Many parties in a range of sectors are being confronted with the question of how to further transitions towards sustainability. By increasing the explicit knowledge and experience of transitions and transition management it becomes possible to broach transitions geared toward, and based on, a preconceived goal of sustainable development. To achieve this, the KSI research agenda will be adjusted on the basis of insights resulting from the interaction between theory and practice.
The current KSI research agenda has already been influenced by the interaction with TransForum and Transumo. The newly established Competence Centre for Transitions (CCT), a strategic co-operation between KSI, SenterNovem, TNO and the Ministry of VROM, will be the place where the interaction between KSI researchers and practice takes place. Also, the Kenniscentrum Transities (KCT), a bilateral cooperation between TNO and DRIFT, is a close partner. All these institutes and the transition professionals come together in the Transitienetwerk, which has a role to inform and link people, mainly through the web site and the newsletter.
Internationally, KSI aims to develop the transition network over the coming years.
As a first step, KSI has been endorsed by the Industrial Transformation (IT) project of the International Human Dimensions Programme (IHDP) on Global Environmental Change.
Secondly, KSI is involved in a EC-6th Framework Programme project, MATISSE, on tools for Integrated Sustainability Assessments.
- Competentiecentrum Transities
- Kenniscentrum Transities
TransForum Agro & Groen is a project about the transition towards sustainable agriculture. The need for transition has become clear recently. Agriculture in the Netherlands has developed into a economically strong sector during the last decades. It is well organised, highly productive and technologically advanced. The knowledge infrastructure has been a key role in this development.
Nevertheless, after a period of strong growth in the second half of the 20th century, we find ourselves in a phase with a number of persistant problems. Agriculture has reached ecological and societal limits. Besides, the scarce space is being clamed more and more for housing, recreation, nature development and water management. Agriculture loses ground in this competition and the existing knowledge infrastructure which is technology focussed and supply driven is seen increasingly often as a weakness.
Transumo stands for TRansition SUstainable MObility. Traditionally mobility is one of the pillars of the Dutch economy. Airports and harbours are international junctions of vital importance. This physical infrastructure is crucial to maintain and improve the competitive postion of the country.
However, currently mobility risks to get stuck. Structural solutions for this increasing problem are necessary. The mobility system needs reorganising so that the traffic does increase at the expense of the quality of our environment. Sustainable mobility is freed of negative side effects such as congestion, environmental damage, and unsafety. It should also be more cost-effective, and more attractive for the user.
Competentiecentrum Transities (CCT) (http://www.transitiepraktijk.nl/)
In January 2005, the Competence Centre for Transitions was founded to bring together, in a demand-oriented way, researchers and practitioners. The CCT is an initiative of the Ministry of the Environment (VROM), TNO, Senter-Novem and KSI. Through the CCT, these organizations seek to collaborate in order to serve the following objectives:
- to articulate, on basis of research, the competences specifically needed for transition and system innovation projects, and to disclose them to practitioners;
- to organize the transfer of these competences through own activities, through stimulating activities by others and by referring to activities elsewhere;
- to support key practitioners to learn from each others experiences aided by researchers;
- to support key practitioners to articulate knowledge questions that specifically concern transitions and system innovations, and to thus contribute to the research agenda in KSI and elsewhere
For KSI, the CCT is the locus for the interface between research and practice that is part and parcel of the KSI enterprise (cf the businessplan, chapter 8)
Key practitioners are primarily selected from the various transition domains: energy, biodiversity, agriculture and mobility and multiple use of space; and from Bsik programmes in these areas (Transumo, Transforum, Programma Systeeminnovatie in de bouw - PSIB, Acht voor Ruimte). Where synergy is possible, co-operation with players in a wider environment will be sought. CCT is to articulate competencies and stimulate exchange across these domains. More specifically, it will entail the following activities:
- Articulate vital competencies and produce competence kits that make them transferable. Competence kits describe the competences, provide supporting tools and provide insights (amongst others, through 'learning histories' ion earlier experiences) in the ways in which they play a role in practice.
- Transfer these competences to key practitioners through coaching/intervision; masterclasses, and basic informationsheets.
- Set up a network if key practitioners and researchers that brings together policy, practice and research to enable mutual learning from experience. Network activities will include setting up a Who-is-who' database, organizing transition dialogues and an annual network day.
Kenniscentrum Transities (KCT) (http://www.kenniscentrumtransities.nl/)
The Knowledge Centre Transitions was set up to put transition knowledge into practice. KCT is a collaboration between DRIFT at the Erasmus University Rotterdam and TNO. In practice, nine PhD students and 2 postdocs are funded within the framework of KCT. The research is organised around 4 focus areas:
- models, to analyse transitions and system innovations
- scenarios, to describe possible developments
- methods, to manage transitions and system innovations
- fundamental knowledge
Areas of application are sustainable building, living, rural planning and transport.
The Transition network is meant to connect people from knowledge institutes, public institutions, companies and non-governmental organisations. The network covers all major societal transitions and system innovatieons in the Netherlands, like those in agriculture, energy, water management, house building and public health.
The network is an intiative of the Kennisnetwerk Systeeminnovaties (KSI), the KennisCentrum Transities (KCT) and the Competentiecentrum Transities, but is also open to new transition participants.
Sustainable development has become an overall policy objective in the European Union. The objective of MATISSE is therefore to achieve a step-wise advance in the science and application of Integrated Sustainability Assessment (ISA) of EU policies. In order to reach this objective the core activity of the MATISSE project is to improve the tool kit available for conducting Integrated Sustainability Assessments.
The resulting improved tools portfolio will form the primary deliverable of the project. A major focus will be on developing ISA-modelling tools in relation to ISA-participatory methods. These, primarily quantitative, ISA-tools will be made suitable for use by the European Commission and other actors in the governance hierarchy that seek to apply ISA in a wide range of contexts. A comprehensive dissemination programme will ensure the optimal take-up of these deliverables across Europe with a special emphasis on the new EU member countries. The dissemination programme will be underpinned by the creation of a web-based portal to disseminate the improved tools portfolio, and to provide a contact service for ISA practitioners and stakeholders. The development of these primary deliverables will be made possible by:
- a systemic inventory of current tools and methods for ISA;
- a conceptual framework to anchor sustainability assessment within a rigorous scientific and theoretical context
- application in case studies, resulting in feedback to improve the tools
Industrial Transformation (IT) is one of the four science projects of the International Human Dimensions Programme (IHDP) on Global Environmental Change, and is operating since 1998. The overarching goal of the IT research is to explore pathways towards decoupling of the economic growth from the burden it poses on the life supporting systems.
IT presents an innovative way of organizing research, which aims at understanding the societal mechanisms and human driving forces that could facilitate a transformation of the systems that provide fulfilment of human needs (transport, energy, food etc) towards sustainability.
IT seeks to integrate and stimulate co-operation among international and interdisciplinary scientists by establishing both a research framework and a network which can be useful for exchanging information and identifying priority research questions.