Johan Schot is Professor of Global History and Sustainability Transitions at the Utrecht University Centre for Global Challenges and is part of the Economic and Social History group. He is the founder and Academic Director of the Deep Transitions research project and the Transformative Innovation Policy Consortium (TIPC) as well as former Director of the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex Business School. Professor Schot’s interests orientate around impact-driven interdisciplinary research that strives to accelerate long-term system change and a just transition towards sustainability. Schot is a network-builder that brings together interdisciplinary research teams, policy-makers, investors, governments, NGOs, the media and the corporate world. 

In November 2022, Schot initiated a unique collaboration between historians, sustainability transitions scholars, futurists and a cohort of 16 public and private investors from around the world. The group published a Transformative Investment Philosophy proposing new principles, tools and metrics for financing long-term system change and a deep transition towards sustainability. 

Following the launch, the Deep Transitions Lab opened in October 2023. Using the Transformative Investment Philosophy, the lab aims to establish a niche in the finance industry and contribute to its scaling. The lab helps organisations move away from a case-by-case focus that favours system optimisation and instead directs investments towards the root causes of unsustainable practices that increase social inequality. 


Strategic themes / Focus areas

  • Transformative Investment 
  • Socio-technical System Change 
  • Sustainability Transitions 
  • Innovation Policy for Transformative Change 
  • Deep Transitions
  • Transforming Innovation
  • User Innovation
  • Strategic Niche Management
  • Multi-Level Perspective
  • Technocratic Internationalism
  • Making Europe
  • Inventing Europe
  • Contested Modernisation
  • Transnational History
  • History of Technology  
Global Comparative History