7. Institutional change

7.1 Introduction

Institutions play a crucial role in initiating and bringing about transitions. Heavily institutionalised systems can thwart transitions, while other institutions - or the absence thereof - can significantly boost innovation. Although there is no unambiguous definition of the concept of institutions, they are often seen as the rules of the game. These rules - formally seen as laws and regulations and informally as norms and values ​​- find meaning in facilitating and coordinating interaction between individuals and organisations. In doing so, they hold various possibilities, limitations and conditions that can ultimately influence the effectiveness and lifespan of transitions. The games are often played in different political, economic and social arenas, but often also in between.

The central question in this category is how institutional change can contribute to achieving a better connection with desired transitions. On the one hand, institutional change is a response to technical and societal changes, but at the same time these changes can in turn bring about institutional change. KEMs in this category belong to this dual dynamic and offer insight into the behaviour of institutions, in order to determine which institutional arrangements can best match which societal challenges.

KEMs therefore help with questions such as: how can policy and regulatory resources be used to guide transitions? How do you design the associated organisation, network rules, and behaviour? What leadership is desired in transitions? But also: which institutional arrangements ensure that transitions can take place spontaneously and then move autonomously? How to deal with new forms of governance such as network and self-government? And what ultimately ensures social acceptance of transitions?

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