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Linz Institute of Technology
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What does socio-technical transitions mean?

Humankind faces several grand challenges, such as the climate crisis, inequality, or decreasing faith in our democratic institutions. Technologies may fuel these challenges, for instance the dominance of combustion engine cars, bitcoin’s massive energy consumption, or social media accelerating the spread of fake news. However, at the same time, many think of technologies as the solution: electrified public transportation systems, solar energy production, or change agents using social media to get heard. 

Technologies do not operate in a social vacuum. Quite to the contrary. We understand technologies as the material or immaterial artifacts at the heart of many human activities, such as production, service delivery, and communication. Technologies are embedded in social systems - norms, values, beliefs, and interests shape how we create and make use of them. The professorship of socio-technical transitions investigates transformations (i.e., change) associated with technologies.