Derk Loorbach

Derk Loorbach
DRIFT Dutch Research Institute for Transitions · ESSB

prof. dr.

About

143
Publications
163,023
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
13,275
Citations
Citations since 2016
65 Research Items
9909 Citations
201620172018201920202021202205001,0001,500
201620172018201920202021202205001,0001,500
201620172018201920202021202205001,0001,500
201620172018201920202021202205001,0001,500
Introduction
i combine insights from a range of academic disciplines to understand the patterns and mechanisms of non-linear change in complex societal systems. currently, we see destabilisation of a fossil, linear and growth based economic model. As transdisciplinary action researcher i engage with government, community and business to experiment with ways to experiment with new ideas to advance sustainability transitions in energy, food, mobility, health, water and urban development
Additional affiliations
January 2014 - January 2018
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Position
  • Professor
January 2011 - March 2018
DRIFT Dutch Research Institute for Transitions
Position
  • Managing Director

Publications

Publications (143)
Article
Full-text available
The fashion industry has developed into a complex global system with persistent social and environmental sustainability challenges. Private, public, and civil society actors have condemned these persistent problems and called for system change toward sustainable fashion. While alternative practices and industry collaborations have emerged throughou...
Article
Full-text available
Because of the need to limit extraction of raw materials and reduce amounts and impacts of waste, countries and businesses are challenged to transition to a circular economy: an economic system in which the materials are reduced, reused, or recycled, but not wasted. Yet, transition-ing from a linear to a circular economy implies societal-level, str...
Article
This article enriches the existing literature on the importance and role of the social sciences and humanities (SSH) in renewable energy sources research by providing a novel approach to instigating the future research agenda in this field. Employing a series of in-depth interviews, deliberative focus group workshops and a sys- tematic horizon scan...
Article
The decline side of transitions is an emerging study, which advances thinking on regime destabilisation, technology decline and phase-out policies. Previous research has predominantly focused on the complete phase out of specific unsustainable technologies as desirable or possible, but it has given less attention to how these technological aspects...
Chapter
Full-text available
Around one million species of animals and plants are threatened with extinction. It is increasingly clear that this tragedy can only be avoided through transformative change (IPBES, 2019). This chapter aims to understand why the current state of biodiversity is so fragile, despite over half a century of global conservation efforts, and develop insi...
Article
Full-text available
Sustainability transition research seeks to understand the patterns and dynamics of structural societal change as well as unearth strategies for governance. However, existing frameworks emphasize innovation and build-up over exnovation and break-down. This limits their potential in making sense of the turbulent and chaotic dynamics of current trans...
Article
To achieve an economy within ecological boundaries that meets the needs of all requires societal transitions (i.e. systemic changes of collective cultures, structures and practices). Such a societal and economic transition requires corporate and entrepreneurial organisations to transform their businesses, business models and societal roles. While t...
Article
Full-text available
Cities across the global are looking for structural systemic solutions to mobility related problems such as congestion, pollution, and lack of (public) space. Electrification seems to accelerate and address (local) environmental problems, but not necessarily contributes to just mobility by opening up public space, creating broader access to mobilit...
Article
Full-text available
We apply a transition research perspective to the Dutch obstetric care system to analyze historic, current, and future shifts and find ways to overcome persistent health inequities. We present social obstetrics as an emerging niche that addresses perinatal health inequities by acknowledging their multifaceted origins and fostering collaborations ac...
Presentation
Full-text available
Taking RE prosumerism as a key example of social innovation in the context of the energy transition, this paper demonstrates how the dark sides of social innovation can be articulated in sustainability transitions theory. Current discussions of those dark sides hover between naïve optimism and paralyzing critique. We develop a more balanced underst...
Article
Full-text available
The European Union has vowed to transition from a linear to a circular economy (CE). Many innovations, new business models, and policies have begun to emerge to support the push for further institutionalizing CE practices. A large portion of these attempts are based on transforming a flow currently labeled as a waste stream into a value proposition...
Chapter
This chapter describes how entrepreneurial policy makers, researcher and professionals in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, support the transition to a water resilient city. It identifies the capacities needed to work systematically on transformative change: stewarding, unlocking, transforming and orchestrating. This framework of transformative governanc...
Article
Full-text available
Background Perinatal health inequities are already present at birth and affect individuals’ health and socioeconomic outcomes across the life course. Addressing these inequities requires a cross-sectoral care approach, covering the first 1,000 days of life. We believe that - in the Dutch context - municipal governments can be the main responsible a...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report presents 100 research questions that have been identified by scientific experts as key priorities for Social Science and Humanities (SSH)research on renewables, in order to inform and support EU-funded research and innovation leading to achieve climate-neutrality by 2050.
