through an iterative process. First, we reviewed the sustainability transitions literature and empirical insights from past studies. This exercise resulted in the initial identification of six socio-technological system and seven transformation dimensions. Second, we formulated broad guiding questions for each dimension. Third, we applied the framework to four expected transformations in the systems of bio-economy, mobility, agri-food, and primary education. New linkages and differentiations between dimensions were elucidated during this application, resulting in the final 10 dimensions of socio-technological systems and 10 dimensions of transformations. To increase the tables' utility, we organized the dimensions into meta-categories. Finally, we refined the guiding questions for each dimension.
This research was first presented at IST 2020: Dimensions of systems and transformations: Towards an integrated framework for system transformations
An ISI working paper will be published in August 2021. A journal submission is under way.