Out of the Comfort Zone

Governing the exnovation of unsustainable technologies and practices

Renewable energy
  • News 11.01.2018

Innovations are important for sustainability transformations, yet often prove insufficient for replacing established unsustainable structures. The promotion of renewable energy in Germany, for example, has been insufficient for pushing coal out of the energy market. The prevalent "innovation bias" should be overcome by complementing innovation politics and research with a stronger occupation with the  termination of unsustainable technologies and practices.

The article "Out of the comfort zone" by Dirk Arne Heyen (Öko-Institut e. V.), Lukas Hermwille, and Timon Wehnert (both Wuppertal Institute) therefore introduces the concept of "exnovation": as the purposive termination of existing (infra)structures, technologies, products and practices. They plea for leaving the comfort zone of win-win and purely innovation-driven transformation but to face the necessity of dealing with governance options of exnovation processes.

The complete article is available free of charge under the following link.