We are looking for one or two motivated Postdoctoral Researchers in the field of global sustainability transitions, specifically for the projects ‘Deep Transitions’ and ‘MOTION’. It is our intention to appoint candidates at Utrecht University, but we are also willing to consider candidates associated to other institutions (as lecturer or in an equivalent position) to do a temporary transfer for this research assignment (in such a case, we need to negotiate the terms and conditions with the candidate and their employer).
Deep Transitions: Learning from History to Imagine the Future
A new research project led by Professor Johan Schot examines the concept of ‘Deep Transitions’ (DT) - the coordinated change of many socio-technical systems in the same direction, over a period of time, which result in large-scale social, ecological and economic impact, transforming the nature of world societies. The Deep Transition work focuses on developing socio-technical scenario’s for the Second Deep Transition as it may unfold the coming decades. This Second Deep Transition will have to incorporate the sustainable development challenge. The scenarios need to take into account the impact of the 4th Industrial Revolution (digital transformation). The scenarios will be developed together with an International Panel of private and public investors. This is a project in close collaboration with the Science Policy Research Unit of the University of Sussex.
MOTION: Building a Methodology and Community of Practice for Catalysing Transformative Change through System Innovation
Limiting Global Warming to within a 1.5-degree Celsius target requires an unprecedented speed of de-carbonisaton. Incremental changes are not enough and what is required is a fundamental transformation of socio-technical systems developed to deliver societal services (heat, power, mobility, food, water, and healthcare) – also known as systemic change. In its strategy a ‘Transformation in Time’ EIT Climate KIC articulates an ambitious aim – to act as an orchestrated innovation eco-system, connecting demand side actors and supply side innovation to catalyse such systemic change. This project aims to make a substantial contribution to this aim by developing a methodology for working on catalysing system change and enabling viable alternatives at scale, something which currently does not exist. The methodology will articulate and define “transformative outcomes” and corresponding indicators, and will integrate these outcomes into a formative evaluation approach focused on monitoring and learning for place based innovation initiatives in cities, and regions, and nation-states. Through a process of co-creation with other universities as well as our funder, the project will test the methodology in three geographies – DACH, Benelux and the Mediterranean, aiming to build a community of practice with the skills to implement the methodology.