Trends in Sustainable Energy Innovation: transition teams


Dirk Franco
Jean-Pierre Segers
René Herlaar
Anna Richt Hannema


            We focus on transition teams and social interactions and innovation in three energy cases.  In PXL University of Applied Sciences, the transition team is built using the quadruple helix framework. Arestart has been made from here to put a new M(aintenance) E(nergy) P(erformance) C(ontract) on the market for (campus) buildings.  The transition team is a catalyst to include sustainability within the mission and vision.  PXL is the first Flemish higher education institution to acquire the SDG Pioneer label awarded by the UN. Stedin Netbeheer, (distribution system operators) though strictly regulated, has set itself the goal of accelerating the energy transition where possible. The transition team focuses on ensuring that the technical blue-collar employees obtain more decisiveness and greater autonomy necessary to “do different” and “organize differently”. In the grassroot experiment in Haarlem the transition team improves environmental and climate indicators (reduction of CO2, NOX and particulate matter, creation of more vacant spaces, ….), together with behavioral changes.  It is indicated how the transition team worked and progressed towards “coalitions for change” and how “change processes” have started. These paradigm shifts to new “energy systems” in combination with new business models and societal transition are needed to achieve a post carbon society.


Author Biographies

Jean-Pierre Segers, PXL, Central Administration, Building A, Elfde Liniestraat 24, 3500 Hasselt, Belgium / Riga Technical University, IEVF, LV1048 Riga, Latvia / Hasselt University, Faculty of Business Economics, 3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium

Jean-Pierre Segers (Ph.D.) is a visiting professor at Riga Technical University and Hasselt University.  He is also affiliated with Université de Liège and PXL. 

He  has a special research focus on pharma and biotech and entrepreneurship.


René Herlaar, Stedin Netbeheer Netbeheer, Energieweg 20 2627 AZ Delft, The Netherlands

Rene Herlaar Program manager Telecom at Stedin High Voltage, Transformation director, Organization philosopher Roermond, Limburg, Netherlands

connector. Brings people and teams in development from here to there. Social transformation within the organizational and business context.

Anna Richt Hannema, Kartrekker, Ben Viljoenstraat 9 RD, 2021 AA Haarlem, Nederland

My passion lies in connecting the worlds of government, the market and residents. I express this in initiatives/projects that benefit the living environment. This is necessary because under the influence of housing construction and automation (the self-evident position of the car in public space), the space for meeting, playing, clean air and greenery is under pressure.


My expertise lies at the intersection of communication, behavior and transition. I focus on the space between the market, government and residents, because that is where innovation and impact can take place. After all, none of these parties can solve complex urban problems alone.