Book
Full-text available
Finance in Transition discusses the transition from traditional finance to transition finance.The current pattern of unsustainable economic development is supported by the global financial system, whose goal function is to create ever more financial value. Traditional finance is based on the concept of shareholder value. This paper develops new pr...
Article
Full-text available
As the energy transition progresses, energy storage becomes increasingly important for safeguarding a reliable energy provision. At the same time, energy storage systems are used to increase the self-consumption of decentralised generation and are expected to result in lower electricity bills for the energy prosumers. Drawing on sustainability tran...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report presents 100 research questions that have been identified by scientific experts as key priorities for Social Science and Humanities (SSH) research on renewable energy, in order to inform and support EU-funded research and innovation leading to achieve climate-neutrality by 2050. The questions together aim to promote SSH research that co...
Chapter
In this viewpoint, I use the sustainability transitions research perspective to identify the lock-ins of the climate governance regime and to explore possible ways through which a transformation of climate governance could take shape. By shifting focus from analysing and addressing negative impacts of an unsustainable economy to supporting possible...
Chapter
The reality of water-related challenges has led to calls to adapt urban water governance to integrated, inclusive and adaptive approaches that facilitate learning and innovation for sustainable and resilient cities. However, there is a gap in knowledge about the conditions that manifest in such water governance, and how to create such conditions to...
Chapter
This chapter presents the case study of how transformative climate governance capacities emerge in New York City. NYC represents a highly complex governance setting with multiple agencies, actors and jurisdictions involved in the development and implementation of climate policy and projects. Over the past years, NYC has substantially innovated its...
Chapter
Full-text available
This Handbook shows the enormous impetus given to the scientific debate by linking planning as a science of purposeful interventions and complexity as a science of spontaneous change and non-linear development. Emphasising the importance of merging planning and complexity, this comprehensive Handbook also clarifies key concepts and theories, presen...
Article
Full-text available
This paper develops a conceptual understanding of transformative innovations as shared activities, ideas and objects across locally rooted sustainability initiatives that explore and develop alternatives to incumbent and (perceived) unsustainable regimes that they seek to challenge, alter or replace. We synthesize empirical work from two European r...
Article
Full-text available
Alternative ways to provide services based on circular economy principles are facing the problem of diffusing beyond local experimentations in niches to become mainstream. This is the entry point for our case study examining niche experimentation in the form of circular catering as developed within the urban living lab BlueCity010 in Rotterdam, the...
Article
Full-text available
Today, citizens, professionals, civil servants, social enterprises, and others form different types of coalitions to overcome the challenges facing our modern cities. In this paper, the particularities of these types of groups are characterised and categorised into ten different types of city makers. Generally, these types of city makers bring valu...
Article
The narrative of urban sustainability transformations epitomises the hope that urban governance can create the conditions to plan and govern cities in a way that they contribute to local and global sustainability and resilience. So far, urban governance is not delivering: novel governance approaches are emerging in cities worldwide , yet are unable...
Article
Full-text available
In light of the persistent failure to reduce emissions decisively, facilitate long-term resilience against climate change and account for the connectedness of climate change with other social, environmental and economic concerns, we present a conceptual framework of capacities for transformative climate governance. Transformative climate governance...
Article
Full-text available
University medical centres are increasingly required to apply new knowledge for the benefit of society, and for the health and wellbeing of the general population in particular. 'Societal valorisation', as this is known, is a new challenge to researchers and universities which can, and should be, combined with excellent research. The valorisation p...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter describes how a transition management approach was used in Rotterdam to change the discourse and dominant frames in mobility (policy) from a car-based transport planning to social mobility governance. It explains the roots of transition management in complexity theory and how discursive strategies can use these insights to support tran...
Article
Climate change actions in cities worldwide are driving deep changes in urban governance. We ask whether new capacities for transformative climate governance are emerging in two cities that have experimented with urban climate governance: Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and New York City (NYC), United States. Transformative climate governance creates th...
Article
Full-text available
Renewable energy cooperatives envision and manifest an alternative way of organising within the energy system (and beyond). Yet, despite their growth, it is uncertain whether such initiatives are able to increase and deepen their impact, leading the transition to an environmentally sustainable and socially just energy system. This paper presents in...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose Healthcare systems are facing persistent challenges, such as dealing with an ageing population, related increases in chronic diseases and healthcare costs facilitated by technological progress. The authors argue that the boundaries of optimisation are being reached and a more fundamental change or transition is necessary. The purpose of th...
