The essentials of transition management Transition management is a model of coevolutionary management of transformative change in societal systems through a process of searching, learning, and experimenting. Managing here means adjusting, adapting, and influencing rather than the command-and-control mode (Loorbach, 2007; Rotmans et al, 2001a; 2001b). The rationale behind transition management is that there are persistent problems for which there are no immediate solutions. By transforming the persistent problem into a visionary challenge, transition management explores a range of possible options and pathways, by carrying out a diversity of small-scale experiments. Based on what is learned form the transition experiments, the vision, agenda, and pathways are adjusted, if needed. Successful experiments are continued and can be scaled up; failed experiments are abandoned. Another round starts until some kind of convergence is reached. Transition management is thus a cyclical process of envisioning, agenda building, instrumenting, experimenting, and learning. Rather than focusing on a single, available solution, transition management explores various options and is aimed at guiding variation-selection processes into more sustainable directions, with the long-term aim of selecting the most sustainable option(s) and paths based on learning experiences.

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Journal Environment and Planning A: international journal of urban and regional research
Rotmans, J, & Kemp, R. (2008). Detour Ahead: a response to Shove and Walker about the perilous road of transition management. Environment and Planning A: international journal of urban and regional research, 40(4), 1006–1012. doi:10.1068/a4004let