Thomas Berker, Centre for Technology and Society, NTNU, Norway, thomas.berker (at)

Michael Ornetzeder, Institute of Technology Assessment, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Austria

Harald Rohracher, Department of Thematic Studies, Technology and Social Change (TEMA T), Linköping University, Sweden



The shift towards a more sustainable society certainly will involve innovations and their widespread uptake. Sustainable alternatives to existing technologies and their related practices must move from being ‘alternative’ to ‘normal’ and taken for granted in order to have the desired effects. Different conceptual approaches within STS and innovation studies, such as social practice theory, transition studies, innovation systems analyses, assemblage theory, or concepts of social worlds and arenas of development have each their own description of what it means and what it takes to become ‘normal’ and taken for granted. These differences are related to central features of these concepts, such as implicit or explicit assumptions about the governability of change and how the question of transformative agency is dealt with.

To this session we invite contributions that extend our understanding of the mainstreaming of sustainable innovations as components of wider socio-technical transformations. We will discuss differences and similarities between theoretical approaches and welcome historical accounts as well as the presentation of recent empirical findings.