Learning From the Past

Over the last three years, Deep Transitions History has explored the mechanisms that have brought about the First Deep Transition – the transition that led to industrial modernity and informs all of today’s socio-techno systems (i.e. transport, energy, food). Based on an unprecedented historical analysis of fundamental change in the past 250 year, Deep Transitions History offers a new understanding of how systems and societies have evolved and uncovers the actors, rules and values that have contributed to building the modern world we live in. Led by a large interdisciplinary team of researchers, Deep Transitions History uncovered the underlying mechanisms of change in a multifaceted manner. 

Here, you can learn more about Deep Transitions History, the people behind it and access all Deep Transition History publications and podcast episodes. 

Deep Transitions History


Learn more about the Deep Transitions thinking and get to know the theory and concepts the project evolves around.


Meet the Deep Transitions History team learn more about their backgrounds and contributions to the research. 

Spotlight Features

Catch up on the latest publications, blogs, news and events. If you would like to continuously stay up to date with Deep Transitions, make sure to sign up for our newsletter. 


The Spatial Dynamics of Deep Transitions

Carlos Virreira

Industrial civilization is currently evolving along a fundamentally unsustainable trajectory, contributing to climate change, resource depletion and loss of biodiversity. A recent Deep Transitions framework (Schot and Kanger, 2018; Kanger and Schot, 2019) argues that this trajectory has been built up through the First Deep Transition: a 250-year co-evolution of multiple socio-technical systems. However, to...


The ‘COVID war’? Reflections on mechanisms and imprints of the COVID-19 pandemic

Carlos Virreira

“We are at war”. This was the message from French President Emmanuel Macron in March as he announced the closure of France’s land borders in response to COVID-191 . From the United Nations Secretary General António Guterres2, to the rare public address delivered by Her Majesty the Queen on UK television3, the Second World War...


Episode 1: Everything you Need to know about Deep Transitions (in a Nutshell..)

Carlos Virreira

What links Victorians riding penny farthings on the streets of London to Indian commuters on public transport in 21st century megacities, like Kolkata? Why does your new computer need to be faster? Your new television bigger and sharper? Laur Kanger and Research Fellow Bipashyee Ghosh answer these questions and more on their whistle-stop tour of...


A Guide to Deep Transitions

Carlos Virreira

The theory behind how societies change over time, and what compels these changes, must be explored to understand the future. Deep Transitions theory makes sense of what has happened in the past, while Sustainability Transitions along with Transformative Innovation Policy theory and practice, enables reflection on future transformations. This guide is an introduction to the Transitions...