This course is obligatory for students of the master’s programme Industrial Ecology.
No prior knowledge required.
The course consists of three parts:
(1) A theoretical part consisting of lectures, readings and discussions.
(2) A group assignment focusing on a self-chosen sustainable innovation. In the group assignment (i) a brief technology assessment & stakeholder analysis is made before (ii) conducting a more elaborate analysis of the system with either the functions of innovation systems approach or the strategic niche management approach, (iii) making recommendations how to enhance the current niche, (iv) developing long-term future visions and pathways for broad diffusion of the sustainable innovation niche.
(3) An individual assignment / essay for which topics are provided by the lecturers.
The course Sustainable Innovation and Social Change deals with sustainable innovation and related social change from an Industrial Ecology perspective. It takes as starting points:
(1) that technology and innovation on the one hand and society and users on the other hand mutually influence one another and evolve in a co-evolutionary way;
(2) that sustainable innovations, as well as system innovations and transitions towards sustainability are strongly needed to bring about industrial eco-parks and industrial symbiosis in particular and sustainable development in general, and;
(3) that stakeholder involvement and participatory intervention instruments are needed and required to enable and realise implementation in a socially responsible way.
The first part of the course evolves in particular around the concepts of Functions of Innovation Systems, Strategic Niche Management, and Sustainability Transitions / Multi-Level Perspective. The second part of the course focuses on participatory intervention and implementation instruments like backcasting, stakeholder dialogues and transition management. These frameworks and instruments can be applied to socio-technical systems, such as regional eco-industrial parks, niches like organic agriculture and car sharing or renewable energy innovations in both industrialised and developing countries.
The course covers the following topics:
(i) major technology assessment concepts and basis technology assessment methods for exploring technological & social developments as well as analysing stakeholders and impacts;
(ii) innovation system and innovation niche theory and related analytical tools;
(iii) system innovation and transition concepts and theories;
(iv) stakeholder theory and participatory intervention & implementation instruments at the level of socio-technical systems like backcasting, stakeholder dialogues and transition management;
(v) how these relate to industrial eco-parks and industrial symbiosis, as well as other domains and emerging innovative niches relevant to the field of Industrial Ecology.
By the end of the course students have:
A. Knowledge of (i) major system innovation theories & transition theory; (ii) major concepts and basic methods for technology assessment & social change analysis; (iii) frameworks of Functions of Innovation Systems, Regime / Multi-Level analysis, and Strategic Niche Management; (iv) Major participatory intervention instruments such as transition management, backcasting, strategic niche management, stakeholder dialogues
B. Understanding of: strengths and limitations of the above mentioned theories, frameworks, tools and instruments.
C. Experience & skills in the application of (i) technology assessment (ii) a regime-multi-level analysis, (iii) innovation analysis (iv) making proposals for application of participatory intervention instruments.
Academic skills that are trained in the course include (i) development of research questions & proposal; (ii) writing coherent, well-structured and well argued academic reports; (iii) dealing with user and social aspects of innovation, and (iv) stakeholder analysis and plurality in stakeholder perspectives.
Mode of instruction
Lectures, tutorials, group work on innovation analysis, presentations, individual assignment, training/tutorial for academic skills.
Group assignment counts for 80% and the individual assignment counts for 20% in the grade for this course.
The lecturer communicates via blackboard TU Delft.
Reading consists of selected journal papers and book chapters on the topics relevant to the course; a reading list of articles and chapters will be provided. Reading includes book chapters and articles from peer reviewed international journals.
A list of additionally recommended literature will be provided. Students are expected to collect relevant literature themselves.
Students who are not enrolled to the master’s programme Industrial Ecology (except elective students from TU Delft) have to ask permission from the studyadvisor of Industrial Ecology at least one month before start of the course by use of this form.
TU Delft elective students can enroll through blackboard TU Delft and sending a request to Dr. ir. J.N. Quist.
Academic skills that are trained in the course include:
(i) development of research questions & proposal; (ii) writing coherent, well-structured and well argued academic reports; (iii) dealing with user and social aspects of innovation, and; (iv) stakeholder analysis and plurality in stakeholder
More information and the description of the course is published in the e-studyguide of TU Delft.