Karoline Augenstein (Bergische Universität Wuppertal)
An Interdisciplinary Perspective on Scaling in Sustainability Transitions
WIFO Research Seminar, Österreichisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Wien, 29.06.2022 12:30
Veranstalter: Österreichisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung
Online seit: 15.06.2022 0:00
The question of how sustainable innovations and how niche experimentation lead to systemic changes are a core motivation of
sustainability transitions research. As an inherently interdisciplinary field, although this question is addressed from different
academic perspectives, the dominant understanding of relevant scaling processes is grounded in concepts of growth, diffusion
and expansion. This article contributes to the discussion of more nuanced understandings of scaling, acknowledging the value
of ontological levels for analytic purposes, but also drawing on knowledge from socio-psychological and spatial perspectives.
Alternative understandings of spatial and agency-related scaling approaches are discussed and compared. An integrative socio-spatial
framework is developed, providing a mid-range framework capable of supporting analysis of transitions that connects different
disciplinary perspectives within a level-based ontology. We use an illustrative case study and derive implications for how
this can inform questions of scaling and particularly spatial upscaling of new ways of doing, thinking and organizing.