Australian Innovation Research Centre

Public Seminar René Kemp

Public Seminar René Kemp

Creating Change in a State of Political Gridlock.
The Dutch model of transition management in healthcare, energy and transport.

The AIRC will be hosting a public seminar on 'Creating Change in a State of Political Gridlock: the Dutch Model of Transition Management in Healthcare, Energy and Transport'. This seminar will be held on Wednesday, 4th of February at the Stanley Burbury Theatre, University Centre, Churchill Avenue, Sandy Bay. The presentation will begin at 6pm, followed by the opportunity for an open discussion on the subject concluding at 7.30pm. Refreshments will be provided following the discussion.

René Kemp, Professor of Innovation and Sustainable Development in Maastricht, The Netherlands will provide the core presentation of the evening. Jonathan West, Professor of Innovation and Business Strategy from the AIRC, University of Tasmania will introduce Professor Kemp and facilitate the discussion. Anthony Arundel, Professor of Innovation and Director of the AIRC will also be joining René Kemp and Jonathan West on the discussion panel.

Seating is limited, please secure your place as early as possible and by no later than Thursday, 29th of January by emailing

More about the topic:
Political gridlock comes from different interest groups being at loggerheads with each other. Green parties want renewable energy and bans on logging, which puts them into conflict with utilities and forestry companies, with the conflicts extending into party politics. To make progress on environmental issues and guide society into new directions, the issue has to be reformulated into one of value creation for society. Value creation requires experimentation, innovation support and discouragement of activities with high social and environmental costs. In his lecture, René Kemp will talk about an approach for escaping lock-in through "transition management". It is a model which was co-developed with Dutch policy makers in 2000. Transition management does not rely on blueprints but relies on iterative decision making in which goals and portfolios of options for support may change. Decisions are made on the basis of experiences and new insights. Policy choices are based more on long-term desirability and less on short-term solutions. Promising innovations become the topic of support and collaboration and claims about desirability and non-desirability of regulations are critically evaluated by experts. The orientation to innovation and evaluation, helps businesses, pressure groups and political parties to move away from old and fixed positions. In his talk, René Kemp will present the features of transition management, the Dutch policies based on it and discuss the pros and cons of such an approach. An important debating point is whether this is something for Tasmania or not.

More about René Kemp:
Prof. René Kemp is professor of innovation and sustainable development in Maastricht, The Netherlands, currently in Tasmania for a sabbatical. He is well-known for his work on sustainability transitions and governance for sustainable development. He has more than 100 publications in the area of eco-innovation and sustainable development, several of which are viewed as seminal. He is advisory editor of Research Policy (the world-leading innovation journal), editor of Sustainability Science and editor of the new journal Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions. René Kemp advised the EU on Research and Technology Development policy for climate change, and eco-innovation and has advised policy makers at many occasions. For the Environment Council (meeting of EU Environment Ministers) in Maastricht in 2004, he wrote a strategy note about eco-innovation, which fed into the council's conclusions. Together with Jan Rotmans he developed the model of transition management, which, following many discussions with policy makers, was used by the Dutch national government as a basis for its innovation policy for sustainability energy. René Kemp approaches innovation issues from a socio-technical and political economy perspective, which is rather unique in a world of specialization.