24-3-2021

Deep transitions

According to Johan Schot, the large-scale economic, social and environmental challenges we are experiencing across the globe cannot be solved by optimizing current technological solutions and human behavior. Instead, they require a complete re-thinking of our conventional approaches. The term coined for this perspective is The Second Deep Transition.

To meet the ambitious challenges expressed in, for example, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we need a transition away from current systems of provision for our needs (e.g. in areas such as mobility, energy, food, communication and water) towards new, sustainable ones. This is a change comparable with the Industrial Revolution (the First Deep Transition).

In his lecture, Johan Schot discusses the theory behind Deep Transitions and illustrate how various actors – in particular, private and public science, technology and innovation funders – could become facilitators of this process.

Prof. dr. Johan Schot is professor of Global History and Sustainability Transitions at the Centre for Global Challenges (Utrecht University), director of the Transformative Innovation Policy Consortium (TIPC) and former director of the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex Business School (UK). He describes himself as a ‘traveler through time’: inspired and driven by the historical imagination, his research focuses on identifying theories, concepts and narratives that have contributed to transition, change and development in our global society.

Complexity lecture series

This lecture is the second in a series organized by the Focus Area Grip on Complexity (Institute for Complex Molecular Systems) together with Studium Generale. The series zooms in on complexity science – a field of study that examines complex challenges, like the prevention of a pandemic or the functioning of democracy. The lectures show how new insights from complexity science help find sophisticated answers to the overwhelming questions our society is facing. They cover fascinating topics such as self-organization, emergence, tipping points, and resilience.

Four themes are discussed during both an introductory lunch lecture for a general audience and an in-depth lecture for experts in the field (Complex Fridays). This lecture series is for anyone who is convinced that modern science can and should play a role in the societal solutions of today and tomorrow.

The first lecture – Towards a new energy system – can be viewed here.