Guiding Sustainability Transitions: Backcasting, Experimentation and Social learning
Licentiate thesis, 2019
The aim of this thesis is to contribute knowledge on how societal transitions can be guided into desirable and sustainable pathways, where social learning is assumed a key process. The many designs and frameworks for engaging with sustainability transitions that prevail in literature seldom provide insights into the contingent nature of its application in its particular context, the prior knowledge and beliefs of participating actors, or an unpacking of how and why (transformative) social learning processes might unfold.
Through inter- and transdisciplinary research and drawing on case studies and ethnographic methods, this thesis includes further development and an empirical evaluation of a backcasting-from-principles process in two settings: a ‘Challenge Lab’ arena that creates space for students to lead sustainability transitions (Paper I), and a regional multi-stakeholder process related to climate policy (Paper II). These studies represent initial attempts to better understand conditions and mechanisms into the kinds of learning that occur in these spaces. Finally, this thesis develops hypotheses on capabilities of sustainability principles in navigating transitions, and particular tools that may be used within and beyond backcasting settings to provide structure in inspiring and supporting conversations on sustainable and desirable futures (Paper III).
Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Physical Resource Theory
Learning while creating value for sustainability transitions: The case of Challenge Lab at Chalmers University of Technology
Journal of Cleaner Production,; Vol. 172(2018)p. 4411-4420
A Sustainability Lighthouse—Supporting Transition Leadership and Conversations on Desirable Futures
Sustainability,; Vol. 10(2018)
Larsson, J. & Holmberg, J. Sustainability principles in guiding transitions: exploring capabilities through a regional backcasting case
The Chalmers University Foundation, 2016-01-01 -- 2019-12-31.
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Other Environmental Engineering
Other Natural Sciences
Innovation and entrepreneurship
Areas of Advance
Building Futures (2010-2018)
Learning and teaching
Opponent: Daniel Lang, Leuphana University Lueneburg, Tyskland