Jan Rotmans is a socially engaged scientist, with more than 200 publications in the field of climate change & global change modelling, sustainable development, and transitions and system innovations.
Jan Rotmans is a socially engaged scientist, with more than 200 publications in the field of climate change & global change modelling, sustainable development, and transitions and system innovations. After his PhD-research and work at RIVM he became the youngest professor of the Netherlands in 1997, at the Maastricht University (ICIS: International Centre for Integrative Studies). In September 2004 he founded the new research institute DRIFT, Dutch Research Institute For Transitions, and became full professor in transitions and transition management at the Erasmus University Rotterdam.
For many years, Jan Rotmans, an inspired professor of transition studies and sustainability, has been committed to realizing a fair and sustainable society. Boldly he keeps telling people that it is not enough merely to study or identify trends and shifts in society. As a progressor he manages to translate theories of transition into concrete action and advice for businesses, governments and organizations, both at home and abroad. Taking issues beyond the level of thinking and talking, he pursues actual social change and greater respect for the human dimension in a new order. To this end, he set up different organizations – ICIS, Urgenda, DRIFT, Nederland Kantelt and Zorgeloos – aimed at translating transition theory into practice.
During his lectures and workshops Jan manages to inspire and motivate people, both at home and abroad. He knows how to challenge the people in his audience and make them think about where they are today and what they themselves can do to work towards a brighter future.
From his childhood years, Jan Rotmans has been driven by the idea of a more just world for all. As a boy he was not dreaming of becoming a fireman or a policeman – he hungered for knowledge and wanted to become a professor devoted to making the world a better place. We are all entitled, after all, to live on a planet attuned to fairness and equality.
Jan Rotmans was himself forced to come to a standstill after a serious bicycling accident. During his lengthy recovery, he got to a turning point and became aware of the urgency of moving beyond mere study of the social transition through efforts aimed at accelerating it.
This called for a personal transition in Jan. Instead of antagonizing people as activist, you need to touch their heart – and persuade them to change along with you towards larger goals.