Chalmers Initiative for Innovation and Sustainability Transitions (CIIST)

Chalmers Initiative for Innovation and Sustainability Transitions (CIIST) is a knowledge node that brings together scientists from multiple disciplines to develop an understanding of the complex transformation processes needed to achieve a sustainable society.

Most of the world’s nations have signed the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. The Paris Climate Change Agreement demands that high-income countries cut their emissions to practically zero by 2050. Just a few decades is a short time to achieve these goals.

The systems that need to be adapted, including energy and transportation systems, are large and complex. How can we create the overall changes the world needs in the allotted time? Achieving ambitious societal objectives requires collective measures, as well as private and public players who dare to spearhead the transition.

Chalmers Initiative for Innovation and Sustainability Transitions is developing the expertise to support the necessary transition processes.

Interdisciplinary knowledge is the key
Transition processes are complex. With its wide range of perspectives and approaches, Chalmers Initiative for Innovation and Sustainability Transitions is one of the world’s foremost research environments in the field. The initiative links different insights to create an understanding of the interaction between processes and systems at many levels – from the global level to individuals’ daily lives. The goal is to understand what governments, businesses and civil society can do to stimulate the transition.

Support for active participation in the transition
The initiative offers knowledge on how to implement transitions, and supports advances towards achieving the UN’s and other challenging sustainability objectives at the regional, national and international levels. It aims to promote the transition to sustainable societies by serving as a resource for stakeholders such as government agencies, businesses and the academic world.

Strong base in a fellowship of knowledge and expertise
The initiative springs from a well-grounded knowledge community in two of Chalmers’ fields of expertise – innovation and sustainability. As a university with a long-standing reputation for collaboration, Chalmers is a natural arena for co-creation transitions.



Upcoming and previous seminars organised by CIIST:

CIIST seminar: Transitions in Practice - Lessons from the Energy Futures Lab in Canada 

It is time for the final CIIST-seminar for this year. On December 18th, 14.30-16.00, Steve Williams from the University of British Columbia will present new research on the use of Labs and the multi-level perspective (MLP) of transition theory to support energy transition in Alberta, Canada. 

Registration is not mandatory but appreciated, contact: Hans Hellsmark, ​

Date: 18 December, 2017, Time: 14:30 16:00, Location: Analysen, meeting room, EDIT trappa D, E och F, EDIT 

What role can Swedish technology policy play in the global energy change?

A workshop (in Swedish) with policymakers and industry.

Date: 20 September 2017, Time: 13:00–15:00, Location: Johanneberg Science Park

Combining the MLP and TIS analysis in an Agent-based modelling of low carbon transport

Jonathan Köhler from Fraunhofer ISI presents new research on how agent based modelling can be used to advance sustainability transition studies. The talk is commented by Kristian Lindgren, Chalmers, who will also facilitate the discussion of the seminar.

Abstract: The MATISSE Agent-based model of transitions has been applied to low carbon mobility by representing the niche-regime structure of the Multi Level Perspective (MLP), together with consumers. This structure is general and can be applied to different areas in which socio-technical co-evolutionary change can be represented by discrete alternatives, which are chosen by users. This structure can also be used to represent Technological Innovation Systems (TIS). A new application to low carbon shipping illustrates the methodology.

Date: 5 April 2017, Time: 15:00–16:30, Location: Room Analysen, Rännvägen 6b, Chalmers

Seminar on Leadership and learning in sustainability transitions

Dr. Maja Göpel, Head of Berlin Office at the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy and Derk Loorbach, director of DRIFT and Professor of Socio-economic Transitions at the Faculty of Social Science at Erasmus University Rotterdam, will visit CIIST on January 24. Together with Professor John Holmberg, Physical Resource theory at Chalmers, they will give a seminar on the role of Leadership and Learning in sustainability transitions research. The seminar focus on issues such as the role of leadership and learning to support pro-active real world transitions and what a ‘transformative leadership’ entail on an international, national and local level. What does it mean for business, academy and civil society?

Date: 24 January 2017


Dialogue semina​r series 2016
CIIST organized three well attended seminars on the theme of ‘scale and scope’ in transitions research during the spring 2016.
We continue the series in the fall of 2016 by covering theoretical contributions made by a wide range of transition scholars. The ambition is that the seminars will provide a good overview of the field, examples of ongoing transition research, engaging discussion as well as some serious food for thought.

  • 23/9, 10-11.30:  John Robinson from University of Toronto focusing on citizen engagement in transition processes. 
  • 5/10, 13.00-14.30: Simona Negro from Utrecht University about the role of entrepreneurship and transitions. 
  • 9/11, 13:00-14:30: Aleh Cherp from Lund University on combining economic, political and socio-technical insights in national energy transitions. 
  • 16/12 09.00-10.30: Lars Coenen from Lund University, on the geography of transitions.






CIIST hosts the 8th International Sustainability Transitions Conference in Gothenburg 18–21 June 2017. The conference is open for registration. Read more and register at IST 2017.​

Published: Tue 09 Jun 2015. Modified: Wed 29 Nov 2017