International Sustainability Transitions Conference

The 7th International Sustainability Transitions (IST) Conference will take place in Wuppertal from 6-9 September 2016. The IST Conference will be hosted by the Wuppertal Institute, in cooperation with the Center for Transformation Research and Sustainability (TransZent) at the University of Wuppertal. The conference is the annual opportunity to share theoretical, empirical and practical advances in the field of sustainability transitions. The conference is part of the activities of the Sustainability Transitions Research Network (STRN) and is linked to the journal Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions (EIST).

Sustainability transitions are transformations of major socio-technical systems of provision and use in areas such as energy, water, mobility and food towards more sustainable societies. Sustainability transitions research is a multi-disciplinary field with inputs from economics, science and technology studies, geography, political science, management, sociology and history. It is also a transdisciplinary field in the sense that it focuses on “real-world problems”, is impact- and solution-oriented, and aims at fostering societal change towards sustainable development.

The theme for this year’s IST conference is “Exploring Transition Research as Transformative Science”. Contributions will focus on the conceptual and methodological challenges of transformative science, i.e. research that is actively involved in societal transformation processes. We want to reflect on the challenges and lessons learned in concrete research projects, on theoretical contributions advancing our understanding of transitions, and on the role of science and scientists involved in transitions to sustainability. We will also focus on the broad range of issues and debates in sustainability transitions research.

25th Anniversary of the Wuppertal Institute

The Wuppertal Institute as the hosting institution has since its foundation 25 years ago been a research institute dedicated to making sustainability transitions possible. We want to invite all IST 2016 participants to celebrate our anniversary with us on 8 September. More information can be found at its website: “Welcome to Wuppertal – Making Utopia possible

Exploring Wuppertal

We want to make IST 2016 a very practical transition experience and invite conference participants to one of our urban real-world labs in the city of Wuppertal. In the urban district “Arrenberg” a whole city quarter has set out to become CO2-neutral by the year 2030. At your visit you can experience current and planned projects and meet the people shaping local transformations. There will be three different routes to discover the “Arrenberg” and its diverse sites of transformation. Learn more about the “Farmbox”, self-driving buses, foodsharing, electromobility, the pilot project “Microgrid at the Arrenberg district”, community-supported agriculture, the vision of the “Arrenberg-farm” ... and many more. This practical experience will take place in the afternoon of 8 September.

Restaurant Day

In the evening, another special event will take place at the Arrenberg: the Restaurant Day. Small “one-day restaurants” hosted by Arrenberg residents will open their doors and invite all visitors to a joyful and unique food experience.

Map for Download


Universität Wuppertal, TransZent

The IST 2016 Conference is hosted by the Wuppertal Institute, in cooperation with the Center for Transformation Research and Sustainability (TransZent) at the University of Wuppertal.