top of page

Integrating Thematic Line

Innovation and Transition to Sustainable Societies


Innovation and Transition to Sustainable Societies The line addresses the great challenges that threaten the sustainability of today's societies. Among them an economic development that leads to climate change, which is one of the major problems that humanity will face in the coming decades and that has led to the declaration of the climate emergency by a growing number of countries. The ITL is intended to promote the search for answers to these challenges – in the case of climate change the necessary accelerated decarbonization aiming at limiting global warming. These answers require profound and transversal transformations of the current modes of production and lifestyles, and these transformations are associated with a series of risks but also of opportunities to the economies. For example, current trends such as digitalization or dematerialization can help more or less spontaneous aggregating forces likely to bring about the necessary impetus for transformational change.

This ITL will cover topics such as decarbonization, disruptive innovation, transformative transition, innovative environments, environmental experience, economic, social and territorial pressures, and inequalities, which prevent balanced economic growth and can constitute an important obstacle to changing behaviors.

Differently from the ITL on regulatory and governance challenges, more focused on the existing instruments for its regulation, this line focuses on the impact of regulatory measures on societal and economic trends. Differently from the one on creative and participative lives, which focuses on empowerment stimulating individual initiative, it focuses on the patterns and factors characterizing the aggregation of such individual initiatives, and on how these patterns and factors may help to rise the sustainability challenges. But by doing so it also enables itself to contribute to the discussion of the relationship between these three types of societal forces. Societal trends are conditioned by the characteristics of individual initiatives and inputs, as well as by organizational measures, which may stimulate, channel or oppose them.


This ITL also could open a space for the discussion of dynamics experienced by the domain of scientific research itself. Some of them are at the heart of scientific development, such as competition between researchers, or the random encounter scientific paradigms and cultures in large institutional arenas (journals, conferences, etc.). Others could raise questions of sustainability: the growth of the organizational players, the increasing weight of quantitive criteria in the evaluation of scientific performances, the increasing precarity of research positions.





Nuno Bento & Patrícia Bento de Almeida



First initiative:

Paper discussion session of 9 November 2018




ITL - Other pages


General Introduction


Innovation and Transition to Sustainable Societies


Regulatory and Governance Challenges for Complex Societies


Creative and Participative Lives in Empowered Societies

bottom of page