Sustainability Transitions

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Presentation by doctoral candidate, Sumetee Pahwa

Phd student Sumetee Pahwa presented a paper at the the 2nd International conference on Sustainability Transitions. IST 2011 was held at Lund University in Lund, Sweden from 13-15 June. The conference was organised by Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS), the Centre for Innovation, Research and Competence in the Learning Economy (CIRCLE) at Lund University and the Sustainability Transitions Research Network (STRN).

The event was well represented by the European community with keynote speakers such as Carl Folke of the Stockholm Resilience Centre and Jill Jagger from the Sustainable Europe Research Institute. A noteworthy event was the launch of the Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions journal (EIST) (see In fact, the first issue of the EIST covered papers which were presented at the IST.

The conference spanned a wide array of topics with focus on transitions analysis using MLP (multi level perspective) and TIS (technological innovation systems). The organisers wished to respond to a ‘growing need for new connections within the transitions research community and links with other relevant disciplines.’ In Sumetee’s view, practitioners from the related fields of sustainability science, innovation studies, transitions analysis and environmental policy studies are looking for new analytical tools and fresh insights that can extend their own language of transitions and innovation. For example, there was a dedicated panel at the IST on the role of firms and industry in sustainability transitions, where Sumetee presented her paper titled ‘Building Corporate Resilience: a case study of Spier’s search for a low carbon and sustainable future’. There is a great need for researchers from the global South to increase our presence at such events, in order that the dialogue and engagement can benefit from our unique cases and research findings.