731393 Institutional innovation and sustainability transformation

Lecture and exercise
Semester hours
Lecturer (assistant)
Radinger-Peer, Verena , Penker, Marianne , Quinones-Ruiz, Xiomara-Fernanda
Offered in
Sommersemester 2022
Languages of instruction


The United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development calls for “bold and transformative steps” to address the great challenges. Climate change, social polarisation, terrorism, migration movements, debt crises or biodiversity loss threaten to exceed the problem-solving capacity of politics and economy. Dangerous side effects are inter alia the loss of legitimacy of the market economy and of the democratic state. Starting from a basic knowledge of the sustainability discourse, of the importance of institutions and innovations for a social transformation process, the course gives particular attention to institutional innovations on the regional level. Pioneers of change experiment with institutional innovations like citizen solar power plants, community supported agriculture, sharing initiatives, open technological laboratories and co-working-spaces etc. In the focus of the course are their formal and informal structures and their potential contribution to a sustainability transformation.

Previous knowledge expected

Basic knowledge of the sustainability discourse, political sciences, law, sociology, regional development

Objective (expected results of study and acquired competences)

•critical reflection of the historical concept of Great Transformation (K. Polanyi) and of the transformations requested by the United Nations in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),
•awareness of the importance of social rules / norms / institutions for social transformation processes,
•understanding of selected theoretical and methodological fundamentals of institutional analysis and the ability to apply them to sustainability solutions on the local level; e.g. consumption-production-partnerships (citizen solar power plants, community supported agriculture, food co-operations etc.), crowd-sourcing-/sharing-initiatives, open technological laboratories and co-creation-/co-working-spaces,
•knowledge of local transformation management processes, methods, tools and their application,
•abilities to develop, implement and adaptively enhance institutional innovations to foster a sustainability transformation.
You can find more details like the schedule or information about exams on the course-page in BOKUonline.