Personal profile


Prof. Dr. Rob Raven is an interdisciplinary scholar, professor of sustainability transitions and deputy director (research) at Monash Sustainable Development Institute. He is also a visiting professor at the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development at Utrecht University. His interest is in understanding the dynamics and governance of sustainability transitions and socio-technical innovation. Originally trained as an electrical engineer, he has turned his gaze to the social, institutional, political, and spatial factors that influence successful innovation and transitions towards sustainable development. Rob has made major contributions to multi-level theories of transformative change, socio-technical experimentation, and strategic niche management. His empirical work has covered urban, energy and mobility transition processes in Europe, Asia and Australia. In 2010, he co-designed a practitioner-oriented training program in the EU Climate-KIC’s program ‘Pioneers into Practice’. In 2012 Rob co-founded the global Sustainability Transitions Research Network and won the EASST Chris Freeman award for a significant collective contribution to the interaction of science and technology studies with the study of innovation. From 2019 onwards, he was selected into the Lifetime Achievement Leaderboard of The Australian – Australia’s top 40 researchers – and 1 of 5 top-performing Australian social scientists, and as a Field Leader in Business, Economics & Management. From 2022 onwards, Rob was included in Elsevier’s top 2% of the most influential researchers in the world in all scientific disciplines, with recognized impact in three fields: Energy, Business and Economics, and Enabling & Strategic Technologies. In 2023 he was elected into the Clarivate Highly Cited Researchers list. He has co-hosted the 13th International Sustainability Transitions conference, which is the annual global gathering of sustainability transitions researchers, together with Stellenbosch University and Georgetown University. Rob holds several editorial positions, including Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, Global Sustainability, Nature Urban Sustainability, Technological Forecasting and Social Change and Routledge Studies in Energy Transitions. He has published over 130 articles, 3 books and 8 special issues. He has won the equivalent of more than AUD$ 18M research funds. His research has been funded by national research councils in Australia, the Netherlands, the UK and Denmark, by the European Union’s Horizon program, as well as by governments and industry for contract-based and applied research. His current research agenda is focused on the analysis of transformative change in urban contexts such as smart, sustainable, and net-zero cities and precincts. A key question is how actors, place-based experimentation, institutional change and incumbency in socio-technical regimes shape the governance of sustainable city futures in line with the Sustainable Development Goals and the climate urgency?

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or