Sustainability Transitions Research Network

Founding Year: 2009



Jochen Markard (Chairman)

An independent, research network of more than 1,500+ international scholars interested in sustainability transitions. Sustainability transitions are long-term transformation processes of established industries, socio-technical systems and societies to more sustainable modes of production and consumption. Their mission is to deepen the scientific understanding of sustainability transitions through a program of networking, research coordination, and education and synthesis activities. They provide a meeting place and a platform, where researchers can engage in a vibrant intellectual exchange on the challenges of sustainability transitions.


  • Winter and summer schools, conferences, webinars, workshops, PhD courses, etc.

HIGHLIGHT: International Sustainability Transitions (IST) Conference  – A central venue for scholars to share theoretical and empirical advances in the field of sustainability transitions, defined as transformations of major socio-technical systems such as energy, water, transportation, and food towards more sustainable ways of production and consumption. It is a multidisciplinary field with inputs from heterodox economics, environmental governance, innovation studies, sociology, and history. The majority of the ~200 participants are from Europe, but there is a growing attendance from Australia, North America, Asia and Africa.  Next conference: June 23-26 in Ottawa on accelerating sustainability transitions.


  • STRN network of 1,500 international experts from various fields. Offers members access to a database to look for experts with specific skills or from different locations
  • NEST (PhD & ECR network) – Support the growing number of PhD students and Early Career Researchers, the PhD/ECR Transitions Network “NEST” was founded to complement the support provided by STRN, catering specifically to the needs of early career researchers and doctoral candidates.
  • Research methods in transition studies – Aims to facilitate exchange among scholars interested in research methods for sustainability transition studies.
  • Transitions in the Global SouthA growing community of scholars working on sustainability transitions in the Global South.
  • Urban Transitions and Transformations – Convene a structured, pluralistic debate about how to understand and foster ‘whole-system’ change for urban sustainability. Hopes to accommodate and foster dialogue between a range of discourses in science and policy that address urban transitions and transformations.
  • Transitions in agro-food systems (AF-TN) – Scholars that are involved in the studies of ‘transitions in the making’ within agricultural production (food, feed, fibres, fuel) and agro-food provision systems from farm to fork that are currently presenting major sustainability challenges in terms of climate change, biodiversity loss and environmental protection and health.
  • Geography of Sustainability Transitions (GeoST) – Aims to “develop an open forum for theoretically informed debates on the spaces, places and scales at which sustainability transitions unfold.”


  • News and a quarterly Newsletter
  • Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions journal (Elsevier, vol. 1, 2011) – A platform for reporting studies of innovations and socio-economic transitions to enhance an environmentally sustainable economy and thus solve structural resource scarcity and environmental problems, notably related to fossil energy use and climate change.


Sustainability Transitions Research Network contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals

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