In my research and teaching I therefore pay a lot of attention to experimentation and learning in practice-oriented innovation projects.

Rob Raven, employee

An important question is if and how these rapidly growing economies can shape their futures in a sustainable way.

My name is Rob Raven, transition researcher. Transitions are innovation processes at the level of societal functions such as energy supply and mobility. I am especially interested in transitions towards sustainability. De outcome of such transitions is very hard to predict and management of transition is often a chaotic process. In my research and teaching I therefore pay a lot of attention to experimentation and learning in practice-oriented innovation projects. By designing these projects (‘transition experiments’) in a more clever way, they can have a bigger impact on transitions to sustainability.

In my spare time I like to be with my daughter and wife, listen to music (eclectic taste, everything goes, from indie rock to dub-step), sport once in a while (running, indoor soccer, squash, scuba diving), and enjoy Friday night drinks in local bars.

Projects

Space for renewable energyWhy is renewable energy still not mainstream in the Netherlands? We no longer belong to the top in Europe (on the contrary) and the current political climate is mainly concerned with pushing forward old energy (coal). The urgency to make our society more sustainable, however, continues to increase. What has gone wrong? 

In a recent research program we approach this question from the perspective that technologies first develop in ‘niches’ in society: green consumers who prefer a sustainable lifestyle, innovative small companies that develop new business models for selling energy or geographical places that are hard to reach with existing infrastructures (e.g. islands). We know that these niche spaces matter a lot in transitions to sustainability, but how can we make sure that sustainable practice can also escape their protective niches? That is mostly a political and societal issue.

Do you want to know more? http://www.lowcarbonpolitics.org/Home.html

Green growth in AsiaEveryday we read in the newspapers about economic growth in Asia. Even in times of a world in major economic crisis, China and India continue to amaze the world with double digit growth. Asian people earn more and more, and as a result energy demand also growth rapidly. New energy plants are rapidly constructed and new middle class people starts buying large amounts of cars. An important question is if and how these rapidly growing economies can shape their futures in a sustainable way. Asian countries increasingly invest in new and sustainable ways of energy supply and mobility in the form of so-called sustainability experiments. 

In this research project we make an inventory of Sustainability experiments in India and Thailand. A number of experiments are studied in more detail, like a novel Bus Rapid Transit system in Bangkok and solar energy plants in the Indian states Gujarat and West-Bengal. In what ways are these experiments internationally connected How do they contribute to changes in societal rules and routines, which are necessary for further diffusion. And how can the ‘transition-potential’ of these experiments be increased?

Do you want to know more? http://www.sustainabilityexperimentsasia.org/Home.html