Current sustainability challnges are increasingly acknowledged to be of a systemic nature. Instead of procrastinating further through incremental changes, societal systems (mobility, energy, agriculture) are therefore considered to be in need of system innovations and transitions. Thus far, system innovation has mainly been studied through synoptic bird's eye perspectives. This study responds to the calls for deeper investigation into system innovation 'in the making'. In a polycentric society, initiatives towards transformation are tentative, selected upon by diverse actors. Actors bend, modify and 'translate' innovation attempts. This interpretive study follows four sequences of translations in the Dutch traffic management field, and their intersections. Through 'translation dynamics' processes of system innovation can be better understood and navigated. Key dynamic is synchronization - the temporary attunement of translations that provides anchors to the translation game.

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G.R. Teisman (Geert)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Pel, B. (2012, September 13). System Innovation as Synchronization: innovation atempts in the Dutch traffic management field. Retrieved from