Details of the Initiative

In order for society to deal with large-scale global challenges–such as climate change–and improve its sustainability, responding to individual public issues and building on incremental changes is insufficient. A number of existing researches indicate that socio-economic systems (legal systems, social infrastructure, customs, etc.) need to be transformed in order to deal with global challenges. The well-known SDGs are, in fact, defined by the United Nations’ resolution titled “Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” Transformation is now considered as an essential element of achieving the SDGs.

In order to advance our understandings of the ways of accelerating this transition, I have been undertaking research projects on the theory and practice of transition management. Transition management is an approach to accelerating sustainability transition which is studied and practiced by a number of institutions including the Dutch Research Institute for Transitions (DRIFT).

In Japan, my colleagues and I have applied the transition management approach to community-level issues, such as a suburban development of Urawa-Misono district in Saitama City and the promotion of bicycles usage in Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture. These projects are supported by the national program of grants-in-aid for scientific research. We conduct various field experiments such as workshop meetings in which “frontrunners” participate and promote behavioral changes for sustainable future.

An image from a workshop meeting for realizing sustainable Misono district in 2050. We invited Dr. Derk Loorbach (Director of DRIFT) to a living lab in Misono.