Sustainability Transitions Research Network

Sustainability Transitions Research Network (2009; Utrecht;

An independent, research-driven 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.

Leadership: Jochen Markard (Chairman)

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