Article
Full-text available
The port of Rotterdam is a global leader in the fossil fuel economy, with a 50% market share for fossil fuel products in North-Western Europe. Although it is one of the most efficient and innovative ports globally, over the last decade it has seen a gradual increase of pressures on its activities and the need to develop alternative low-carbon strat...
Chapter
This chapter discusses the role of business models in sustainability transitions. Sustainability-oriented entrepreneurs develop business models that can transform the societal systems they operate in, functioning in this way as a catalyst for system-wide transitions. But what does it take for a business model to be transformative? This chapter intr...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The paper "Rethinking Design: A Critical Perspective to Embrace Societal Challenges" has been presented in the opening panel of the symposium "Can Design Catalyse the Great Transition?" Ingrid Mulder and Derk Loorbach are thought leaders at the frontiers of systemic design and transition management, a field which has been developing in Northern Eu...
Article
Full-text available
Citizens and urban policy makers are experimenting with collaborative ways to tackle wicked urban issues, such as today’s sustainability challenges. In this article, we consider one particular way of collaboration in an experimental setting: Urban Living Labs (ULLs). ULLs are understood as spatially embedded sites for the co-creation of knowledge a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This article aims to unravel the tensions that obstruct participatory city making: the processes in which government, entrepreneurs and citizens co-create new solutions for urban challenges. Participatory city making is explored and conceptualised through an empirical grounded study of local civil servants and citizen initiatives in Rotterdam. Thro...
Article
Full-text available
In the context of the slowly progressing energy transition, a number of renewable energy initiatives have been emerging in the Netherlands. These initiatives represent alternatives to the dominant functioning of the energy system, and as such, may come into conflict with it. Transitions involve system destabilisation and conflict between the incumb...
Data
This includes an comprehensive review of publications on real-world labs and an overview on which publication is mentioning which RwL characteristic. In addition, key readings on Sustainability Living Labs, Urban Transition Labs and Transformation Labs are provided.
Article
Full-text available
Real-world laboratories (RwLs, German Reallabore) belong to a family of increasingly popular experimental and transdisciplinary research approaches at the science-society interface. As these approaches in general, and RwLs in particular, often lack clear definitions of key characteristics and their operationalization, we make two contributions in t...
Chapter
Urban climate experimentation is a deliberate process of knowledge production for new approaches and solutions to contribute to climate-resilient sustainability transitions. Whether and how cities succeed in ‘moving beyond experimentation’ is determined by the extent to which experimentation provides impulses to radical change that are embedded in...
Article
Full-text available
The article describes the field of sustainability transitions research, which emerged in the past two decades in the context of a growing scientific and public interest in large-scale societal transformation toward sustainability. We describe how different scientific approaches and methodological positions explore diverse types of transitions and p...
Article
‘Transition’ and ‘transformation’ have become buzzwords in political and scientific discourses. They signal the need for large-scale changes to achieve a sustainable society. We compare how they are applied and interpreted in scientific literatures to explore whether they are distinct concepts and provide complementary insights. Transition and tran...
Chapter
Full-text available
The transition of the built environment from energy consuming and unsustainable towards energy producing and sustainable is a complex, long-term challenge. One might assume that this transition will happen just because it is (increasingly) possible, affordable, desirable and just, but the speed of changes and the likely outcomes of the transition a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Cities are complex environments where different actors and stakeholders co-exist and learn how to live together. Within these complex environments, different types of citizens initiatives are arising that we consider to be important starting points for achieving urban transformations to sustainability. These kind of initiatives, typically enacted b...
Book
Full-text available
(DUTCH) This book contains a trend analysis and scenario study about the impact of new information technologies and production technologies on regional economy, spatial development and social aspects. The work was a cooperation between DRIFT (Erasmus University), Studio Marco Vermeulen and Provincie Zuid-Holland.
Chapter
Full-text available
Many of the world’s welfare today has been produced or at least facilitated by ports and its related activities: ports are the locations where trade, logistics and production converge. This book illustrates very clearly that ports have developed over the last decades, in line with the emerging global economy, into global hubs for large-scale effici...
Article
There is a well-recognised need to transform existing systems of production and consumption towards a more sustainable orientation. However, there is much uncertainty about how to achieve sustainability transitions in practice, and what transition advocates and actors can do to catalyse and steer regime transformation. We therefore need evidence of...
Article
Full-text available
Continuing economic turbulence has fuelled debates about social and political reform as much as it has stimulated actions and initiatives aimed at a more fundamental transition of dominant economic systems. This paper takes a transition perspective to explore, from a Western European viewpoint, how the economic crisis is actually viewed through a v...
