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Transition Talks

​These are times of exceptional social turmoil, environmental degradation and technological change. They call on us to think big, and to think differently, when rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes are called for. 

Transition Talks invites you to explore new perspectives on innovation and sustainability. During an extended lunch, we bring together leading thinkers from civil society with academic researchers. We present a challenging keynote speech and facilitate a discussion with invited panelists. We provide an opportunity to reflect, talk and network. And we serve good food.

The purpose of Transition Talks is to put our research efforts in a broader context, by inviting new perspectives on innovation and sustainability, as well as to explore the role and orientation of our work in relation to pressing social and environmental challenges. In addition, Transitions Talks provides a platform for scholarly interaction and highlights the emerging network around Chalmers Initiative for Innovation and Sustainability Transitions.

Transition Talks is a seminar series presented by Chalmers Initiative for Innovation and Sustainability Transitions.
Six seminars are planned for 2019. No registration is necessary.
The talks will be held in English and there will be a vegetarian lunch available for the first 40 guests!

See you at Veras Gräsmatta!


Seminars, autumn 2019

October 1st


A just transition towards a fossil free society
Greenhouse gas emissions are very unevenly produced. This is obvious on a global level. But it is also true on a national level. In Sweden you can see that there are differences linked to class, geography, and sex; very much connected to income level.

These differences deserve great attention. Because, without a strategy for a transition towards a fossil-free society that takes these differences into account and strives for a fair distribution of the emission cuts, there is a clear risk for failure. In this talk, Bensinupproret 2.0, is in focus as both an example of a sort of critique against unfair taxes and at the same time an example of how influential groups with totally different agendas take part in climate politics. In this seminar we will explore the role of justice in the transition process – what possibilities and problems does it entail.

About the speaker
Arne Müller lives in Umeå and has been working as a journalist since 1985, among others for SVT. Since 2013 he has published several books concerning environmental problems in the mining industry, the regional development in Sweden and the resource problems in connection with a transition to electrical vehicles and renewable energy. For the book Norrlandsparadoxen he was awarded the price Guldspaden by the Organisation of investigative journalists in Sweden (FGJ).

Date and time: October 1st, 12.00-13.00
Venue: Veras Gräsmatta
Keynote speaker: Arne Müller, Journalist, and writer
Panel: TBA



What if we recognized the relationship between armed conflict and sustainable development?



What if we looked beyond sustainability and tried to restore some of the ecological damage we have done?


Previous Seminars, spring 2019


Rights of nature

What if we acknowledged that nature has a legal right not to be polluted, undermined and destroyed?
Human activities threaten biodiversity to the extent that we are currently witnessing the sixth mass extinction of species. It is clear that environmental regulation, based on anthropocentric arguments, fails in its efforts to protect the natural environment. In this seminar, we highlight a global movement that promotes the idea that nature has intrinsic value and discuss what role the rights of nature play in sustainability transitions.
Date and time: March 6th, 12.00-13.00
Venue: Veras Gräsmatta
Keynote speaker: Pella Thiel, Rights of Nature Sweden
  • Marie Widengård, School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg
  • Thomas Laurien, Academy of Design and Crafts, University of Gothenburg
  • Martin Persson, Physical Resource Theory, Chalmers



What if we moved savings and shifted investments from fossil energy assets?
Climate change calls for an immediate and immense transformation of the global energy system. But vested interests successfully resist change and maintain power and privilege – for example, fossil energy subsidies widely exceed investments in renewable energy, and many national economies are closely linked to fossil fuel interests. Sustainability transitions may accordingly require actions and policies that aim to dismantle existing industrial structures. In this seminar, we explore divestment from fossil energy assets as a tool for sustainable change and discuss how it can be used in different societal contexts.
Date and time: April 4th, 12.00-13.00
Venue: Veras Gräsmatta
Keynote speaker: Olivia Linander, Fossil Free Sweden
Panel: TBD


What if we took democracy seriously?
Environmental problems are deeply intertwined with social conflict and poverty. As climate change and resource depletion put increasing pressures on society, more and more people will be forced to migrate in search for means of survival. At the same time, global collaboration, solidarity and democracy is threatened by the rise of right-wing nationalism – refugees are treated as problems, when they are nothing but human beings that flee problems. In this seminar, we highlight the interdependence of (re)democratization and sustainability transitions, and discuss how a democratic perspective can support efforts to promote sustainable change.
Date and time: May 6th, 12.00-13.00
Venue: Veras Gräsmatta
Keynote speaker: Shora Esmailian, Journalist and activitist
Panel: TBD

Published: Tue 17 Sep 2019.