Co-Director

Professor of System Innovation and Sustainability, Sustainable Consumption Institute, University of Manchester

Professor Frank Geels (Co-Director, Theme leader, Diffusion) is Professor of System Innovation and Sustainability at the Sustainable Consumption Institute, University of Manchester and chairman of the international Sustainability Transitions Research Network. Frank is a world-leading scholar on socio-technical transitions and has published six books and more than forty peer- reviewed articles in this area, many of which are highly cited. Geels has extensive experience in research management, acting as PI on a prestigious ERC-funded project (‘Destabilisation of sociotechnical regimes as the key to transitions towards sustainability’, 2008-2012), a project funded by the Dutch TransForum programme (‘Historical and future transitions in agriculture and food’, 2007-2008), and a project funded by the Dutch Knowledge Network on System Innovation (‘Historical Transition Pathways’, 2004-2007). Geels has acted as consultant for DEFRA (two reports on sustainability transitions), The World Wildlife Fund (which has adopted his multi-level perspective to structure their strategic thinking), the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs (which adopted transition management in the energy sector), and Dutch practitioners working ‘on transition projects.

Projects

highway seen from car window at night
Evidence from history: Deliberate acceleration of socio-technical transitions

The diffusion of low-energy systems needs to be accelerated to address climate change. What lessons can be learned from historical case studies about the technological, political, cultural and economic actions and mechanisms that accelerate diffusion?

pump installation
Learning about diffusion from experiences in other countries

European countries have seen some low-energy innovations, like district energy systems in Austria, gain popularity. What lessons can be learned from these examples about how to overcome inertia and cause diffusions to accelerate, leading to tipping points and breakthroughs?

Publications