This article was produced as part of the Governance of Sociotechnical Transformations (GoST) project.
The contribution makes use of a sociotechnical imaginaries (STI) framework to expose crucial but neglected governance issues in sociotechnical areas of key relevance to sustainability transformations such as energy systems. It explores how the STI concept can contribute to understanding transformations to sustainability (T2S) by illustrating their multidimensionality and temporality.
It takes as its starting point a ‘co-productionist’ view illuminating how collective visions of desirable (or resisted) environmental futures limit or enable political imagination and the search for alternative transformative practices. It demonstrates how a focus on imaginaries can help reveal the complex multidimensionality of human needs, expectations, and uses of natural resources — and associated societal phenomena to enable T2S. By more explicitly addressing the technical as well as political and normative dimensions of T2S, this approach helps uncover the taken-for-granted assumptions that often shut down potentially promising imaginations, as well as makes visible alternate pathways and possible constitutional relationships in the triad of state and society.