Article
Full-text available
To date, the field of transition research lacks a suitable vocabulary to analyse the (changing) interactions and relations of actors as part of a sustainability transition. This article addresses this knowledge gap by exploring the potential of the concept of ‘roles’ from social interaction research. The role concept is operationalized for transiti...
Article
The alluring yet nebulous concept of transformative change is increasingly gaining traction in conversations about pathways to more sustainable futures. As such, new conceptual tools are needed to illuminate variety of actors, interests, and capacities at play in potentially radical experiments. This paper draws upon multi-level governance theory,...
Chapter
Full-text available
Our quickly changing world faces great challenges when it comes to the sustainable provision of energy, food, shelter, water and welfare to a growing urban population. These grand challenges are increasingly taken up by cities that become the places where sustainable futures are emerging. This chapter introduces the theoretical and practical transi...
Chapter
Sustainability transitions pose novel challenges to cities that go beyond traditional planning and urban development policies. Such transitions require broader engagement, empowerment, and breakthrough strategies which enable, facilitate, and direct social innovation processes towards adaptive and innovative urban futures. The transition approach o...
Book
Reading this book will lead to new insights compelling to an international audience into how cities address the sustainability challenges they face. They do this by not repeating old patterns but by searching for new and innovative methods and instruments based on shared principles of a transitions approach. The book describes the quest of cities o...
Article
Full-text available
The objective of urban sustainability requires sustainable urban transformation (SUT), which is closely related to urban sustainability transitions. This paper contributes to the knowledge and discussion on these fields in two ways. First, it defines SUT as a subset of urban sustainability transitions, consisting of 1) sustainable places and their...
Article
Full-text available
In 2001, transition management was introduced into the science-policy debate around sustainable development and complex societal issues. Transition management (TM) at that time posed a number of generic principles derived from an understanding of complex societal sustainability challenges as persistent problems. These formed the basis for the exper...
Article
Full-text available
Does the energy transition benefit from low or high oil prices? Proponents of a swift energy transition have debated this question for a long time. Most believe high oil prices are beneficial, because they make alternatives more competitive. But high oil prices also lead to huge profits for fossil fuel businesses, while low prices make the more cos...
Chapter
Full-text available
Examines transition management in the context of global sustainability challenges and their governance by discussing (1) the transition perspective on achieving global sustainability, (2) the transition management approach and related challenges and tensions around governance of sustainability transitions, and (3) suggestions for implementation of...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
European societies are faced with amalgamated crises: ecological degradation and loss of ecosystem functions, trembling welfare systems that retreat from providing services needed to fulfill basic societal needs and maintain social security, and the resurfacing of dichotomies in societies as effects of gentrification and fear of loss and change. In...
Article
Full-text available
Since its introduction in the National Environmental Policy Plan in 2001 the notion of ‘energy transition’ is firmly rooted in the Dutch energy debate. Despite political efforts to shift to a sustainable energy system, the Netherlands is lagging behind other European countries. Scholarly literature generally ascribes such slow developments to the d...
Article
Full-text available
Various scholars have critically reflected upon transition management, some explicitly called for thinking beyond existing paradigms of institutional and deliberative democracy. Taking up this challenge, this paper seeks to explore inherent democratic tensions of managing (socio-technical) transitions. To this end, it presents a ‘post-foundational’...
Article
Full-text available
Port relocation leaves a mark on the city's landscape and history. In Rotterdam, a medium-sized urban delta, the harbour activities are being relocated from close to the city centre to outwards on the sea. This leaves the city with a regeneration challenge accounting for an area of 1600 ha that it is addressed through the drawing up of an ambitious...
Book
Full-text available
In tijden van transitie ontstaan er structurele risico's en onzekerheden die bedrijven voor existentiele keuzes kunnen doen komen te staan. Maar transities bieden ook enorme kansen op het openen van nieuwe markten en aanboren van nieuwe ondernemerskansen. Om al bedrijf de transitie je niet te laten overkomen en proactief te anticiperen op transitie...
Article
Full-text available
Community owned renewable energy initiatives are the emergent and self-organized arrangements where communities become both producers and suppliers of energy. Cases of community energy developments form Texel (Netherlands), and Undy and Urgha (UK) are the empirical grounds that demonstrate this capacity. As highly desirable community owned renewabl...
Article
Full-text available
This paper explores the co-evolution between societal sustainability transitions and fundamental shifts within individuals businesses. We argue that there is an emergent trend of businesses and industries that move beyond optimizing the organization's individual performance by mitigating negative environmental and social impacts, to fundamentally r...