Transformative change relates to deep and systemic shifts in values, institutions and practices, required to bring about sustainable futures and long-term human well-being. The concept has roots in scientific literature and is increasingly becoming a policy goal at various governance levels. While there is a growing consensus about the need for transformative change, relatively little is known about how to bring it about. Specifically, what can public authorities do to introduce new trajectories of human-nature relations at technological, economic and social scales?
This talk will draw on the existing knowledge about governance for transformative change as well as on the analysis of the recent EU’s policy and legal approaches to effecting change. The EU is among the most vocal promoters of transformative change as an urgent and tangible goal. Since 2019 and particularly since the Covid-19 pandemic, the EU has introduced a variety of policy approaches to that end, including the policy innovation of the do no harm principle across its post-covid recovery investments.
The talk will evaluate the EU’s efforts, particularly from the perspective of furthering governance for and through biodiversity, considering this area as indicative of the type of transformation required. Is the EU’s policy approach conducive to delivering on its strategic goal of putting the economy and society on a sustainable path, as defined by the European Green Deal? What lessons for transformative governance are valuable beyond the EU context?
Jerneja Penca is Associate Professor and Head of Academic Affairs at the Euro-Mediterranean University (EMUNI), Slovenia. Her research has explored governance aspects of socio-ecological systems at land and at sea. She is currently the Lead of the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence on Sustainable Blue Economy, a PI at a research project on evaluation of sustainability transformation and involved in various scientific and capacity-building projects relating to sustainability. She acts as a Lead Author on the IPBES Transformative Change Assessment. In addition to her research, Jerneja is in charge of EMUNI University institutional partnerships and projects, and closely involved in the Euro-Mediterranean regional dialogue in the areas of science, higher education and innovation cooperation, as well as sustainable development. She is the Managing Editor of the International Journal of Euro-Mediterranean Studies. Jerneja holds a PhD in law from the European University Institute, LLM degree from the University of Nottingham and a Bachelor degree in International Relations from the University of Ljubljana.
This event is part of the CIVICA Research Excellence Tour.