Considering the human-dimension to make sustainable transitions actionable

María Elena L. Reyes, Willem A. Zwagers, Ingrid J. Mulder*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
48 Downloads (Pure)


Sustainable innovation and transitions are increasingly gaining traction within academia, industries, and policymakers. Despite the research efforts, sustaining innovation and operationalizing transitions still remains a barely explored field. The pragmatic step from understanding towards doing is often not made explicit in the literature. In fact, it results in an unclear and vague grip on how to operationalize these understandings, or differently put on how to make this understanding pragmatic. In the current article, we conducted an integrative literature review using human-centeredness lenses that informs the so-called ‘Human-Dimension’ framework. We argue that adding the Human-Dimension to the existing models for analysis, such as the Multi-Level Perspective framework, might clarify the different meanings that emerge within the network of actors in a transition, and knowing how to translate those individual meanings towards a collective construction of meaning might be enabled. To illustrate the framework’s contribution, we applied it to the context of a local sustainable development project. The results show how human-centeredness could serve as a domain to make the Human-Dimension of sustainable transitions actionable.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8813
Pages (from-to)1-25
Number of pages25
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Actionable
  • Human-centeredness
  • Human-dimension
  • Multi-level perspective
  • Sustainable innovation
  • Sustainable transitions


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