Jonas Torrens works at the interface between innovation, sustainability and systemic change. He is an expert on the use and evaluation of urban, policy and societal experimentation applied to sustainability transitions.
Jonas is a post-doc at the Transforming Infrastructures for Sustainable Cities Hub. He is part of a team that studies how different 'transformative techniques' (experimentation, futuring, co-design, cross-sectoral governance and sustainability assessment) are being used to open up pathways to sustainability transitions. He collaborates with local authorities in the Netherlands, researching and supporting their efforts to establish experimental programmes with transformative aims. He's currently addressing questions such as:
How is the advent and proliferation of experiments reshaping the governance and infrastructure change?
How and what do public sector organisations learn from urban and governance experimentation?
What evaluative approaches could support experimental and reflexive forms of governance?
Jonas is also interested in novel instruments and rationales for the governance of sustainability transformations, such as missions- and challenge-oriented innovation policies. He is one of the co-founders of MIPO, the Mission-oriented Innovation Policy Observatory at UU. Before joining the Copernicus Institute, Jonas worked as a research fellow at SPRU - the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex in the Transformative Innovation Policy Consortium. TIPC is a co-production effort with innovation agencies and research funders from six countries, to develop the notion of Transformative Innovation Policy.
Transdisciplinarity runs through most of his work. At the moment, he is collaborating with Dr Vanessa Timmer in developing a Transdisciplinary Field Guide for the Pathways to Sustainability programme at UU.
Jonas is a keen collaborator and bridge builder. In UU, he often navigates between departments, connecting the dots between Environmental Governance, Innovation Studies, SGPL and the Urban Futures Studio. He has also is part of the Sustainability Transitions Research Network (STRN) and is one of the co-founders of the newly established Thematic Group on Urban Transitions and Transformations, and the Network of Early Career Researchers on Transitions (NEST).
He is a passionate teacher and mentor for his supervisees, covering primarily topics associated with sustainability, transitions studies and innovation.