While modelling approaches usefully analyze on techno-economic dynamics, this seminar is about the socio-technical dynamics of low-carbon transitions, focusing on actors and social interactions in relation to technological innovation and diffusion. Prof. Geels will synthesize insights from innovation studies, political science, and history of technology into a ‘big picture’ Multi-Level Perspective, conceptualizing transitions as involving struggles between radical niche-innovations and entrenched socio-technical systems. These struggles vary across different transition phases: emergence, diffusion, and reconfiguration. Prof. Geels will discuss and illustrate the different phases and draw out policy implications for deep decarbonization.

Frank Geels is Professor of System Innovation and Sustainability at the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research, at the University of Manchester. Geels is a world-leading scholar on sustainability transitions in energy, mobility, buildings, and agri-food systems. He is well-known for his work on the Multi-Level Perspective, which conceptualizes transition dynamics using insights from evolutionary economics, innovation studies, institutional theory, and political science. He published six books and 83 peer-reviewed articles, including in ScienceNature Climate Change, PNAS,and Global Environmental Change, and was selected in the Highly Cited Researchers list (2014, 2019, 2020). Geels is a lead author of the Working Group III contribution to the 2022 IPCC report, member of the Scientific Committee of the European Environment Agency (EEA), and member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on the New Agenda for Economic Growth and Recovery.