Guidelines for sub-system chapters

The topics represent sub-systems of sustainable Texel as a socio-technical system. Groups of students will articulate the sustainability challenge, design a transition and an according sub-system for that challenge, that will fit sustainable Texel’s system.

Groups report about their research and design via the virtual research environment. Every week each group writes one chapter. Together their chapters form the preparatory study on the sub-system, to feed the overall Texel design. The preparatory report has to be finished before we leave to Texel; this report will be graded.

At Texel we will work on a final overarching system design for sustainable, self-sufficient Texel in 2065.  Paragraphs and ideas from all sub-systems will be used and developed further for the final design. Groups will work to refine and fit the development of the sub-system in the transition of system Texel.

On the website the paragraphs and chapters about the sub-system have to form a coherent story line (to be printed as (parts of) a book chapter):


1. Introduction: Explore the sub-system and set research objectives

1.1.    The socio technical system and sustainability transitions: Introduce and discuss ideas and concepts from literature, in order to apply in the following sections.

1.2.    Describe in detail the current sub-system as a socio technological system

1.3.    Outline comparably the future socio-technological system (50 years, 2065) starting from the societal need or innovative technology.

1.4.    A detailed description of the sustainability challenge Texel is facing with regard to the sub system, including

  • Problem statement for sustainability transition. How do the future system and the current sub-system contrast? i.e. the ‘exact’ difference between the current and desired condition of the sub-system.
  • Consider sustainability criteria that the future sub-system on your theme should meet (e.g. zero carbon, closed loops, equity). Be ambitious!
  • Define the research question and design challenge


2. Daily life needs change

2.1.    Designing for presence: Introduce and discuss ideas and concepts from literature, in order to apply in the following sections.

2.2.    Description of daily life (presence in terms of YUTPA) in the current sub-system. How do people live and work in the system? Pay attention to needs are to be fulfilled, and mechanism and relevant detail that show the functioning of the sub-system.

2.3.    Describe daily life in the future sub-system comparably. How will life look like in the future and how will needs be fulfilled?

2.4.    Discuss what needs to change between now and then. How to make the future system more sustainable? Make sure that the discussion aligns with chapter 1. Refine the design challenge of chapter 1.


3. Transitions are made by people

3.1.    Introduce and discuss ideas and concepts from literature, in order to apply in the following sections.

3.2.    Description and analysis of actual relevant trends, initiatives, etc. in the current sub-system.

3.3.    Analyse what current developments are going on the desired direction; and which not? Be aware that this also is a review (and if necessary improvement) of the sustainability criteria (defined in chapter 1).

3.4.    Explore what wider relevant trends, innovative technologies, inspirational initiatives elsewhere and which (groups of) people may need further consideration to steer the TX sub system in the desired direction.

4. Design pathways

4.1.    Introduce and discuss ideas and concepts from literature, in order to apply in the following sections.

4.2.    Consider to design an innovative technological solution and explain why and how this solution connects the current state with  the desired future, and makes sustainability transition (system wise and in daily life) happen.

4.3.    Deliver a detailed description of presence in the future sub-system. Outline which technologies will be prevailing; how will the technologies be embedded in culture and behaviour; how will the elements (technologies, industries, organizations, people etc) in the system be interrelated; By which rules and regulations will the system be organized?

4.4.    Sketch at least two different path ways to realise that sub-system in 2065, and an action agenda for 2020 to initiate transition towards a sustainable sub-system. Take into account all previous analysis from chapters 1, 2 and 3, and pay attention to the following aspects:    

  • Which change needs to take place in the socio-technical system? How will that be initiated and embedded?
  • What change will take place in people’s daily life (presence)? How will that be initiated and embedded?
  • How do transitions take place? What existing or new stakeholders are necessary and what should they do? How should rules and regulations change in order to get the system organized?
  • Which milestones and actions can you define?


5. Conclusions

5.1.    Write conclusions about the sub-system analysis and design.

5.2.    Discuss expectations and potential tensions with other sub-systems within sustainable Texel. In other words, define linkages and potential misfit with all other sub-systems. This is where we will start from in the bubble week at Texel.