INTRANSIT at IST 2021

Several INTRANSIT researchers are attending this week's International Sustainability Transitions Conference (IST). Here you can get an overview of our contributions and presentations at the conference.

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The IST conference is the main annual event in the transitions research community. With our focus on smart and green industrial transformation, transition research is a core area of many activities at INTRANSIT. Our empirical settings and research questions focus on sectors and dynamics at the heart of the sustainability transition challenge. We also utilize and elaborate on many of the main theories and concepts from the field. Below we present the varied topics of our contributions to this year's conference.

Digitalization and sustainability transitions

While digitalization and smart technologies are now ubiquitous and often argued to be a key tool for reducing emissions and increasing sustainability, there are several potential downsides and side-effects to digitalization. Both Matthijs Mouthaan and Koen Frenken's speed talks explore these topics.

Matthijs' speed talk presents a scoping review of research on the systemic sustainability impacts of contemporary digital technologies. Their findings suggest current research on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is creating barriers for the study of systemic effects of digitalization and is generating an unnuanced picture of the link between sustainability and digitalization.

Meanwhile, Koen presents some potential adverse effects of digitalization on sustainability and argues that digitalization's broader impacts are underresearched in the transition field. His presentation calls for further elaborations on digitalization through the lens of sustainability transitions and suggests some fruitful ways forward for this research.

Multi-system and inter-sectoral dynamics of transitions 

The words multi-system and multi- (or inter-, or cross-) sectoral are a recurring theme in many INTRANSIT presentations at this year's conference. With that in mind, it is very fitting that Allan Dahl Andersen is co-organizing a special dialogue session on multi-system interactions in sustainability transitions on Thursday afternoon. A better understanding of how various systems and sectors interact has been called for in transition research in recent years. This dialogue session will explore the issues and dynamics of such multi-system interactions.

As far as paper presentations go, at least four of our presentations touch on this topic. Allan will present work exploring cross-sectoral dynamics in transitions through a case study on electrification of the maritime transportation sector in Norway. Jakoba's presentation offers an organizational perspective on the topic and explores how actors manage and engage with cross-sector initiatives in transitions. The paper Jørgen presents looks at multi-sectoral dynamics by studying the effects of new and different user sectors on the Norwegian carbon capture innovation system. Finally, Tuukka presents work exploring multi-sectoral effects on the acceleration of transitions.

Methods and more

In addition to these topics, there are several other presentations by INTRANSIT researchers.

Markus Steen will present work looking at resource formation and the development of industrial capacity in energy transitions. They explore this issue by analyzing the uneven spatial development and supply chain build-up in the offshore wind industry. Markus is also a panellist on the dialogue session on "Salient research themes on the Geography of Sustainability Transitions" - here Lars Coenen will also contribute.

Eli Fyhn Ullern's presentation applies concepts from management studies to better inform on the role of incumbents in transition. The work she presents looks at how incumbent actors can navigate paradoxes in sustainability transitions and how this may influence their role in the transition.

Artur Santoalha performs a patent study on the global carbon capture innovation system and explores how knowledge creation in carbon capture has changed across sectors and geographies over time.

Finally, Birthe Soppe is co-organizing a dialogue session on Recent approaches for analyzing collections of texts by discourse (network) analysis, topic modeling and natural language processing. This dialogue session will present new methods for quantitative analysis of large collections of documents (e.g. newspaper articles, white papers, social media feeds etc.), and address how these can be used for discourse analysis, topic modelling and more.

IST 2021 is hosted by Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI on behalf of the Sustainability Transitions Research Network (STRN). Below you can find an overview of and time slots for INTRANSITer's contributions to the conference.

Wednesday 6. October

10:45 - 12:15:

  • Artur Santoalha: Sectoral and Geographical analysis of Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage Technologies using patent data.
  • Markus Steen: Developing the industrial capacity for energy transitions: resource formation for offshore wind in Europe.

13:15 - 14:15:

  • Matthijs Mouthaan: Scoping review on the systemic sustainability impacts of contemporary digital technologies 
  • Eli Fyhn Ullern: Navigating paradoxes in sustainability transitions: an incumbent actor perspective

16:45 - 18:15:

  • Allan Dahl Andersen organizes a special session on: Can we overcome the climate crisis one sociotechnical system at a time? Special dialogue session on multi-system interactions in sustainability transitions
  • Markus Steen and Lars Coenen are panellists in the dialogue session on "Salient research themes on the Geography of Sustainability Transitions - Kick-off for the new GeOST thematic group"

Thursday 7. October

13:15 - 14:45:

  • Allan Dahl Andersen: Cross-sectoral dynamics in accelerating sustainability transitions: The case of electrifying maritime transport.
  • Jakoba Sraml Gonzales: Actors orchestrating multi-system interactions in accelerating sustainability transitions: a case study of a utility company engaging in renewable electrification processes
  • Jørgen Finstad: A dynamic view on the sectoral configuration of technological innovation systems: Insights from the evolution of CCS in Norway

Friday 8. October

10:45 – 12:15: 

  • Birthe Soppe speaks at a dialogue session on: Toward a new methodological paradigm in transition studies? Recent approaches for analyzing collections of texts by discourse (network) analysis, topic modeling and natural language  processing
  • Koen Frenken: On Digitalization and Sustainability Transitions

13:15 - 14:45

  • Tuukka Mäkitie: The sectoral interdependencies of low-carbon innovations in sustainability transition
Published Oct. 5, 2021 11:39 AM - Last modified Oct. 6, 2021 11:23 AM